2009-10 Golden State Warriors Season Preview
The run-and-gun Golden State Warrior (29- 53) proved they could score last season. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop other clubs from scoring. For the third straight season, they scored the most fast-break points in the league. Also, for the third year in a row, they gave up the most fast-break points in the NBA. Granted that the Warriors suffered key injuries that plagued them throughout the season. Still, it’s doubtful good health would have cured their defensive ills. There were problems in other areas too. In the front office, GM Chris Mullin and club president Robert Rowell were at loggerheads And head coach Don Nelson proved to be petulant as he got into a tiff with Al Harrington, one of his key players, and benched him at the top of the season. Harrington went to the Knicks.
The small forward spot is problematic. Corey Maggette (18.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.8 APG) can slash to the hoop and draw the foul but he rarely shares the ball. Stephen Jackson (20.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.5 APG) could be in the backcourt, but the swingman is capable of playing small forward. At power forward, Anthony Randolph (7.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.8 APG) came on strong at the end of last season, scoring in double digits in 10 of his last 11 games and notching five double-doubles over the same span. The center spot is anchored by the capable Andris Biedrins (11.9 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 2.0 APG). The problem with Biedrins is that only twice in five seasons has he played in 75 or more games. Biedrins, who possesses some fine defensive chops too, has to stay healthy.
The shooting spot will feature first-round draft pick rookie Stephen Curry. Curry is a topnotch sharpshooter and an able passer. He may end up being a combo guard. The point looks to be the purview of Monta Ellis (19.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG); however Ellis is not a very good set up man. From Atlanta, Acie Law and Speedy Claxton may see time at the point. C.J. Watson (9.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.7 APG) may also be a decent backup. He’s possesses a fine shot from downtown.
The best thing that the Warriors have going for them is scoring one-on-one. Ellis, Maggette and Jackson are all tough to stop. And there are solid guys behind them who can also put the ball in the basket. Curry could really be a huge asset in this area. Golden State suffers from two major problems: defense and passing. Which is worse? Well, they were 30th in “D” last year. However, they also had the second-lowest rate of assists per basket (53%). Little ball movement means a lot of one-timers, misses and vulnerability on the transition.
This season’s edition of the Golden State Warriors should win more games than last year’s team. Still, the club’s lack of ball movement and team playmaking along with its inability to stop other teams from scoring will severely handicap the Warriors. Third in the division and 11th in the conference look likely.