by: David Kay
2008-09 Season Summary:
The Warriors were an absolute mess this past season finishing 19 games worse than they did a year ago. Injuries played a major role in their disappointing season as Golden State used an unfathomable 47 different starting line-ups. It’s well known that “Nellie Ball” produces a lot of offense with its up-tempo pace, but the Warriors were absolutely abysmal on the defensive end allowing at least 125 points in a game 13 times. Add in that Golden State was the youngest team in the league this past season, and it is easy to see why the Warriors are in the lottery for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons.
C: Andris Biedrins/Ronny Turiaf/Mikki Moore
PF: Corey Maggette/Anthony Randolph/Brandon Wright
SF: Stephen Jackson/Kelanna Azibuike/Devean George
SG: Stephen Curry/Anthony Morrow
PG: Monta Ellis/C.J. Watson/Acie Law/Speedy Claxton
Head Coach: Don Nelson (4th year)
2009-2010 Team Salary: $63.1 million
Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $54.8 million
Off-Season Grade: Passed
Kudos to the Warriors for dealing Jamal Crawford for the expiring contracts of Speedy Claxton and Acie Law. Yes, that is receiving twenty-five cents on the dollar in terms of skill swapping, but Crawford and Monta Ellis were referred to as “oil and water” in the same backcourt by their own coach, so one of them had to go. Since Ellis is only 23 years old, he was the obvious choice to keep in town. Plus, this trade will save Golden State a little more than ten million dollars next year.
Drafting Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick came with a little bit of drama. Ellis reportedly was going to be unhappy if G-State drafted a point guard, now he will have to deal with having the sharp shooting Curry as his running mate. Curry makes sense for the Warriors because of his offensive ability in transition especially from deep. He should fit into Nellie’s up-tempo offense and non-existent defense.
More drama came late in the summer when Stephen Jackson requested to be traded, preferably to the Cavs, Knicks, or one of the teams in Texas. The Warriors refused, fined him 25 grand, and kept his label as team captain. “I don’t anticipate any problems” was Nelson’s quote. You might be alone, Don.
The Warriors made one other trade, dealing Marco Belinelli for Devena George. I don’t need to waste any more text on that trade since it won’t make any impact.
First off, the depth chart above is a total shot in the dark. The Warriors used 47 different starting line-ups in 2008-2009. (Yes, that is absolutely ridiculous for an 82 game season.) The most a certain combo was in the same starting line-up was five times so who knows what Don Nelson is going to do with his roster this season.
Many “experts” are predicting this team to be an absolute mess this season. Here’s the deal. There is a lot of talent on this roster. That’s why they averaged almost 109 points per game last season. On the contrary, G-State gave up more points than any other team in the league. That’s what happens you play “Nellie Ball,” you score a lot of points, but play zero D’.
I wouldn’t be shocked if this team won 48 games like they did two years ago. Then again, I wouldn’t blink an eye if they won 22 games and finished with one of the worst records in the league. Translation: this should be an entertaining team to keep your eye on this season.
Keep an eye on Anthony Randolph. He was drafted with his potential in mind and absolutely killed it in summer league. Everyone is expecting a breakout season from him and he could be a vital player for the Warriors this season.
Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:
There won’t be too much to look ahead to as the Warriors will be above the cap. They do have some younger players that have fairly reasonable contracts and could make a deal or two to better the flexibility next season. Otherwise, G-State will once again have to rely on the draft and continued development from their young talent.