“It’s not fair Mum”.
Thats what it sounds like out in the NBA media and fandom.
“The NBA won’t be as good this season. It’s a one horse race”.
The Golden State Warriors are giving up a lot even though it might not look like it by the numbers.
So they lose:
- Andrew Bogut (5.4PPG, 7RPG, 2.3APG, 20.7MPG, 0.63FG%)
- Harrison Barnes (11.7PPG, 4.9RPG, 1.8APG, 30.9MPG, 0.47FG%, 0.38-3PT%)
- Leandro Barbosa (6.4PPG, 15.9MPG, 0.46FG%, 0.83FT%)
- Festus Ezeli (7PPG, 5.6RPG, 1.1BPG, 16.7MPG, 0.55FG%)
- Mareese Speights (7.1PPG, 3.3RPG, 11.6MPG, 0.83FT%, 0.39-3PT%)
- Brandon Rush (4PPG, 2.5RPG, 14.6MPG, 0.41-3PT%)
And they gain:
- Kevin Durant (28.2PPG, 8.2RPG, 5APG, 1SPG, 1.2 BPG, 35.8MPG, 0.50FG%, 0.39-3PT%, 0.90FT%)
- David West (7.1PPG, 4RPG, 1.8APG, 18MPG, 0.55FG%, 0.43-3PT%)
- Zaza Pachulia (8.6PPG, 9.4RPG, 1.7APG, 26.4MPG, 0.47FG%, 0.77FT%)
If one of their big four go down for a considerable amount of time, say 8 games or more, they are going to struggle. The other three will have to increase their minutes to a higher number than their already higher minute count than the season past. More minutes played, the higher the chance of fatigue and therefore the chance of injury increases, you get my drift. The reliance for big minutes on these guys will take it’s toll somewhere in the season depending on how and when they play.
To make it worse, if Draymond misses time, KD plays Power Forward for this team exclusively in my opinion. McAdoo and West can play the four but one is too young and one too old to win consistently. It would also mean Pachulia and Varejao take all the minutes at the five. What was I just saying about higher minutes (especially with the age of these guys).
So they lose three core players in their previous rotation, Bogut, Barnes and Ezeli. And two role players in Barbosa and Speights. Plus a guy who has played in Oakland for over four years. A lot of combinations have been lost, not only this but all of these six players knew their role on the team. Bogut and Ezeli weren’t going to shoot from outside, Barnes wasn’t going to slow up play in isolation and Barbosa wouldn’t hog the ball when the Splash Brothers were on the court.
As you can see in the stats above, these six guys shot at a high percentage (not including Bogut’s FT%…). Taking the right shots at the right time. Something that is going to be hard to work out between three great scorers now with Durant there. Who’s going to drop back and let another star take over? Who’s going to facilitate without slowing down the offense and running Iso plays?
And then the Defense. Durant makes up for the loss of Barnes and probaly makes the wing defense better but on the inside they lose two great interior defender’s in Bogut and Ezeli. Pachulia and West can grab rebounds but will be dominated by bigs in the West like Aldridge, Gasol, Griffin, Favors, Gobert, Adams and Kanter…
Have a look at any of the big teams that had at least three superstars on their team that one a championship. You know what they had in common? Key veteran players that fulfilled a certain role in that team.
The 2011-13 Miami Heat (LBJ, Wade & Bosh) had Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, the Birdman, Rashard Lewis and Juwan Howard. All pros that knew their job.
The 2007-08 Boston Celtics (KG, Truth, Allen & Rondo) had Tony Allen, PJ Brown, Sam Cassell, Glen Davis, Eddie House, Perkins and James Posey. Not as strong as the Heat overall but strong role players that complimented their team.
This Warriors team has Igoudala, Livingston, West & Pachulia. Solid but nowhere near as good as last season for them and nowhere as good as other big build teams that have won championships in the past.
I would be a little bit worried if I was a GSW fan, I mean there’s a lot of expectation that comes with their previous success combining signing perennial All-Star Durant.
So for me I’m taking the field especially when it includes the Spurs and Cavs.