Head Coach: Steve Kerr
Home: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
The Golden State Warriors are the reigning NBA Champions and hail from Oakland, CA. It will be their last season playing at Oracle Arena in Oakland, as the Warriors look forward to resuming operations in the 2019-2020 season in San Francisco.
The Golden State Warriors are led by a starting five of some of the NBA’s elite players at their position:
The Golden State Warriors enter the NBA Playoffs first in the Western Conference. Their 56-24 record has afforded them homecourt advantage in the NBA Playoffs unless they meet the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.
|(PG) Stephen Curry||6-3, 190lb||9 Years||Davidson/USA|
|(SG) Klay Thompson||6-7, 215lb||7 Years||Washington State/USA|
|(SF) Kevin Durant||6-9, 240lb||11 Years||Texas/USA|
|(PF) Draymond Green||6-7, 230lb||11 Years||Texas/USA|
|(C) DeMarcus Cousins||6-11, 270lb||8 Years||Kentucky/USA|
|(PG/SG) Shaun Livingston||6-7, 192lb||13 Years||Peoria Central HS/USA|
|(PG) Quinn Cook||6-2, 179lb||2 Years||Duke/USA|
|(SG) Jacob Evans||6-6, 210lb||Rookie||Cincinnati/USA|
|(SF) Andre Iguodala||6-6, 215lb||14 Years||Arizona/USA|
|(SF) Alfonzo McKinnie||6-8, 215lb||1 Year||Wisconsin-Green Bay/USA|
|(PF) Jonas Jerebko||6-10, 231lb||8 Years||Sweden|
|(C) Andrew Bogut||7-0, 260lb||13 Years||Utah/Australia|
|(C) Jordan Bell||6-9, 224lb||1 Year||Oregon/USA|
|(C) Damian Jones (inj)||7-0, 245lb||2 Years||Vanderbilt/USA|
The Golden State Warriors were one of the premier teams in the NBA once again this season. The only drawback to their performance was the sheer amount of injuries they suffered at the beginning of the year.
The Warriors’ longest winning streak this season was nine straight games.
Their longest losing streak lasted four straight games.
The Golden State Warriors were near unstoppable offensively, scoring 140+ points in six games, 130+ in nine games, and 120+ in 21 games.
The Warriors were also strong on the defensive end, allowing less than 100 points in ten games this year.
Kevin Durant is a two-time NBA Champion and a two-time NBA Finals MVP winner. While his acquisition by the Warriors was filled with controversy, he has quieted the chatter by winning the NBA’s ultimate prizes.
Not that a player of Durant’s caliber needs motivation, but his status as an impending free-agent is sure to spark his performance throughout the post-season.
Turning 31 this year, Durant will be entering what is likely to be his last max-contract off-season as a free agent. A two-time Finals MVP can claim most contracts on the free agent market, a three-time MVP would certainly be able to demand any contract from any team going forward.
The narrative will continue to be about his impending free agency and the cap space available by New York and Brooklyn. His performances in the post-season are sure to fuel that chatter.
Almost taken for granted at this point in his career, the two-time NBA MVP is still the driving force for the Golden State Warriors.
While Kevin Durant is now the teams first scoring option, Stephen Curry’s presence on the court is incredibly significant. While his shooting and playmaking are essential to the teams’ success, the raw numbers from his involvement are impressive.
With Curry on the court the Golden State Warriors’ record if 51-17, meaning they are 5-7 without him in the lineup. For a team that boasts the talent of the Warriors, a sub-.500 record without him is telling.
Draymond Green is the enforcer of the Golden State Warriors. He does not heavily affect the stat sheet in one area but is a key contributor in every area. Unfortunately Green hasn’t been himself this season, having his least effective year since being a sophomore.
Let’s take a look at the development of Draymond Green’s Per-36 statistics:
Defensively, Green is still as capable as ever. As a man or help defender, Green is one of the best in the league.
Unfortunately, with the inclusion of Durant in the squad, Green’s key abilities as a playmaker are not taken advantage of as they were before. In order to make an impact this post-season, Green will need to be efficient with his offensive opportunities to match his defense.
Don’t expect Green to channel his 2016, 32 point, 15 rebounds, 9 assist, and 2 steal performance against Cleveland in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. But he is sure to play a role in easing the offense of the Golden State Warriors.
If the Golden State Warriors have a weakness it lies in their bench depth, a necessary consequence of having such a talented starting five.
The top bench performers for the Warriors are the following:
Each of those players offers a specific skill for the Warriors. Quinn provides shooting, Looney is strong in the paint, and Iguodala can still guard the best in his advanced age. They even have the likes of Alfonzo McKinnie to contribute spot minutes.
While the Warriors surely won’t be depending on their bench too much when they hit the court in the post-season, there is always the matter of managing fatigue and foul trouble.
The Warriors are still one of the top teams in the NBA, but this season has shown that the talent gap between them and the league is shortening.
Season Series: 3-1 GSW
The Denver Nuggets soared this season, playing their way to the top of the Western Conference. They are a young squad, but they have a generational talent in Jokic and a distinct homecourt advantage in the altitude of Denver, Colorado. The Warriors have handled the Nuggets in the regular season, but the Nuggets are always dangerous.
Season Series: 1-3 HOU
The Rockets aren’t a team that should scare anyone defensively. While they have capable pieces, they do not focus on stopping the ball. The isolation-type offense of the Rockets is a double-edged sword, as it stifles strong switching defences but is victim to their own efficiency. Luckily, the Rockets have James Harden at the point of attack to exploit the Warriors’ defenders.
Season Series: 1-1 tie
When you look up and down the Milwaukee Bucks roster you realize it is composed of NBA journeymen and role players that does not suggest a talented side. That is the talent of Giannis Antetokounmpo, there’s not a player on the Warriors or in the league that can stop him one-on-one and his playmaking is fantastic. Mike Budenholzer has created an offense that can score against any defense, the Warriors are no exception.
Season Series: 0-2 TOR
The Raptors may well be the most balanced team in the NBA. They swept the season series with the Warriors with ease. Their lineups’ defense is among the best in the league (5th in DRtg), while their offense is almost just as good (6th in ORtg). The presence of a healthy Kawhi Leonard should be a concern for the Golden State Warriors. His presence is great enough to slow the Warriors if he can reach the playoff heights he had reached with the Spurs.
The Golden State Warriors boast talent at every position and a winning history as they hope to achieve their third-straight NBA Championship. They are the favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2019.
If you reside in New Jersey you can now place a bet on your favorite to win the NBA Championship, here:
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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