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NBA 2016-17 Team Previews – Golden State Warriors: ‘Super Splash’

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is congratulated by guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is congratulated by guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is congratulated by guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is congratulated by guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is congratulated by guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

 NBA 2016-17 Team Previews – Golden State Warriors: ‘Super Splash’

To prepare our readers for the regular season SCS provides our NBA 2016-17 Team Previews.  Who will return to the playoffs? Which team will fall from grace and who will be the Cinderella team?

Get a complete break down of each team. Included in the profiles are:

Where the team finished 2015-16

Key 2015-16 stats

Future draft pick status

Current and future salary rank

Off Season Moves

2017 Free Agents

Schedule, NBA League Pass and Win Projection Ranking

Team Overview entering season (Starting 5, reserves and notable injuries)

  • When each team will play the Houston Rockets
  • Strengths, Weaknesses and Prediction

    October 21, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA 2016-17 Team Previews now looks at the team projected to be the powerhouse of the West. They were already dominant having set the all time regular season record last season, but landing the summer’s top free agent sent out shock waves.  Now the ‘Splash Brothers’ are joined by yet another MVP equally adept at hitting threes with efficiency. It only seems appropriate the Golden State Warriors new moniker becomes ‘The Splash Family’. To that end let’s break down the Dubs and decipher if the Rockets or other Western teams are playing for second or if perhaps the quick assumption should be dialed back.

    Golden State Warriors:

    2015-16 Record: 73-9

    Playoffs:

    Lost NBA Finals (3-4) versus Cleveland Cavaliers

    Points Per Game: 114.9 (1st )

    Opponent Points Per Game:  104.1 (19th )

    Pace: 99.3 (2nd )

    Offensive Rank: 114.5 (1st)

    Defensive Rank:  103.8 (5th)

    Three Point Rank:  41.6% (1st)

    Rebounds: 46.2  (4th)

    Assists: 28.9 (1st)

    Steals: 8.4 ( 9th)

    Blocks: 6.1  (2nd)

    Turnovers: 15.2 (24th)

    Next: Future postioning - draft, free agents

    Apr 9, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on from the bench against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. The Warriors won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
    Apr 9, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on from the bench against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. The Warriors won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 9, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on from the bench against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. The Warriors won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    2017 Free Agents

    Unrestricted: 

    Future Draft Picks

    Apr 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball away from Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) in the second quarter in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    See Real GM for full details:

    Incoming:

    • 2019 second round draft pick from Dallas

    Outgoing:

    • 2017 first round draft pick to Utah Golden State’s 2017 1st round pick to Utah [Denver-Golden State-Utah, 7/10/2013]2017 second round draft pick to Utah or Philadelphia Utah will receive the second and third most favorable of Detroit’s 2017 2nd round pick, Golden State’s 2017 2nd round pick, New York’s 2017 2nd round pick (via Toronto) and Utah’s 2017 2nd round pick and Philadelphia will receive the most and least favorable of these four picks (via Utah) [Denver-Golden State-Utah, 7/10/2013; New York-Toronto, 7/10/2013; Toronto-Utah, 7/10/2014; Detroit-Oklahoma City-Utah, 2/19/2015; Philadelphia-Utah, 8/26/2016]
    • 2018 second round draft pick to Denver
    • 2019 second round draft pick to Dallas

    Average Age of Team: 27.9 years

    Next: Off Season Moves

    Jul 21, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA guard Kevin Durant (5) is seen before practice at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
    Jul 21, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA guard Kevin Durant (5) is seen before practice at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 21, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA guard Kevin Durant (5) is seen before practice at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

    Draft Picks

    Round 1: Damian Jones (30)

    Round 2: Patrick McCaw (38)

     

    2016 Free Agents prior to July 1, 2016:

    Restricted:

    Unrestricted:

    • Leandro Barbosa
    • Brandon Rush
    • Marreese Speights
    • Anderson Varejao

    Moves made following July 1, 2016:

    Incoming:

    • Kevin Durant 2-years $54.3M with opt out in second year
    • Zaza Pachulia 1-year $2.9M to Warriors
    • David West veteran minimum contract of 1 year at $1.3M
    • JaVale McGee will attend Warriors training camp under a ‘make good’ 15 day contract
    • Phil Pressey received training camp invite

    Exiting:

    Re-upping:

     

    Next: Schedule, League Pass, Win Projection Rankings

    Jun 16, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11), guard Stephen Curry (30) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates with the Larry O

    Vegas over-under for wins: 66.5

    Schedule strength:

    As ranked by ESPN: 5th with 4.28 extra losses.

    Given the talent on the team and their record setting win total in 2015-16 perhaps the schedule makers figured they could afford to give the Warriors a tougher route.

    The Warriors have the league’s best baseline forecast, but their schedule threatens to tamp them down a bit. An NBA-high 16 of Golden State’s 17 back-to-backs finish on the road.

    Games versus Rockets:

    • Thursday December 1st at  ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA at 10:30 PM EST
    • Friday January 20th at at Toyota Center, Houston TX  at 8 PM EST
    • Tuesday, March 28th at Toyota Center, Houston TX  at 8 PM EST
    • Friday March 31st at  ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA at 10:30 PM EST

    Zach Lowe NBA League Pass Rank: 1st

    Duh. The Warriors have now topped this list in three of the past four seasons, and even the haterz concede there is no other option for the top spot. Now, let’s get to the stinking games already.

    Next: Team Overview

    Oct 19, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr (center) laughs next to forward Draymond Green (23) during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    2016 Committed Salary

    2016: $107,079,254 -8th ranked

    2017: $65,282,124 – 22nd ranked

    Team Salary Ranking as per Hoops Hype, and team salary overview also via Hoops Hype

    Starting 5:

    Point Guard:  Stephen Curry – 30.1 points, 6.7  assists, 5.4 rebounds

    Shooting Guard:  Klay Thompson – 22.1 points,  2.1 assists,  3.8 rebounds

    Small Forward: Kevin Durant -28.2 points, 5.0  assists,  8.2 rebounds

    Power Forward: Draymond Green – 14.0 points, 7.4 assists,  9.5 rebounds

    Center:  Zaza Pachulia – 8.6 points,1.7 assists, 9.4  rebounds

    Reserves:

    Guards:Shaun Livingston, Patrick McCaw

    Wings: Andre Iguodala, Ian Clark, Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo

    Bigs: David West,  Anderson Varejao, JaVale McGee

    Injury News:

    • Damian Jones – pectoral is ramping up activity

    All injury news as per rotoworld

    Next: Strengths, Weaknesses, Prediction

    October 25, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Stephen Curry (30) against the San Antonio Spurs during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths:

    Big 4 plus: One could argue the Warriors have a big 6 if you factor in Iguodala and Livingston). Let’s face it there are 2 MVP’s on this squad, a top defensive player in Green and a system that lends itself to excellence (especially offensively).

    Fire Power: Never before has there been this many top shooters with such great efficiency and range all on one team.

    Small Ball Prowess: Expect to see lots of fast transition small ball (but as a precaution teams with size will eat the Warriors for breakfast.

    Hunger: Losing in the manner the Warriors did last season will serve to motivate them to return and take back what they feel responsible for losing (too bad Durant didn’t view life that way!). Draymond wants to atone for his lapses in judgement, Steph wants to have another chance at 100%, Klay wants to perform well in a final’s game just once and Durant is driven to win his first.

    Weaknesses:

    • Spotlight can shed a bright glare! Kevin Durant has never been one to deal with criticism well so how will being viewed by some as a traitor, coward or villain sit with him? It’s one thing to want to chase a ring (and definitely fair), but when you factor in his own comments about ‘super teams’ it does make you wonder what he was thinking in terms of how he handled his exit. Specifically his treatment of Russell Westbrook and comments post exodus have been the issue for most.
    • Off court issues coming onto the court: Draymond Green’s play in Olympics suggested his mind was still on his post season performance and what led up to his suspension and the subsequent melt down of the Warriors. Green made poor decisions repeatedly and Klay Thompson seemingly joined suit stating ‘he wasn’t giving up chit” in the new “super team” era.
    • Dealing with length: if you caught any of my Tamberlyn’s Tip Off or TTO Tambz & the BBoyz podcasts this off season I repeatedly opined on the Achilles heel of the Dubs being length and height.  All I know is if the Dubs have to play any 3 of Utah, Minnesota, San Antonio or OKC in the playoffs to get back to the finals they’ll have trouble beating 2 let alone 3 of those clubs.
    • Depth: As per above the loss of Bogut, Ezeli, Barnes, Speights, and Barbosa will be an issue. No one talks about the Bogut, Barnes loss to the starting 5 because of Durant , but they offered defense and length which hasn’t been replaced (especially Bogut).
    • Weathering the storm:  Regardless of what most expect from the Warriors, there are a lot of moving pieces on this squad. With so much talent it’s feasible it will take time to mesh and figure out  roles. Additionally, it’s one thing to say “I don’t care about stats”, but it’s quite another to give them up with a ring being the only side benefit. Sure it’s a big benefit, but realistically how can you hand any of the big 4 an MVP given others who’ll post equal or better numbers without the same assistance. Durant, Curry, Thompson and Green will now all be a piece of the bigger picture. So, while the squad will no doubt have success, individual success won’t be as free flowing. I want to see how that affects the stars once that sinks in.
    • Health:  Should any two of the big 4 and/or Iggy/Livingston sustain injury the bench is no where deep enough to compensate.

    Prediction:

    Like it or not  LeBron doesn’t win rings without Matthew Dellavedova, MJ without Rodman or any star for that matter.  But to acquire Durant the team had to deplete their depth which will lead to them being exposed at certain times, especially defensively. Curry no longer has the protection of Bogut and he may be forced into playing more minutes now that the depth is gone. Factor in the best remaining pieces of the depth (Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston) are both free agents this summer. If either receives a big offer could they be tempted to leave for greener (read: money) pastures?

    As I stated above and in my podcasts the Warriors will no doubt be a top team in the West, but they’ll need to be 100% in April or they’ll be vulnerable to height or worse a team with height and solid defense.

    More from Space City Scoop

    Still, there will be nights when each of Durant, Curry, Thompson and co light up their opponents for massive points. I envision the “Family Splash” will set records this season for 3 point shots made and then erase it with new records. Teams who can’t defend the perimeter could be in for long nights.

    And, while records were made to be broken as the Cavaliers demonstrated in the finals, that was the exception in history. Expecting both teams to defy the odds and return again is a bet I’m not ready to bank on.

    It’s just opening day of the season, but I wonder if the Warriors ‘super team’ can’t beat deep teams will they reconsider immediately or are they invested in the long term. I wonder.

    FanSided Affiliate Site: Blue Man Hoop

    Next: San Antonio Spurs Team Preview

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