2012-13 Result: 47-35, 6th in the Western Conference, lost to San Antonio 2-4 in the second round of the playoffs
Key Additions: Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights, Jermaine O'Neal, Seth Curry, Toney Douglas, Ognjen Kuzmic
Golden State Warriors
Key Departures: Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry
The Golden State Warriors are primarily a backcourt team, but their recent additions only made their rotation more lethal. They succeeded in clearing cap space by trading a bunch of players to other teams to accommodate perennial All-Star Andre Iguodala, while signing big men to shore up their frontcourt.
Iguodala, who averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in 2012-13, is a very versatile player who can play up to four positions. He is also an excellent perimeter defender, grabbing 1.7 steals per outing. In joining the Warriors camp, Iguodala brings much-needed veteran poise to a wingman rotation that includes rising star Harrison Barnes who averaged close to double figures in scoring in the past season.
The Warriors also brought in a lot of veteran big men to address their perceived weakness in the slot. Andrew Bogut, the former number one draft pick, has been underperforming lately, and the addition of Marreese Speights and Jermaine O'Neal, both seasoned centers who can bang bodies with the best of them, provide insurance in case Bogut continues his downward trend. In fact, Bogut can even be considered trade bait as David Lee has grown into being one of the best slotmen in the league, averaging 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
The biggest factor for playoff success, though, will be the continued stellar play of point guard Stephen Curry who will be joined by younger brother Seth. Stephen Curry, who averaged 22.9 points and 6.9 assists per game, is a fantasy league player's wet dream capable of going off for a three-point shooting streak while piling up gaudy passing numbers. He is also just in his fifth year in the league. With more offensive firepower entering the Warriors' roster, he might see his assists jacked up, possibly to around eight or nine per game.
Season Prediction: The rich only get richer, and with playoff experience already tucked under their belts, the Golden State Warriors are hungrier for more. Stephen Curry will finally get MVP consideration, and the Warriors will have one of the most fearsome defensive frontcourt rotations in the league. They will reach the conference semifinals and have more than a few more fans rooting for their uptempo, energetic style of play.
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