• Jorge Cantú

2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: Golden State Warriors


Boston Herald

The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Golden State Warriors.

2017-2018 Record:

58 – 24, 1st in the Pacific Division. Won the 2018 NBA Championship after sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Season Recap:

The Warriors winning the Larry O’Brien trophy came in as no surprise, but what did come as a surprise was the fashion they did it in. After a pretty lazy regular season in which the team still won 58 games despite losing Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant to injury at different portions of the year, they easily made their way into the Western Conference Finals. It was a tough battle with the Rockets there, and some say had Chris Paul not injured a hamstring Houston would have advanced to the Finals and eventually become champions. But that did not happen and the rest is history; the Warriors gave LeBron James his second NBA Finals sweep.

Key Losses:

JaVale McGee, C; David West, F/C.

Key Additions:

DeMarcus Cousins, C; Jonas Jerebko, F.

Player to Watch:

Jordan Bell, F/C.

Preview:

What else can be said about this team that has not already been said? They have Stephen Curry, a two-time MVP and the best shooter in NBA history; Kevin Durant, another former MVP and an all-time great scorer; Klay Thompson, one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and the best catch-and-shooter ever; and Draymond Green, an all-time defender and screening maestro.

Any Warriors preview that does not suggest them as the favorites to win a fourth championship in a five-year span is ludicrous. The addition of a fifth All-Star should be more than enough to secure them another ring. Losing JaVale McGee and David West – two veteran big men who certainly played an important role for a team who requires high-IQ players to succeed – is not too big of a hit when you consider Cousins’ arrival to the Bay Area.

Still, the former best center in the league will not be ready by Opening Night. Some predict it will be by Christmas, others by the All-Star break, but nobody really knows when Cousins will be able to take a similar workload as what he was used to. In the meantime, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko will be the top two rotation big men. Steve Kerr has options: if he needs athleticism and relentless rim-running, Bell is his guy; if he needs outside shooting, Jerebko can do that pretty well (41.4% from three last season). Kevon Looney has also proved capable of playing smart defense and doing the little things his star teammates need.

Worst Case Scenario:

The Warriors play another lazy regular season and end up as the 2nd seed in the West.

Best Case Scenario:

The Warriors go on full-tryhard mode and match their 73 – 9 regular season record. They also sweep their way through the playoffs and complete the most dominant season in league history.

2018-2019 Prediction:

68 – 14, 1st in Pacific Division.

#NBA #TeamPreviews201819 #Warriors #JorgeCantú