Golden State Warriors San Francisco Chase Center (Photo: Google images under Creative Commons license)
by Jonathan Giron, staff writer
After failing to qualify for the playoffs last season, the Golden State Warriors look to improve their franchise for the 2021-2022 NBA season. Although they lost some great players like Eric Paschall, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kent Bazemore, the Warriors are still looking strong for this upcoming season.
In the 2021 draft, the Warriors picked up Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, both excellent players with a promising future ahead of them in the NBA. They also brought back veteran Andre Iguodala, a fan favorite from the Warriors that played six seasons with the team before getting traded to Miami in the 2019-2020 season. The Warriors still have their star trio: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as well as keeping valuable players like James Wiseman, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins.
Although there is a lot of talent on the roster, the Warriors do have some setbacks. One big problem is team health. Although Thompson will be back after missing two seasons, the superstar isn’t expected to play until late December, so the team will have to depend on players like Poole to fill his position until he can come back. The Warriors also have Wisemen and the rookie Kuminga who are out due to knee injuries, and both players will not be back until early November. Another problem the Warriors will have is building team chemistry and adjusting their plays on the court. With some more new players the team will have to adjust to fit their playing style, and will not have a strong defense with Wiseman gone. The team also has to build these players around Curry to ensure they still have a strong offense. If the Warriors play their cards right they could have a playoff ready team.
The NBA season began on Oct. 19, 2021, and the Warriors have played their first few games. Although it is too early in the season to say whether or not the Warriors will lead the Western Conference, they have started in a good place, winning their first four games against tough Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and rosters. The team looks very promising, and Curry continues to show off his skills being the team’s lead scorer; scoring 45 points against the Clippers. Some promising players include Poole and Wiggins, both playing important parts in the wins over both teams. However, if the Warriors want to stay at the top of the conference they have plenty of work to do, and it especially lies at the hands of Poole. With Thompson gone the Warriors are lacking another lead scorer, and Poole needs to step up and fill Thompson’s position to the best of his ability. Poole has the facilities to become a leading scorer, however he needs to be more reliable and consistent with his scoring. Andrew Wiggins is looking great to begin the season, and with him averaging 15.3 points per game, he could also provide some needed help to the Warriors offense.
I have high expectations for the Warriors and believe they will go 51-31 for the season. I think they might have a rough start early on in the season but will still manage to hold themselves near the top or middle of the Western Conference; however, as soon as Thompson coming back in December will provide a lot of momentum for the Warriors and will send them as a top contender in the Conference. The Warriors look prepared this season, and Bay Area fans should be excited to see a talented team.