9) Golden State Warriors 47-35 in the 2012-2013 season. 6th in the West. 2nd in the Pacific.
The Cinderella of the playoffs had quite a run last year. Stephen Curry showed up as a superstar, along with being insanely clutch from downtown. Sleeper players like Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson got into their own grooves and had fantastic years. David Lee was injured throughout the playoffs, yet fought through injury to help Golden State, and Andrew Bogut saw a bit of a return to his old form. All this, along with a very strong bench nearly made the Conference Finals, until they got ousted by the Spurs. With a new year and the new addition Andre Iguodala, the Warriors are a real threat in the West.
Acquired: Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights, Toney Douglas, Jermaine O'Neal
Drafted: Nemanja Nedovic (#30)
Lost: Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, Brandon Rush, Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins,
Starters: Stephen Curry (PG), Klay Thompson (SG), Andre Iguodala (SF), David Lee (PF), Andrew Bogut (C)
Bench: Harrison Barnes (SF), Marreese Speights (PF), Toney Douglas (PG), Jermaine O'Neal (C), Draymond Green (SF)
Up: Stephen Curry - Going from son of NBA stud to an NBA stud himself, Curry had quite the year last year. As a big part of the Warriors' magic run to the postseason, it was Curry's hot hand from downtown that helped them go on to upset the Nuggets in the first round. Now with Iguodala on the team and everyone back and healthy, the fans are hoping for another star-studded year from their young superstar Point Guard.
Down: Harrison Barnes - While the Iguodala deal helps them in the short term, it hurts the development of their second-year SF Harrison Barnes. Last year was quite a good one for Barnes, but now he has to adjust to coming off the bench for the Warriors, which could make him frustrated with the management. It will be telling how Barnes handles the situation of being moved out of the starting lineup in just his second year in the league.
X-Factor - Andre Iguodala - I guess if you can't beat them, join them right? After being knocked out of the playoffs by the Warriors, Iguodala decided to ditch the Nuggets to come join the run-and-gun style of Golden State. The fans are excited to have him, and it will be fun to see how his athletic and defensive game will fit with the rest of the team. The Warriors could be the most entertaining team in the entire league this year. The Kings of NBA League Pass?
Question to Ponder...Can any of the Warriors starters stay healthy?
The Warriors starting lineup is muddled with players who have had multiple injuries. It's crazy. Stephen Curry has already had multiple injuries that have costed him time on the court. David Lee and Andrew Bogut have gone through their injury woes, and Andre Iguodala even missed some time in his final two years in Philly. The question might just be the way this team plays. They go really fast. It's an up-and-down the court team, and big guys can be fragile. Is it the way the team plays that causes the injuries, or is it just bad luck...maybe even a little bit of both? For all of the fans sake though, let's hope the injury bug for all the players not just on the Warriors, but in the entire league can be a little less cruel this year for everyone involved.
Bold Prediction for the Golden State Warriors: David Lee will average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
I really like how David Lee fits on this team. Curry, Thompson and Iguodala are going to command attention on the outside, and Andrew Bogut will cause some chaos inside, leaving David Lee a lot of open looks outside the paint. He can rebound very effectively and will be asked to do a lot of work for this team looking to make the leap to title contender. Combine open looks, a great rebounding game at the power forward position, and the fact he's playing in a division where his biggest threat against him might be Pau Gasol or Blake Griffin, the outlook for him is big. He could very well get 20 points per game with Curry and the young backcourt players getting the attention, and I would almost guarantee 10 rebounds a game from this guy. A huge year is on the horizon for David Lee.
Projected Record: 50-32 5th in the West, 2nd in the Pacific.