Golden State Warriors ’09-10 NBA season preview

By: 10.13.09
Anthony Randolph

Anthony Randolph

Last year we debuted the “Highs and Lows” system — previewing the NBA season by predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team. Same theme, different season…

Added: Stephen Curry, Mikki Moore, Devean George, Acie Law, Speedy Claxton

Lost: Jamal Crawford, Marco Belinelli, Rob Kurz

Ceiling: 2nd place, Pacific Division
Three main things working in Golden State’s favor this season: (1) Between them, the Suns, Clippers and Kings, second-place in the Pacific could be wide open in a top-heavy division; (2) The Warriors will put points on the board and be able to simply outrun some teams on any given night; (3) If Anthony Randolph is close to as good as advertised, GS has a multi-skilled inside player unlike any they’ve had in the new Don Nelson era. As usual, the Warriors are strong in talent on the perimeter, with the versatile Stephen Jackson, a healthy Monta Ellis, Rookie of the Year candidate Stephen Curry, three-point sniper Anthony Morrow and athletic wings in Kelenna Azubuike and Corey Maggette. At the four, Randolph exploded over the summer and is looking like a Baby KG with his ability to run the floor, handle the ball, rebound and score from 15 feet and in. Andris Biedrins will get his 10-11 rebounds per night. If a strong personality can take control of this group and get them focused (think Baron Davis in ’07), the Warriors could actually do some things. Or at least be entertaining in a good way.

Basement: Catastrophically bad
Catastrophe, train wreck, circus freak show … whichever term you want to use, nothing seems to good for these Warriors. While the talent is there on the court, the chemistry and locker-room drama and front-office ineptitude present a potentially disastrous situation. Much has been made about Jackson’s offseason trade request, and Capt. Jack is following it up with a Grade-A tank job effort to make it happen sooner rather than later. Then Monta made it clear he doesn’t like the idea of sharing the backcourt with Curry. Beyond that, on the court this team has some dysfunctional parts, i.e. too many scorers and not enough distributors, and not enough interior presence. The only true PG’s on the roster are Claxton (who’s played two games in the last two years) and Law (first-round bust in the making); of the perimeter guys who actually play, Curry is the only thing resembling a playmaker. Biedrins has zero offense, and gets almost zero help defending the paint. Randolph has to prove he can deliver on his potential in real NBA games that count — not to mention backup PF Brandan Wright will miss about four months following shoulder surgery. The Lottery is a given, but the Warriors are in danger of becoming a League-wide joke on top of the losing.

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10/12 — Toronto Raptors
10/9 — Houston Rockets
10/8 — Detroit Pistons
10/7 — Memphis Grizzlies
10/6 — New York Knicks
10/5 — New Orleans Hornets
10/2 — Atlanta Hawks
9/30 — Sacramento Kings
9/29 — New Jersey Nets
9/28 — Denver Nuggets

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