Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have a lot of expectations, but the two have not even started a game together. Curry and Thompson look to have a dynamic skill set that will continue to build the new Golden State Warriors foundation.
With the Dubs' goal to make the playoffs for the first time since the “We Believe” season, where does the Curry-Thompson duo rank amongst Western Conference teams?
As all of us know, Curry significantly hurt his ankle last year, which required another surgery, and the hopes of Dubs fans rely on that ankle to perform. He will be ready for training camp as he continues his rehabilitation.
Curry is ready to be recognized as one of the top point guards in the NBA and as the team leader. The team was 12-14 last year with him in the lineup, and a dismal 11-30 without him.
Klay Thompson looks ready to start the season with the position he took over once Monta Ellis was traded to Milwaukee. He has the advantage of a 6’7” frame and is quick, which will help with the newfound transition game courtesy of the arrival of center Andrew Bogut.
Thompson can also shoot the lights out of an arena as one of the better catch-and-shoot players in the NBA. During summer league, Klay shot an astounding 71.4 percent from behind the arc. He also passed well and moved efficiently without the ball, but he will need to really focus on his defensive play this season.
So how does this up-and-coming duo rank within their conference?
The benchmark standard of the West is the new duo of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Those two players know how to play on both sides of the ball and should really increase the speed and scoring ability of the rival Lakers.
Curry and Thompson have youth, but those two former MVPs and future Hall of Famers would be a great pair to emulate.
In a neck-and-neck race with the elder statesmen are the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and sixth man James Harden. PG Westbrook is extremely athletic and is known for his scoring ability and relentless attacking nature. Harden is just as dynamic with his scoring and provides energy of the bench.
The co-tenant of the Staples Center also has a solid team in Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups of the Clippers. Billups tore his Achilles tendon 20 games into the season, and he returns at the age of 36 this season.
Paul is arguably the best point guard in the NBA, but he too got hurt. He had his right thumb operated on after hurting it during practice for the Olympics. He should be ready to go by the start of the season.
Finally, there is the San Antonio duo that seems like they have been playing forever: Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. These two players are the catalysts for a team that seems to have been at the top of their game since George “Ice Man” Gervin was still on the team.
Parker has the ability to penetrate inside, and Ginobili is clutch from behind the arc when he isn’t getting beaten up doing the necessary things to win.
Curry and Thompson have some good company to look up to, and hopefully, they can sneak up on one of those groups to be within the top three by the end of the year.
Dubs fans will be pleased to see the duo get acclimated in October when preseason games begin. With Harrison Barnes joining the squad, the Warriors' perimeter looks to be a tough task to handle for years to come.