The Golden State Warriors gave a glimpse of what is expected during the preseason, and it provided us a better understanding of the changes that occurred in the offseason. Andre Iguodala was the headline act, but there were big holes that needed to be filled with the losses of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.
The Warriors’ preseason was a three-act play of sorts, as the Warriors had to travel to Japan and China. The team felt the impact of the trip with some less-than-inspired play in the final week of the preseason.
Some questions were answered, but others still remain as the preseason is so sort. Let’s take a closer look at the final offseason grades for the Warriors.
The Warriors had only one draft pick in this year’s draft, but the team was able to audition two draft picks during the preseason. Nemanja Nedovic was the player coming over from Serbia, and Ognjen Kuzmic had one year to develop overseas.
Nemanja Nedovic has a lot of potential at the guard spot, and he should see chances at both the point guard and shooting guard positions this season. He is a very electric type of player who can drive to the hole and challenge defenses.
He did not get the chance to showcase his skills in preseason until two of the three final games, as he played limited minutes in the first four preseason games. As you can see from the video, he creates excitement when he has the ball.
Nedovic will slowly transition into a role with the Warriors, and by the end of the season, I see him getting consistent minutes.
Ognjen Kuzmic is getting a chance this season with the prolonged injury to center Festus Ezeli. Kuzmic is still raw, and he will need to adapt to the new style of play in the NBA.
He only appeared in four of the seven preseason games, and he showed parts of his skill set. His best game was against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 18 in Shanghai, China, as he scored four points and had two steals and two assists.
It is going to be hard for him to find any minutes with the depth at the center position. He will look to play about five minutes at the maximum per game.
The draft picks demonstrated that they could hold their own, but on this deep roster, it will take a while for them to make a true impact.
Offseason Acquisitions: B
The Warriors had probably their most productive offseason ever, signing the player who fills a lot of their biggest holes, Andre Iguodala. However, that free-agent acquisition and the resulting trades caused a ripple effect for the Dubs.
The biggest subtractions on the team were the two bench players who really helped shape last year’s playoff team. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry were big losses, but the Warriors went out and signed Marreese Speights and Toney Douglas as replacements.
The Warriors also signed Jermaine O’Neal as someone who could rotate between the center and power forward role. O’Neal played in five of seven preseason games, sitting out a couple with back issues.
Iguodala showed off his scoring abilities, but he also impressed with how he has found teammates. As you can see from the video, he sees Andrew Bogut making a move to the basket and gets him the ball.
Besides Iguodala, the remaining signees have not really stood out during preseason. Speights had a few impressive moments, but he was leaning more upon his mid-range jumper than being physical in the paint.
Toney Douglas has struggled throughout the preseason as one of his biggest flaws, his shooting percentage, did not improve. He shot 24.1 percent from the field and committed eight turnovers versus giving out only 11 assists.
Jermaine O’Neal treated this preseason like anyone who has played in the league over 10 years. He put in the effort, but he didn’t really excel in the post position.
The Warriors are very happy from what they are getting out of their top-end signee, but they have to be worried about the remainder of the pickups. They are good players, but will they fill the holes created by the vacancies?
Only time will tell, and those players will have to make the necessary adjustments to succeed.
Preseason Performance: B
The Warriors had everyone healthy for the preseason, and they finished with a 3-4 record. There were some ups and some downs, but the starting five proved they are ready for the season to start.
Andre Iguodala stood out with his play on both sides of the floor, and he made the highlight reel with his passing and finishing at the rim. His defense was also impressive, and with the help of Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson, the Warriors should be a lot more formidable holding late leads.
The player who really stood out was Thompson, who showed that he could not only drive to the basket but finish at the rim. If he could start drawing fouls consistently, he would be taking a lot more of glory from his Splash Brother, Stephen Curry.
The Dubs had a chance to tour the Great Wall and put up back-to-back wins against the Lakers. However, the trip had lasting effects, as the Warriors gave away both games after returning to the States.
The team still needs to find the balance like last season, where the sum of the parts becomes stronger. Coach Mark Jackson will need to rely on players like Draymond Green, who can bring this type of play to a game.
Jackson will have to rely on his starting five a lot more often at the beginning of the season, until the newer parts become more effective. The backup point guard position is still wide open with the subpar performances of Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore and Nemanja Nedovic.
The last remaining question is the health of Harrison Barnes. He will be ready to go for the season opener, but how much longer will the foot inflammation plague him?
The Warriors received the most preseason hype since the days of Chris Webber, but the preseason failed to bolster the self-aggrandizement.
The Warriors just need to play their brand of basketball, win games and keep the most raucous fans in the NBA happy.