The Golden State Warriors come into the season after a dismal 29-53 record in 2008-2009. Look for the wins to improve, but not by much. The Warriors roster is filled with guards and not very many big men.
So, the key to the Warriors season is rebounding and not giving up second chance points. Another key to the Warriors season is being able to protect the ball and not turn it over. Which is weird, considering that the Warriors offense is guard oriented, you'd figure they'd be pretty good ball handlers.
Lastly, the most important thing for the Warriors to improve on is defense. Too many times last year there was either no defensive effort or too many easy baskets by opponents.
The Warriors best defender is Stephen Jackson, in terms of his ability to guard his man one-on-one, but he wants out, even though recent comments stated he still wants to be there.
There's a rumor of Andris Biedrins and Jackson being traded to Toronto for Chris Bosh, but the only way the Warriors make that trade is if they are able to sign Bosh long term. If it's just a one year rental for Bosh, who becomes a free agent after the end of the season, then the Warriors should not make that trade.
The starting lineup for the Warriors it will look like this:
SG/SF: Anthony Morrow
SG/SF: Corey Maggette
SF: Devean George
PG: Stephen Curry
PG: C.J. Watson
PG: Acie Law
PG: Speedy Claxton
PF: Ronny Turiaf
PF/C: Mikki Moore
PF/C: Shaun Pruitt
Obviously, after Turiaf, Maggette, Curry, and Watson, there's not much depth for the Warriors. Moore has looked awful defensively in the preseason. George hasn't played a game all preseason. Law has looked decent offensively but isn't that good of a defender. Claxton has seen some minutes in the preseason but will never be used unless injuries occur, and Pruitt has looked lost anytime he steps out on the court.
The starting lineup of Ellis, Jackson, Azubuike, Randolph, and Biedrins is decent. What the Warriors need the most is Randolph and Biedrins to play tough inside defense and rebound the ball, which they should be able to do.
On some nights the Warriors are going to get killed on the boards, but I won't be surprised if the Warriors play a big team and have Randolph move down to small forward. Turiaf would then be inserted into the lineup at power forward, and Biedrins at center.
If Jackson can facilitate the offense without putting up too many shots, the Warriors may be in business. Jackson had 15 points and 10 assists in 32 minutes of action in Tuesday's game.
With Jackson taking up the ball and leading the offense, Ellis is able to get free and not worry about handling the ball.
Azbuike, when he starts, will be key because he has become a much better defender. What the Warriors need from him is to spread the floor, and if he knocks threes down at over 40 percent again, the Warriors definitely will benefit.
As for Randolph, he really needs to be utilized in the low block more. He has the athleticism and length to make plays in the post.
Biedrins is just going to continually put up strong rebound numbers and get a majority of his points off offensive rebounds or nice little passes.
As for a prediction to how the season will turn out, it's going to be better than last year. How much? Hard to say. I can see the Warriors winning 35-38 games.
Again, like I mentioned, if the rumors are true and Bosh comes over in a trade that could help them win a few more games and then the Warriors may be able to think playoffs. But again, that trade only works if the Warriors can sign Bosh to a long term deal. If not then it's a below .500 season again.