Sleeper Alert: 5 reasons the Warriors will surprise you this season
With a new owner, new logo, and a new roster the Warriors have changed this off-season. They lost Corey Maggette, Anthony Randolph, CJ Watson, Anthony Morrow, Ronny Turiaf, and others to free agency or trading. Yet, they gained players with which they will win games this year, and perhaps be the ultimate sleeper team in the West this season.
Reason #5: Supporting Cast
The Warriors haven't filled out their roster yet, but they have good supporting players for their core 3. Andris Biedrins had a down season last year, but Don Nelson expected him to be good low post scoring threat, which he is not at this point. Biedrins is a good rebounder and a good shot blocker. This is what you want out of your center as a supporting player. Reggie Williams was another D-League find for Don Nelson. Williams was known for his great offensive game, but he lacked above-average defensive skill. Don Nelson didn't shy an eye when playing that kid. With the Paul Westhead mentality firmly in place for the Warriors, and already great offense they needed a stopper. The Warriors acquired Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric for Corey Maggette, and many thought that it was a sole salary dump. While it was a salary dump in some fashion the Warriors also wanted a good 3-point shooter and defender in Charlie Bell. Bell will make many forget about Anthony Morrow, and show them his good defensive skill on a team that cares less. Ekpe Udoh was drafted to be the team's enforcer as a key shot blocker for the Warriors. He also is an excellent defensive player, but will be injured for the first 2 months of the season. In January you will see Ekpe, and the Warriors firmly back in the NBA.
Reason #4: David Lee
David Lee was acquired in the off-season in a sign in trade for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, and Kelenna Azibuke. This move was made at the same time LeBron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach. Lee instantly becomes the key post player for the Warriors, and perhaps the best shooting big man since Dirk Nowitzki for Don Nelson. Lee has added a deadly 3-point shot this off-season to his already outstanding offensive game. He is an excellent passing big man averaging nearly 4 assists per game, and that couples with his near 12 rebounds per game to make the perfect Don Nelson big man. He always hustles on offense after a missed shot, and runs well for his size. He may not play much defense, but has Don Nelson ever cared about defense?
Reason #3: Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis quietly had a breakout season last year for the Warriors. He averaged nearly 26 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, 5.3 assists, and 2.2 steals. Those are pretty good numbers for the 2nd best player on your team, and one of the most versatile players in the NBA. He can run the point, or play the 2 pretty well for his size. At 6 feet 2 inches tall you wouldn't expect 4 rebounds, but he has a Jason Kidd type rebounding skill of the rim. He doesn't fight in the inside, but he rebounds well on the outside. There are cons with Ellis though. He averages nearly 4 turnovers a game, and shoots a poor from the field. Yet he is an above average defender, and can get to the rim at will.
Reason #2: Joe Lacob
Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the Warriors for $450 Million with intent to make them a winner. Lacob is a die-hard Stanford basketball fan, and he is also a former Celtics co-owner. Guber is a minority owner, but still helped nonetheless. Lacob wants to build a winner and the Warriors are in a great place. They cleared out Corey Maggette's poor contract, and will have much space with money coming off the books next year. Ownership is key in the NBA because if you don't have good ownership, you won't have a good team. Go ahead; ask Donald Sterling if you don't believe me...
Reason #1: Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry turned in an impressive rookie campaign last season with the Warriors. He averaged nearly 18 point per game, 6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2 steals. He like Ellis is great at retrieving outside rebounds, and also has great court vision. He is not the best at defense, but his 2 steals per game make up for that. After the conclusion of the first-half of the year he was averaging nearly 14 points per game, and after a torrid second-half in which he averaged 22 points per game. If Curry averages his second half number, Ellis works more on his turnovers, and Lee is the answer in Golden State then the Warriors will be a great team this upcoming season. I will get ridiculed for saying this, but the Warriors have one of the best "Big 3's" in the league. Not quite on the level of the Heat, but great nonetheless. Expect the Warriors to make noise this upcoming season NBA fans.