You play hard for 82 games, nearly seven months, just to get a chance to play for a few more months to win the championship. You get 48 wins, which is enough to make it into the postseason in the other conference, so you figure that it should be enough for your conference. Wrong.
That is how it was for the Golden State Warriors in 2007-08. They played with heart, passion, and energy and missed the playoffs. It was the most wins ever in a season for a non-playoff team. The offseason just got worse.
Golden State lost their star player Baron Davis to a division rival, lost their two best bench players in Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus, and had the new face of the franchise Monta Ellis, get injured on a moped and is now forced to sit out for possibly a third of the season. It was an ugly offseason, for the coaches, players, and fans.
In 2008-09, most have predicted that the Warriors will miss the playoffs considering all the things that went down during the offseason. Despite all those losses, the Warriors did pick up some new players.
Corey Maggette will wear a Golden State jersey this year and will look to play well in the Don Nelson offense. Look for him to perhaps have the best scoring year of his career. High energy role player Ronny Turiaf has come over from the other side of California to help the team in rebounding and will look to be the back-up center behind Andris Biedrins, who signed a six-year deal to stay with the Warriors.
Golden State drafted lanky forward Anthony Randolph with the 14th pick. He will most likely battle with Brandan Wright for playing time. The Warriors also drafted Richard Hendrix in the second round. He seems like a Turiaf or maybe even Paul Milsap-type player with his physical play.
Marcus Williams was traded from New Jersey to the Bay Area and might start at point guard with Ellis out. Also competing for the starting point guard spot is Duke star DeMarcus Nelson, who has played phenomenal in the preseason. A forgotten and unknown player is Anthony Morrow. Don Nelson called him the best shooter on the team, so it must mean something when you also have sharpshooting Marco Belinelli on the squad.
With Davis and Barnes gone, the Warriors needed another captain to help Stephen Jackson. Nelson selected Andris Biedrins as the co-captain, and it looks like it will be a good choice. The young center and Jackson have worked hard this offseason with pick-n-rolls and have built some chemistry with each other. They will be great leaders for this team.
Whether he comes off of the bench or starts, Al Harrington could surprise you with his scoring. He has worked hard this offseason to improve his low-post scoring and become a banger down low for Golden State.
It was painful to watch these past few months as a Warriors fan, and it seems like the team is in rebuilding mode at the moment. No one knows how Ellis will play after his injury, and if the team can still build around him for the future.
This season might be ugly at first, but when Ellis comes back, it could be enough for the team to go on a run to higher the hopes of the fans, but still manage to dodge the playoffs. I’m expecting anywhere from ninth to twelfth seed for the Warriors this year.
It was a horrendous offseason, but the play of the Golden State Warriors this year might give you some hope to believe in the future.