SAN JOSE CALIF.-The Golden State Warriors have lots of expectations coming into the 2021 season.
With the reunion of the Splash Brothers, the Warriors are expected to be a playoff contender. It has been two years since Klay Thompson has played a professional basketball game. But, if Thompson can return to his previous self, the Warriors are looking dangerous. Ever since the Warriors deep playoff run in 2019, the Warriors look very different. Especially after the departure of Kevin Durant which was a big blow to the Warriors. But they still consist of the veteran core of Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Last season, the Warriors finished 39-33 in the Western Conference. They would finish off in the eighth seed but would have to play in the NBA’s recently created play-in game. They lost both their games and would be taken out of the playoffs. Curry had a phenomenal season last season averaging 32 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He shot 48.2% from the field, 42.1% from the three point line, and 91.6% from the charity stripe. After this spectacular season, many thought Curry would be given the MVP award. But, the award would be given to Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
In the 2021 preseason, the Warriors went 5-0. A big part of that being Jordan Poole. Poole has been lights out in the preseason averaging 21 points and is shooting 40% from three. Poole could potentially be the third splash bro and might be the Warriors x-factor this season. “They don’t give out a preseason MVP. If they did, it’s hard to imagine many people caring.” Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey said. “But Poole would be at or near the top of a make-believe MVP ladder right now. And after what they saw during Poole’s first season, the continuation of his upward trajectory should have Golden State fans feeling giddy.” The Warriors projected starting lineup is Curry at point guard, Thompson at shooting guard, Andrew Wiggins at small forward, Green at power forward and James Wiseman at Center.
In the 2021 draft, the Warriors drafted power forward Jonathan Kuminga with the seventh pick and guard Moses Moody with the fourteenth pick. In the past two years, the Warriors have been in unfamiliar territory having high draft picks, drafting Wiseman with the second pick in 2020. They haven’t drafted this high in the draft since they drafted Harrison Barnes with the seventh pick in 2012.
Wiseman could potentially have a breakout season this year. Wiseman put up 11 points, 5 boards, and shot 50% from the field last season. After being drafted second overall, Wiseman didn’t play many games in his freshman year, only playing 39 games. The Warriors picked up a new coach to help Wiseman and other big men on their team, Dejan Milojevic was partly responsible for developing the reigning MVP Jokic. “I’m not going to try to turn him into Jokic,” Milojevic said. “I’m going to make him James.” The Warriors will hopefully be a championship contender this season.
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