By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 47-35
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 2nd in the Pacific Division
Projected Starting Lineup
Look out for the Golden State Warriors. At the beginning of every season there is always one team who catches everyone’s eyes, and this season it is the Warriors. Last year the took the San Antonio Spurs to their brink, and they proved they can play with the big boys. This year, with the addition of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors believe they are good enough to win the whole damn thing. I’m a believer too, but there are some obstacles to overcome in Oakland. There is no question that Stephen Curry is one of the best players in the NBA, but he always seems to have some sort of nagging injury. It seems simple, but the Warriors won’t go deep in the playoffs without a healthy Curry. Big men David Lee and Andrew Bogut have had their own trouble with injuries, and they too will need to be healthy come playoff time. Having said that, if those key players are healthy – I am picking the Warriors to win the Western Conference. I have never seen a player get as hot as quickly as Curry can. He is the best shooter in the NBA, and he has the ability to take over games at will. If that’s not enough, Curry now has Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson flanking him in the open court. That trio is going to be deadly, and that’s without mentioning Harrison Barnes. Barnes has taken a backseat to Iguodala, and that is only going to strengthen the Warriors bench – and Barnes will challenge for sixth man of the year. Marresse Speights, Toney Douglas, and Draymond Green will also be coming off the bench to form one of the better scoring benches the league has to offer. The Warriors have everything they need to succeed in a big way. They have a great coach in Mark Jackson, a superstar in Steph Curry, and a supporting cast that can do a multitude of things. The Warriors will be one of the most entertaining teams to watch, and even if they don’t win it all – most of you will be pulling for them to do so.