Tag Archives: Klay Thompson

Midseason Love/Hate, Part 1

We are closing in on the NBA All-Star break and so far this has been a pretty thrilling regular season, especially if you’re only watching the Western Conference. There have already been so many great moments this year. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve seen Clippers owner Steve Ballmer dance to Fergie courtside during a game. So I thought I’d put together a completely biased and objective list of the things I love and hate about each team this year with some refined commentary.

Atlanta Hawks

Love: DeMarre Carroll as “the other guy” in the Hawks starting five

The Hawks are the biggest surprise of this season and have been flat out amazing, evidenced by their 19 game win streak. 4/5 of their starters (Teague, Korver, Millsap, Horford) are receiving the bulk of the credit, albeit very well deserved. But their fifth option DeMarre Carroll is the type of glue guy every team needs; he’s scrappy as hell, plays tough defense, and can hit a few timely three pointers. Many of his teammates will be up in New York for the upcoming All-Star game, but without DeMarre the Hawks certainly wouldn’t have the best record in the East.

Hate: People rebranding the Hawks as “Spurs-East”

Yes, Mike Budenholzer used to coach for Gregg Popovich. And yes, the Hawks do play a team oriented style of basketball that echoes former Spurs teams. But that’s not a good enough reason to marginalize what the Hawks have done this season by essentially saying they’re only good because they are mimicking the Spurs. If it was that easy every team would hire Gregg Popovich assistants. A-Town down!

Boston Celtics

Love: Brad Stevens trying to win despite his revolving door of a roster

Coach Stevens is doing his best despite Danny Ainge cleaning house; he has managed to get his team to keep playing hard and is occasionally stealing some games from contending opponents. Instead of just playing young guys who can gain valuable experience, he’s decided to implant Brandon Bass in the starting lineup and is now playing Tayshaun Prince 20 plus minutes a night off the bench. These lineups suggest one of two things; either he’s extremely competitive and hates losing, or he desperately wants to go back to coaching college ball.

Hate: Danny Ainge trading Rajon Rondo to the Mavs for some magic beans

I’m not mad at Danny for taking a first round pick and Brandan Wright (who was traded for two second round picks) in exchange for Rondo. But what the hell was he waiting for? Good GM’s don’t wait until their greatest asset is at its lowest possible value and then pull the trigger. He couldn’t have possibly seen the Celtics as a playoff contender entering this season, and if he did he gave up on that idea pretty early. Also if I’m a Western Conference team and I see the Mavs got Rondo for basically nothing, I’m genuinely going to be pretty peeved at Danny Ainge for affecting the West playoff race. It’s like when a guy at the bottom of your fantasy league trades one of their best players because they are giving up on the season. Danny Ainge is that guy, and we all hate those guys.

Brooklyn Nets

Love: Nets having a white player from Duke participate in the Slam Dunk Contest

That is a phrase I never thought I would say.

Hate: Watching the sad end to Kevin Garnett

It’s a shame KG has to go out like this. He’s one of the best at his position of all-time and to play on this pitiful Nets team is kind of tainting his statuesque career. Kevin Garnett has played so long I honestly can’t even remember his golden years in Minnesota when he was dominant every time he took the floor. The end to KG has similar overtones to Hakeem Olajuwon ending his career in Toronto, and as Mays Gilliam says “that ain’t right!”

Charlotte Hornets

Love: the honeycomb print on the home floor

Honestly, it’s pretty stupid and seems like something a DII college team might do. But for some reason I like that they embraced returning as the Hornets to its fullest extent. When is Time Warner Cable Arena hosting “Baron Davis Night” or “Larry Johnson Night” this year?

Hate: Panic! We’re running out of Lance Stephenson memes

The Lance “blowing air” meme has been pretty strong, one of the greats if you ask me. But it’s kind of a played idea at this point. Lance is going down in flames as a Hornet and he’s not even starting anymore. Lance for the love of god don’t leave us hanging like this, please come up with some new material. In case you didn’t see, he is taking fan suggestions for his next on court antics. Forward all submissions to ConeyIslandKilla6969@hotmail.com.

Chicago Bulls

Love: Renaissance of Pau Gasol

Pau has been a revelation this year and has really turned the Bulls into a true title contender; if they can stay healthy. It’s rare you see a player like Pau who ages, switches teams, and then seemingly gets better. I also think he’s in some silent game of chicken with his younger brother Marc and doesn’t yet want to relinquish the title of “The Best Gasol”. Pau has given the Bulls something that has been lacking in years past, a reliable post presence who the offense can play through in the halfcourt. With Pau commanding double teams it opens up the offense even more for Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. The one downside however is his defensive skill. It’s hard to overlook his lack of defense, but the offense he brings should override the fact that he is a horrific defender.

Hate: Doug McDermott’s trade value

I know Dougie McBucket’s injury has prohibited us from making a solid conclusion about what type of player he’s going to become, but as of now that draft night trade has a bad stench to it. I believe his ceiling as a player is as a good scoring threat off the bench, I’m not sure that warranted trading the 16th (Jusuf Nurkic!) and 19th (Gary Harris) overall picks for him. Due to injury this season the Bulls are forced to play guys like Tony Snell, Kirk Hinrich, and E’twaun Moore major minutes. The team could use an injection talent off the bench not named Nikola Mirotic. Trading for McDermott only gave away the potential to add another young player to the roster.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Love: LeBron as player/GM

The fact that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and actual GM David Griffin consult LeBron on all transactions is kind of ridiculous, regardless of the fact that LeBron is the best player on the planet. I feel like he’s always threatening to just opt of out his contract this year, and so David Griffin has to ship off every draft pick he has for the next decade in order to make LeBron happy. Of course trading two first rounders for Timofey Mozgov went down because LeBron doesn’t really care how the Cavs end up in five years. GM LeBron might actually be best for the Cavs anyway, at least he didn’t draft Anthony Bennett. Anything he does from here on out is an upgrade from the previous GM.

Hate: David Blatt not using Kevin Love correctly

Attention David Blatt! Kevin Love is more than a three point shooter! Stop sticking him in the corner and do some actual coaching. I hope trading future star Andrew Wiggins for a glorified three point shooter was not the initial plan when they acquired Love.

Dallas Mavericks

Love: Dirk Nowitzki is still basically unguardable

Dirk is the first of his kind, he’s the “Model-T” of European big men who can shoot from deep and who also have post skills. He has made the Mavs relevant for almost two decades, including this season, and I rarely show affection to anything German so this declaration has some weight to it. Even after all the additions of Rajon Rondo, Chandler Parsons, and Tyson Chandler, if the Mavericks make any noise in the playoffs it will undoubtedly be because of Dirk and that silky smooth jumper.

Hate: decline of the old rambunctious Mark Cuban

Mark, please yell at a ref or accost the league in some way and get fined. We want the old Cubes! Make it rain in the commissioner’s office and let Adam Silver know that those hundred dollar bills are just “fun coupons” and you won’t ever stop being you.

Denver Nuggets

Love: Jusuf Nurkic smack talk

When you’re a rookie and you’re smack talking and jawing at Kobe Bryant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Marc Gasol without any level respect for those guys who are more accomplished than you’ll likely ever be; that takes some guts and deserves a tip of the cap. Even though it’s stupid and unwarranted, I love him for that. I’m making odds on who the first guy to throw a punch at Jusuf in response is. Highest odds are DeMarcus Cousins (revenge) 2-1, JaVale McGee (accidentally) 9-2, and if you’re looking for longer odds Ron Artest (psychopath) 5000-1.

Hate: Ty Lawson’s inability to use Uber

Really Ty? Two DUI’s? C’mon dawg you make millions of dollars a year, shell out a couple bucks for an Uber or call Danilo Gallinari to come pick you up, he’s probably available. Professional athletes receiving DUI’s has almost become a regularity; how teams are not more proactive about this is outrageous. I realize the large majority of this problem is the personal responsibility of the athlete, but teams need to babysit these guys or have harsher penalties. Unfortunately it’s probably going to take someone’s untimely death before the problem is finally addressed further. Sorry that I had to be a little morose to prove a point.

Detroit Pistons

Love: Stan Van Gundy’s balls for waiving Josh Smith

It definitely must have been a tough sell for SVG to march into the owner’s office and say “Hey, so I want to cut Josh even though we still owe him $26 million. You cool with that?” If this move didn’t work and the Pistons ended up worse, I’m not sure how Stan Van would’ve survived. This is the ultimate case of addition by subtraction. I can’t even recall a similar situation where the release of one player created such an upturn in wins. Maybe when Brad Pitt traded Carlos Pena in “Moneyball”?

Hate: Brandon Jenning’s Achilles tendon for crapping out on him

As if sports in Detroit couldn’t get worse. We’re still relatively fresh off the NFL refs screwing over the Lions. The Pistons uptick and winning ways were a silver lining to that horrific Lions loss. Jennings going down for the season is really unfortunate because the Pistons were once again becoming a great team to watch. Brandon Jennings’ game was flourishing without Josh Smith on the floor dominating the ball, and he was directly contributing to the poor man’s “twin towers” Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond wreaking havoc on opponents. At this point, it’s hard not to feel bad for the city of Detroit.

Golden State Warriors

Love: Klay Thompson in 24/7 heat check mode

The kid is straight fire. Every time he launches a three and it doesn’t go in I think my eyes are playing a trick on me. Also he scored 37 points in one freakin’ quarter. I’ve played rec league basketball for over 15 years and I’ve yet to eclipse 30 points in an entire game. Just for fun, here are a couple names of players drafted over Klay Thompson: Derrick Williams, Jan Vesely, Bismack Biyombo, Jimmer Fredette. Those guys could go 4 vs. 1 with Klay and they’d lose.

Hate: Andrew Bogut’s health

The Warriors are a really exciting team to root for, but I’m afraid without a healthy Andrew Bogut they won’t have a shot at the title. It’s entirely possible they can win without him, but it will be a hell of a lot easier with him in the on the hardwood. They need his defensive presence against dominant frontcourt teams like the Grizzlies; his defense will need to hold teams close during the few games that Steph and Klay go cold.

The Inaugural Podcast: Talking Bulls

Jake Weiner, Jacob Bikshorn and Drew Hackman got together to discuss the Bulls’ thrilling win over the Warriors, the Atlanta Hawks, Derrick Rose’s comeback season, Joakim Noah’s health, the Bulls’ different lineup combos, and of course Kirk Hinrich, amongst other topics. Enjoy!

 

2014-15 Predictions: Breakout Players

Earlier this week, I joined my friend Spencer Suk in breaking down some of the players most likely to be busts in this upcoming season. Spencer is a big Clippers fan (since day one!) and one of the best basketball minds I know. He joined me to pick the breakout players for this season. Make sure you check out the rest of the great stuff on his website, The Franchise!

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons

Andre Drummond

Drummond is just 21 years old and looks poised to become the best true center in the NBA. He had a fantastic sophomore campaign, finishing first in offensive rebounds per game, second in field goal percentage, second in rebounds per game, and tenth in blocks per game. Drummond cleaned up his teammates’ misses with ease, averaging 5.4 offensive rebounds per game (1.4 per game more than second place).

Stan Van Gundy has taken over the reigns in Detroit, which bodes well for Drummond, as Van Gundy helped develop a player quite similar to him: 3-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Van Gundy created a defensive system that accentuated Howard’s skills and strengths, helping him to grow into the player he is today. All signs point towards him doing the same for Drummond.

Spencer Suk

jimmy butler

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy “G” (the G stands for Get Buckets)/”Jordan” Butler has clearly garnered some major hype from fans and Stacey King alike. As long as his preseason thumb strain is not a major issue, I believe Jimmy is primed for a big season. After shooting 47% from the field and a stellar 38% from range in his first full season, Butler rocketed back toward the mean last season, putting up an ugly 40%/28% shooting line. If Jimmy can just bridge the gap between the two Butlers we’ve seen, his value increases significantly. 44% on 33-35% three point shooting would be stellar from a lock-down defender.

What Butler really does impressively, though, is get to the charity stripe with ease. Jimmy excels at drawing fouls, reaching the free throw line five times per game last season. This is doubly impressive because Butler had a below average usage rate of 17% (average would be 20%, hence each player uses one fifth of the possessions). On a team that struggled to score without Derrick Rose, Butler’s offense was much needed. The free throws helped a lot when the jumpers weren’t falling.

With Rose back, added shooting and depth, and another offseason of work, it’s fair to expect another step forward from Butler. If he can start knocking down his jumper consistently, the rest of the league better watch out.

Jake Weiner

via Fansided
via Fansided

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson has truly earned his reputation as one half of the duo known as the Splash Brothers. While he is widely known for his three-point shooting, the development throughout the rest of his game is what can make him elite this year. The most exciting of which may be his added mid-range post game.

Standing at 6’ 7”, Thompson often created size mismatches last year, and it seemed like Mark Jackson would force it into Klay play after play. The problem with this approach was that Thompson was not consistent enough to bank on consecutive buckets (they also never really ran set plays for Klay to get him going early in the game). However, he showed consistency with his mid-range game this summer in Spain with Team USA. In a few years, once he gets going, don’t be surprised to see Thompson torching people in the mid-post a la Kobe.

But what truly makes Thompson special is the fact that he plays both sides of the ball. He has consistently gotten better at defense every year and can legitimately be one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league this year. Thompson’s experience playing with Team USA was invaluable and has helped prepare him for a breakout year.

Spencer Suk

Charlotte Hornets  vs Philadelphia 76ers

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Oh, MKG. We all want you to be great! A humble kid who’s overcome a ton, MKG burst onto the scene as a two-way star at Kentucky. The second pick after Anthony Davis, he’s been mostly an afterthought in his time in the NBA. While MKG quickly proved he’s a legitimate perimeter defender, his insane jumper mechanics were never going to produce anything resembling an average jumper.

But wait, you ask, isn’t this a breakout players article? Yes, yes it is! And MKG has been working overtime on that jumper and now it looks…pretty?! Judge for yourself.

Yeah, that’s smooth. If this is something Kidd-Gilchrist can keep up, the only massive hole in his game has just been filled up. MKG is never gonna be a Paul George-level shooter…but if he can work his way up to just average, his other skills are deadly.

Jake Weiner

paul-george-george-hill

George Hill

Look… Someone has to do something for the Indiana Pacers. Lance Stephenson is gone, Paul George is recovering from a horrific injury, Davis West is struggling with his ankle, and Roy Hibbert is going to be a bust this year according to Mr. Weiner.

Enter George Hill. George Hill had a down year in the 2013-14 season, but I attribute that to the rise of Lance Stephenson, not the decline of Hill. Stephenson became the primary ball handler last year, which made sense considering he is a gifted passer and Hill is the better spot-up shooter between the two. As you can see, the effect of this scheme caused Hill’s usage rate to drastically fall:

George Hill Averages
Season Minutes Points Assists FG Attempts FT Attempts
2012-13 34.5 14.2 4.7 11.5 2.8
2013-14 32 10.3 3.5 8.1 2.3

Now that the Pacers are in desperate need of ball-handling and scoring, expect a lot of the workload to be dumped on Hill’s shoulders. And I expect good things from him. I mean, there’s a reason he used to be Coach Pop’s favorite player.

Spencer Suk

JonasV

Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas was the fifth overall pick in 2011 and is still just 22 years old. He had a pretty quiet rookie year, but last season he emerged as a budding center. The Lithuanian finished the season averaging 11.3 PPG and 8.8 RPG on stellar 53% FG shooting. However, he really turned it up late in the season and in the playoffs. In April, he averaged 16.8 PPG and 11.0 RPG and he put up 9.7 RPG against Brooklyn in a classic seven game defeat.

Given that he’s younger than most of the writers for this blog, Jonas is a safe bet to pick up right where he left off. He’s a prototypical center that can run the floor, grab a ton of boards, and block shots. And he’s not afraid of DeMarcus Cousins either:

I’m betting on Jonas and the Raptors to keep improving. With a young talented core that clearly doesn’t lack in confidence, the future is bright in Toronto. It never hurts to have Drizzy Drake as your brand ambassador/tamperer.

Jake Weiner

The NBA is back, baby

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 1.52.36 PM

Yesterday had our first basically full slate of NBA games–14 of them! There’s currently a free trial for NBA League Pass, so anyone that has digital cable can access all the games for the rest of the first week. Needless to say, that made last night pretty awesome. It didn’t hurt that Shane Victorino put the World Series out of reach nice and early. Let’s take a look around the league at some of the biggest stories from the start of a long season.

  • The Mythical Power of Allen Iverson’s Retirement: After an emotional day of celebrating Allen Iverson’s career and officially retiring him as a 76er, the team pulled off the near impossible: beating the Heat. Granted, Miami was playing for the second straight night and without Dwyane Wade, but Philadelphia is projected to win less than 20 games this year! Michael Carter-Williams dazzled in the greatest debut I can recall and Evan Turner actually looked kind of like a #2 pick.
  • Cavs take down new look Nets: Andrew Bynum’s return was a success, even if it only lasted eight minutes. It’s nice to see a truly elite talent back on the floor. Besides that, the Cavs did a great job holding on against Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Nets. Kyrie Irving shook off a tough shooting night to help ice the game. Deron Williams didn’t look fully recovered from offseason ankle woes, but the other starters looked pretty good.
  • Dwight dazzles in debut: Dwight Howard, starting alongside former Bull Omer Asik, slapped up 26 boards in his first game in Rockets’ red. Asik chipped in 14 of his own as Houston put Charlotte away pretty easily. If Coach McHale keeps starting Asik and Howard together, the opposition is going to have major problems getting baskets.
  • Paul George leads comeback: Much to the chagrin of Bulls fans, the Pacers did not join the Heat and Nets in losing to inferior opponents last night. Backed by 32 from Paul George and some key defense, the Pacers stormed back and put away the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday looked solid in his debut while Anthony Davis appears to be taking the next step. Frank Vogel’s Pacers are quickly becoming a veteran team that always feels like they can win (a lot like a certain team in Chicago).
  • Kevin Love forces OT to snag a W: For the second straight night, the Orlando Magic played their asses off and came up just short. After taking a three point lead with under 30 seconds to go, the Magic watched Kevin Love force overtime on a beautifully wet, nearly uncontested three. The T-Wolves put away the young Magic in overtime, but there’s been a lot of encouraging play early on from Victor Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson among others.
  • Revamped Mavs put away Hawks: Monta Ellis had it all, at least last night. With 32 points, Ellis was unstoppable. He’ll enjoy the space he gets to operate playing with the still elite Dirk Nowitzki. Jose Calderon struggled with his shot in his Mavs debut, but he still dealt out 11 assists. Paul Millsap played very well in his first game out of Utah, but it wasn’t enough.
  • Thunder hold on against Jazz: Kevin Durant scored 22 of his 42 at the stripe as the Thunder held off a late Utah surge. Speaking of Serge, Ibaka struggled mightily on offense but came through with ten boards and a couple blocks late. If Russell Westbrook is really going to be back in two weeks, the rest of the league is on notice. Utah won’t quit as easy as many were suspecting, either.
  • Kings take down Nuggets: In a matchup likely between two lottery teams, Sacramento put away the Nuggets on the strength of a stoked home crowd (they almost got moved to Seattle!). Ty Lawson played well, but the Nuggets don’t have much going on past that anymore.
  • Warriors blow out Lakers, restore order to universe: Klay Thompson dropped 38 on 19 shots (!) and Coach Jackson was able to get his starters some rest before another big game tonight. The Lakers will have some strong games behind D’Antoni’s offensive system, but they simply don’t have enough talent to take down the better teams most nights.

State of the Warriors

golden-state-warriors

What does it take to be a championship contender in today’s NBA?

 

-Guys who can create quality shots for others and themselves

-An elite defense (most likely anchored by a rim protecting big man or by a cyborg like Lebron)

-Some threat of inside scoring

-Athletic wings that are versatile defensively and can shoot 3s (being proficient from the corners is a necessity)

 

These are just some of the components a team must have to succeed in the NBA in 2013.  Good coaching, chemistry, just enough depth and health are vital as well.  I believe the Warriors, as currently constructed can check off all those boxes and are a legitimate contender for the 2013-14 title.   Though there is still work to do in constructing this roster (which I will get to shortly), the signing of Andre Iguodala will establish the Warriors as contenders for the foreseeable future.

The Warriors have Stephen Curry, one of the league’s 15 best players on one of the league’s best contracts (4 yr/$44 mil).  If you watched any basketball during the 2012-13 season, you know how awesome of a player Curry is.  The dude made 272 three pointers (a new single season record) at a 45.3% clip!  Guys who shoot that accurately typically are spot up shooters, such as a Steve Kerr or Kyle Korver, but Curry is pulling up from 28 ft and hitting contested jumpers.  We have NEVER seen anyone like him offensively and as you can tell by this man-crush paragraph, I am bullish on his future, provided his ankles don’t shatter into a thousand pieces.

The Dubs have more than just Curry though.  They have Klay Thompson, who may be the league’s second best shooter behind Curry and has great size for a wing player. He is not a great defensive player, but is improving and only entering his third year in the league.  On the wing they have another exciting prospect in Harrison Barnes.  Barnes had a breakout performance in the playoffs and possesses all the traits a team would be looking for in their small forward (just like our beloved Jimmy Butler, you guys).   Barnes showed he can play as a small ball four, stretch the floor as a shooter, and even showed a nice dribble drive game towards the end of the year.  Even without the addition of Iguodala (see below why I love this move), the Warriors had one of the league’s best wing tandems, but his addition makes them arguably the best and most versatile trio of swingmen in the league.

Though they lack frontcourt depth, the Warriors have two very good big men.  Andrew Bogut started to look like Andrew Bogut again during the playoffs and at his peak he is an elite rim protector and passer, as well as being a good finisher and rebounder.  If he is healthy, he is the perfect compliment to Curry and co.   People love to hate on David Lee’s defense and I do not blame anyone that focuses on that aspect of his game, but I do find these people to be shortsighted when they forget how brilliant of an offensive player he is.  He is an efficient post player, great mid range shooter, can attack opposing bigs off the dribble and like Bogut is an awesome passer.  If he is playing alongside a rim protector like Bogut than a lot of his defensive miscues can be neutralized and he can focus on the one thing he does do well defensively (rebounding).   Thinking of a completely healthy Dubs team with these two feeding each other for easy buckets and the perimeter guys for open 3s arouses (sexually, mentally, emotionally) basketball purists like myself.  This team is capable of playing some of the most aesthetically pleasing basketball known to man.

Andre Iguodala compliments these 5 guys perfectly and is a great use of the Warriors resources.  Iguodala is undoubtedly one of the five best perimeter defenders in the league.  He can guard 1s, 2s, 3s, and even an occasional small ball 4.  He is also a very capable secondary ball handler who has averaged over 5 assists per game in 6 of the last 7 seasons.  Now that Jarrett Jack is gone, the Warriors needed someone else who could create easy looks for others and they could not have done much better than adding Iggy.  He was woefully miscast as a number 1 option in Philly, but if he is playing the role that I envision the Warriors have him filling (10-12 shots per game, secondary ball handler to Curry, be a smart cutter and run the floor, absolute menace defensively) than he would be an incredibly valuable player to any team.  He is a mediocre shooter, but that is fine since he is playing with the Splash Bros, Barnes, and Lee, there will still be plenty of space offensively.

Though I believe this may be the best top 6 in basketball, the Warriors as currently constructed, have very little depth.  Their bench led by Jack and the also departed Carl Landry blitzed opposing second units.  Jack was a crucial crunch time performer, could back up either guard spot, and allowed for Curry to play off the ball at times, while Landry is an excellent scorer and willing passer.  As good as these two were, a part of why they were so great last year was because they got both of these guys on the cheap.  They deservedly cashed in on their success, but I would not pay two bench guys a combined $12 million a year and the Warriors made the smart move to let them go, now they need to make some shrewd decisions to fill their void.

They now need to focus their attention on finding a backup point guard and a backup power forward. Their bench is not completely barren, as I do like some of the young pieces they currently have.  Festus Ezeli has no semblance of an offensive game, but is an adequate rim protector.  While Draymond Green does not bring the same quality to the position of point forward that resident DRAT crazy person Steven Kerstein does, he is an intriguing young piece who can guard 3’s and 4’s and brings a diverse set of skills offensively.  Depth is needed to get them through the season, but in the playoffs when rotations shrink and every minute is at a premium, the Warriors will not need all that much from players 7-9 in their rotation.

As you can tell in this long-winded manifesto, that I LOVE this Warriors team.  They have athleticism, shooting, passing, and defense.   If they stay healthy and can find a useful, cheap piece or two during free agency, they will absolutely be able make noise come playoff time.