So the Golden State Warriors have had a somewhat mysterious start to the 2022-2023 NBA season; they were playing .500 basketball practically at the start; Stephen Curry playing at a MVP level before suffering a shoulder injury and after being 2 games under .500 the Warriors are now 2 games over .500 as Jordan Poole has taken over at the point guard position looking like 3/4 of Stephen Curry in his absence scoring over 40 plus points in multiple outings; not to mention Klay Thompson who has had his fair share of scoring explosions just coming off a 54 point massacre in Atlanta last night reminding the NBA world that once Stephen Curry gets back their offense is going to be close to impossible to contain. So will the Golden State Warriors’s reign over the league come to an end this season; and if the Warriors were to lose in the 2023 NBA Playoffs will they come back the following season with the same core 5 of Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson,Andrew Wiggins,Jordan Poole, and Draymmond Green? Possibly, but will Warriors owner Joe Lacob shell out dough like New York Mets owner Steve Cohen did this off-season to keep Klay Thompson and Draymmond Green in Golden State? I wouldn’t bank on it.
I recall Stephen Curry himself mention how they will keep riding with the same core 3 of Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson, and Draymmond Green until they feel they are no longer contenders for a championship. The Warriors can compete for a championship for at least 1 more season beyond this current one. Yes I believe Stephen Curry can play at an MVP level for another season or two; but we can’t keep denying the fact that Klay Thompson and Draymmond Green have both taking a noticeable decline athletically. It showed in the 2022 NBA Finals versus the Boston Celtics who were a flawed offensive team with no depth yet they defended the Golden State Warriors well enough to win the series. The difference along with Stephen Curry in the 2022 NBA Finals ended up being Andrew Wiggins who even Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admitted was the difference maker against his Mavericks in the Conference Finals. Mark alluded to how the Mavericks had Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson,and Draymmond Green figured out through out the Conference Finals; and how Andrew Wiggins 2-way play on both ends of the floor ended up being the culprit for a Warriors team in search of a difference maker through out the series.
I won’t knock the Golden State Warriors becoming 2022 NBA Champions; we finally got a break from them after watching them stampede the competition for 3 straight years when Kevin Durant lined up alongside Stephen Curry; and for them to overcome injuries to their Big 3 of Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson,and Draymmond Green for 2 consecutive seasons after being eliminated by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals; use last season’s regular season as a scrimmage and hit the playoffs firing on all cylinders is highly impressive and speaks to the culture in Golden State. Hearing Draymmond Green claim they’ll win 3 out of the net 4 rings reminds me of when LeBron James claimed the Miami Heat would win not 5,not 6, not 7, not 8 but ultimately only won 2 championships over a 4-year span alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Why was LeBron James delusional at the time? Well one I’m sure he wasn’t serious about his claim and 2 I was smart enough to forecast a steep decline from Dwyane Wade in his 4 years with LeBron James being that he started to lose a step even before LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat. Difference between Draymmond Green and LeBron James’s claim is Draymmond is actually serious and I believe it’s remotely impossible for them to win 3 out of the next 4 championships considering the level of competition at this very moment.
Draymmond Green will have to turn back the clock to when he was a first-team All-NBA defender and Defensive Player of the Year 5 years ago for that to happen. The fear factor is what I believe the Warriors are losing, I don’t believe opposing teams fear them any longer. Watching the 2022 NBA playoffs showed me that, Ja Morant and Luka Doncic seemed like they were both not fazed one bit by what the Warriors where throwing at them; they just didn’t get enough support offensively to eliminate them. If Ja Morant remains healthy throughout that series who knows what would’ve happened. If Luka Doncic hadn’t had to carry a front-court which couldn’t even produce double-digit scoring he would’ve also had a chance at upsetting the Warriors in the Conference Finals. I don’t mention Nikola Jokic because it’s a toss up him eliminating the Warriors even if Jamal Murray was healthy but anyone who watched Jamal Murray in The Bubble would understand just how much of an impact he does make when healthy lining up alongside Nikola Jokic. But injuries are a part of the game and the Warriors took care of business last season; I just have my doubts about them winning another ring even with all the firepower they possess.
The Warriors prided themselves on depth in the mid 2010’s when they first began their run; it’s what helped them win a staggering amount of games even before Kevin Durant’s arrival in Golden State but they seem to have gone away from that formula. We could even question the depth on last year’s championship team; I would have never expected Otto Porter Jr to hit the timely shots he hit in the playoffs last season let alone be a difference maker defensively off the bench. After all this is the man who was a former 3rd overall pick and failed to live up to the $100 million he was given by the Washington Wizards. In the Warriors I see a team with too many heads to feed in Curry,Wiggins,Poole,and Klay with Draymmond being the equalizer. I believe there are too many question marks with the roster; will Jonathan Kuminga step up in the playoffs? Does James Wiseman fit into Steve Kerr’s motion offense and will he step up? Donte DiVincenzo an JaMychal Green? Both very good on offense but nothing opposing teams can’t attack and take advantage of. To conclude they do have Stephen Curry who is at the peak of his powers; that alone gives them a shot at at least 1 more title but I don’t see it, the dynasty is over.