As another championship offseason comes to a close, the Golden State Warriors are not without many unanswered questions. Even though this could arguably be the best roster ever constructed, there are still issues that will linger as the season turns to opening night. That being said, let’s dive in to the main questions still pressing the Dubs:
Where is Patrick McCaw?
Much to the surprise of almost everybody, Patrick McCaw, a key rotation piece (when healthy), has rebuffed the Warriors in their attempts to resign him. I cannot say I understand why he would vehemently decline a place on one of the NBA’s greatest teams, with playing time no less. Many reports have come out that McCaw wants more money or more playing time, which of course is completely justified. However, when you factor in his performance last year, a huge dip in efficiency and a substantial injury, it’s not hard to see why the Warriors were reluctant to bring out the Brinks truck. The Warriors thought they had another Iguodala type piece in McCaw, but now it seems he would rather test the waters somewhere else and become somewhat of his own player without the shadow of the one of the greatest runs in NBA history. I hope that wherever he ends up he plays well and succeeds, he deserves it.
How will the bench shoot?
Going into the 2017 season, people were raving about the new look Warriors bench, with Omri Casspi and Nick Young being the prized additions. Casspi has always had a reliable three point stroke, even memorably having a shoot out with Stephen Curry when he was with the Kings, and Nick Young was the Swaggiest P of them all. However, much to the chagrin of Warriors fans, neither of them really panned out. Casspi curiously decided to stop shooting threes completely and was later cut in favor of Quinn Cook and Nick Young is without an employer. With this in mind, the Warriors wanted to try and do the same thing they tried to a year ago, adding Jonas Jerebko, a 6’10 forward with a good outside shot, hitting threes at a career high 41.4% last season in Utah. I picture him being a lot like Mo Speights in terms of his role on this years team, working as a “center” in some units but mostly providing floor spacing at the 4. I just pray that he wants to shoot threes. If not, the bench unit consisting of Livingston, Evans, Iguodala, Jerebko, and Jones/Looney/Bell will be tough to watch.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard that DeMarcus Cousins was a Warrior; I was eating dinner and watching the Giants game when I checked Twitter and saw the Woj Bomb. I could not believe that a team with four all-stars coming off of back to back championships would go out and sign a fifth for the minimum. Of course, that speaks to Cousins’ ego and how he would rather spend his “rehab year” with a team of unselfish superstars and win as many games as possible rather than stay with Anthony Davis or start his “own team”. However, he is not a known quantity anymore. Coming off a torn achilles, Cousins will probably not be the animal he was last season, filling box scores with ridiculous stat lines, but he might. It might be easier for the Warriors if he’s not the same, as the flow of the offense will remain relatively unchanged except instead of JaVale McGee you have one of the best passing big men in the league in Cousins. However, if Cousins is still an All-Star, the offense might not be the well oiled machine it usually is. He struggles with turnovers and efficiency, both things that impede the “Warriors Way” of ball movement and off ball cuts. If he wants to play hero ball in the clutch, he is definitely not as good an option as Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry or objectively Klay Thompson. The Warriors will win many, many games this season, I’m just not sure how many of them will be because of DeMarcus Cousins.
Opening night is the beginning of a long grind. Last year, the Warriors proved that you can be heavily favored and still face adversity (in the Western Conference). This year will be no different, with many people calling this year the last of the Warriors reign, as KD and Klay are on expiring contracts. If this does end up being the last dance, it’s been a hell of a ride going from the laughingstock of the league to the evil empire. Enjoy this season, Warriors fans, it’s going to be a lot of fun.