With training camp starting in Cleveland on October 1, Right Down Euclid will be ranking teams from the bottom to the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Everyday I will rotate between conferences, starting with the East teams and counting up from No. 16 all the way to the best team in each respective conference.
I will give a quick synopsis of each team’s roster, some of their statistics from last year and why I think they will finish in the position that I predicted. Agree or disagree, stay tuned to RDE to see where your team lands in the 2012 Offseason Team Rankings.
No. 10 – Golden State Warriors (3rd in Pacific)
2011-12 season: 23-43 (.348), 4th place in Pacific Division (7-8)
Offensive Efficiency: 103.1 (11th)
Defensive Efficiency: 106.0 (26th)
F – Harrison Barnes
G – Kent Bazemore
F-C – Andris Biedrins
C – Andrew Bogut
G – Stephen Curry
C – Festus Ezeli
F – Draymond Green
G – Jarrett Jack
F – Richard Jefferson
G – Charles Jenkins
F – Carl Landry
F-C – David Lee
G – Brandon Rush
G – Klay Thompson
C – Jeremy Tyler
Compared to last year’s draft, the Warriors made some great improvements in an area that hurt them last season. That area would be defense, and starting with last season, the Bucks were looking to pick up strong, tough players. They traded away Monta Ellis in exchange for the injured Andrew Bogut, who will be a great help in the rebounding department. The Warriors ranked 28th in the Association in rebounding, with David Lee leading the way with averaging 9.6 boards. With Bogut healthy, Lee will be able to fall back and play the four instead of being the nontraditional center for the Warriors. This upgrade may be enough to push the Warriors into contention, but the Western Conference is just too competitive and veteran-led for Golden State to make a move this season. Mainly due to injury concerns.
Their star player point guard Stephen Curry only played in 26 games all of last season. He was fighting ankle problems all of last season, and quite possibly could have been the piece in the Milwaukee-Golden State trade in the place of Monta Ellis. The Warriors decided that Curry was more important in the development of their team, as he is the team’s top passer and premier play maker. He is great with the ball, and averaged 2.6 turnovers last season. For someone is is touching the ball the majority of the game, it’s a pretty acceptable number. He led the team in steals as well, averaging 1.5 takeaways. All of that may seem impressive, but what I like most about Curry is his potency as a shooter. He boasts shooting percentages of 47.3 percent from the field, 44/1 percent from three and 90.1 percent from the free throw line. Curry’s health is extremely important to the success of the team this season.
I don’t think that the Warriors will make the playoffs this season, but it is in the near future. The West is too experienced for the Warriors to compete just yet. Draft picks Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli will be of some help this season. Barnes could be a potential starter at small forward, however, it seems unlikely at this point. Green was a steal in my opinion and Ezeli might show his use this season in backing up Bogut. They will all help the Warriors’ bench situation this season.