After a heartbreaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2nd round play-off series of 2013, the Golden State Warriors focused all their attention to a productive off-season. With the 2013-2014 season tip-off just around the corner, the “Dubs” are actively looking to bounce-back and have another successful season within the Western Conference. During the offseason, the “Warriors” acquired the following players: Andre Igoudala, Tony Douglas, Jermaine O’Neal, Marreese Speights, and Nemanja Nedovic. Therefore, the team sacrificed the versatile guard Jarrett Jack (Cleveland), key defensive reserve Carl Landry (Sacramento), veteran Richard Jefferson (Utah), Andris Biedrins (Utah), and small forward Brandon Rush (Utah).
The prized addition of small forward Andre Igoudala will ignite an extra wave of potential through the core of the GS Warriors. Having Igoudala in the starting line-up will enable the Warriors to have more of an effective defense around the perimeter. His unselfish distribution of the ball will help his teammates facilitate more of that offensive rhythm the Warriors are accustomed to. Iggy’s defensive prowess will open up enough space for sharp shooters Klay Thompson and Steph Curry to make their signature shots both under and beyond the arc. The Warriors are currently ranked (No.10) on offense, however, their subpar performance on defense needs to be refined astronomically. There is no doubt that premier defender Igoudala will be spreading defensive tips to his new team of fresh faces.
As of now, Andrew Bogut is 100 percent and good to go for the 2013-2014 regular season. Bogut missed about 50 games total from last season due to a surgically repaired left ankle. Despite all the pain he endured in his left ankle, Bogut still competed down the stretch, displaying great numbers in the play-offs against the Denver Nuggets (21 rebounds, 14 points, 4 blocks, and 3 assists). Dealing with both David Lee and Bogut in the paint at full strength will be difficult for teams to penetrate. Injuries will always remain questionable to the Australian center because of how many freakish occurrences he’s had in the past. It is imperative that Bogut is healthy throughout the season if the Warriors want another run at the Western Conference crown.
The Warrior’s head coach Mark Jackson brings in 11-year NBA veteran Brian Scalabrine as assistant coach and Joe Boylan to his main coaching staff for the 2013-2014 season. With the departure of Jackson’s head assistant coach (Mike Malone) to the Sacramento Kings, the Warrior’s defensive stance may falter even more. Jackson’s right-hand man molded the Warrior’s into the “sixth-most efficient defensive team” in the West (2012-2013 season). Thanks to the defensive coaching from Malone, the Warriors were able to make a decent statement in their play-off run, beating the No.3 seed (Denver Nuggets) in Round 1 of the (2012-2013) play-offs.
Stephen Curry and company will undoubtedly be working on their defensive IQ and ability to cover opposing defenders, something they have failed to accomplish last year. Furthermore, the Warriors need to center their attention on finishing strong in the pivotal 4th quarter. The Warriors are still young and extraordinarily talented, they will continue to grow, and with the addition of Igoudala the possibilities are endless.