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5 Ways the Warriors Have Gotten Worse This Season

The Golden State Warriors made the free agent signing of the summer by nabbing Kevin Durant, but is it possible that adding another Hall-of-Famer to the roster would make them worse?  Just look at the Lakers about 15 years ago when they added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to their core of Shaquille O’Neill and Kobe Bryant.  Let’s take a look at five ways the Warriors might not be as good as they were the last two years.

#1: Stephen Curry Is No Longer The MVP

Stephen Curry will spend quite a lot of time deferring to KD even though Curry is the MVP, the top point guard in the league, and the best shooter in history. The Lakers had trouble moving the ball around to their four hall of famers.  Thus, Kobe Bryant didn’t see the ball enough times.  The Warriors are doing the same with Stephen Curry. Durant may be great, but he is in the way.

#2: Defense Is Stalling

Draymon Green is the reigning defensive player of the year, but he is now leading a team that will be weaker on that side of the floor. Durant is not an elite defender, and his presence on the court limits what Green can do. Green must be allowed to marshal the court on defense in a way that the Pistons of the 80s once did.  Plus, teams who struggle to stop opponents are too susceptible to their shots falling to win on a nightly basis.

#3: Klay Thompson Has No Room To Play

Klay is the Scottie Pippen to Curry’s Jordan, and he is capable of scoring 50 points in a game when Stephen is having an off night.  Klay would be a superstar on any other team. He will turn out to be one of the greatest shooters in history, but he is stifled on a team that must allow Durant to score. Durant is taking shots from a man who is more than capable of playing his position, and the ball simply cannot make it around to each of them often enough.

#4: Luke Walton Is Not On The Bench

Luke Walton was the top assistant in the league but not he’s with the Lakers as their head coach. He helped bridge the gap between Steve Kerr and the young players. He is a man of wisdom like his father Bill, and he knows how to win. The loss of Walton is felt every day as the Warrior do not have another strong voice on the bench. He may not be viewed as a necessity, but he will be missed when the team plays poorly.

#5: The Team Is Strained Over Salary

Spending money ruins relationships in the NBA, and Kevin Durant’s contract is a problem in the Golden State locker room. No one has spoken out about the money Durant makes, but it is impossible to pay everyone when there are four potential hall of famers on the same roster. Durant expects to be paid later in his career, and Curry is paid as the MVP should be. Klay Thompson expects to have his due, and Draymon Green will expect his own payday before long. The team has money, but players are humans. Humans become insecure, and insecurity may rip the team apart.

The Warriors may win a title after figuring out how to play as a group, but recent history shows that having superstars all on the same team may turn out badly. Kevin Durant needs the ball, but Stephen Curry needs the ball, too. The two men must find a way to play together if they wish to win games. There is no chance of winning 73, but they may learn a new system that honors each of them in kind.

NBA Draft Recap

I would like start off by congratulating all 60 picks in this years NBA draft.  I’m going to discuss the potential future these young men have in the league.  Today I would like to narrow the scope and focus on the top 10 picks.

The number one draft pick this year was LSU’s Ben Simmons.  His future with Philadelphia certainly looks bright. Allen Iverson said it himself in an interview with ESPN.  He’ll be in Ben Simmons corner for anything he needs this season. May not seem like much but to have a Hall of Famer extend a helping hand seems to me like a bright future.  With his talent it’s no surprise that he’s the favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

Second pick Brandon Ingram from Duke should have plenty of room to grow as a player.  He has a lot of talent, but needs to add some strength. According to USA Today. the Lakers say if his Duke basketball evolution translates to professional ball then he’s found the right team. I personally think that with Kobe retiring there are some big shoes to fill in LA.  But that means this rookie will have plenty of opportunity.

After being drafted third by the Brooklyn Nets, Jaylen Brown was then later traded to the Boston Celtics.  I think he’ll see plenty of time in the rotation early on in the season. As long as Jaylen’s physical growth matches his motivation he will blend right in with the Boston franchise.

Big man Dragan Bender was the youngest player drafted at 18.  He was taken fourth overall and was the top international player. There is no doubt this guy has talent, but the Suns believe Bender will mature quickly as well.

As I approach the midway point on the top 10 NBA draft picks we hit our first point guard pick. Kris Dunn of Providence was taken fifth.   He should be able to learn from Ricky Rubio and alongn with Andrew Wiggins become a duo for first year coach Tom Thibodeau. They have a real shot at making the playoffs. Thibodeau says Dunn’s defensive efforts are something he wants to build on. Even with Rubio’s future being put into question across the media I think the addition of another point guard will help motivate him to work hard.

Sixth draft pick Buddy Hield entered the draft as the top college basketball player of 2016. The Pelicans hope that Hield brings a scoring threat to compliment Anthony Davis in the paint this upcoming season. The Pelicans don’t know early on if they are going to hold onto Hield so I hope he gives New Orleans a reason to keep him around.

Being picked by the Knicks seventh in the draft but later traded to Denver, Jamal Murray brings a boost to the Nuggets perimeter game.  Murray was coming off of a season at Kentucky where he hit 113 three-point shots.  That should give an indicator as to his potential in Denver.

The Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, and Milwaukee Bucks finished off the top ten picks with forward Marquese Chriss, center Jakob Poeltl, and center Thon Maker. All of these guys should be good players at the professional level, but I don’t think any of them will have an immediate impact on the teams they are going to.