The scene in San Francisco is much different than it was this time last year for the Golden State Warriors. This time last season, the team was trying to move past the Draymond Green-Jordan Poole incident and were on the struggle bus early on. One year later, Poole was shipped to Washington in favor of Chris Paul, and the Warriors sit one game out of first place in the Western Conference behind Denver and Dallas. One of the most significant differences is that we aren’t talking much about Golden State, and that’s good.
Golden State simply isn’t as spicy as they were entering the 2022-23 campaign. They were coming off another NBA championship with the drama permeating the organization and questions about chemistry, among other things.
This year, the biggest storyline for the Warriors was how the team would function with Paul in the lineup. So far, so good, as the dubs are 6-2 to start the year with CP3 fitting in well. In fact, he’s off to a historical start with 62 assists in the first eight games and only six turnovers.
Stephen Curry seems to be getting better with age, as he’s among the top scorers in the association again, averaging 30.9 points per game. Curry has been blazing hot from behind the arc, shooting 47.5 percent. After all these years and him getting older, teams still don’t have an answer for Chef Curry.
Last year, Golden State’s main bug-a-boo was playing on the road. They finished the season 11-30 away from Chase Center. This year, they’ve had a road-heavy schedule early on and are 5-1. Having another floor general to run the second unit in Paul has worked well since Green returned after missing the first couple of games.
Another huge for the Warriors last season was turnovers. Not that it hadn’t been in the past, but they hit rock bottom, ranking last in the league. Through eight games, Golden State is closer to the middle of the pack in turnovers, which is an improvement. Even the slightest improvement can mean the most down the road.
These dubs look and feel like a much different squad, although most of the same parts remain. Thus far, the Warriors have only one player averaging more than 20 ppg. The second leading scorer, Klay Thompson, is posting 16.6 ppg. After him comes Jonathan Kuminga with 12.7. Andrew Wiggins has struggled thus far but with the emergence of Kuminga, it may take a while for Wiggins to get back on track.
They may not be the explosive offensive team they were last season, but the Warriors are winning early and appear drama-free. This feels like two years ago when the dubs entered the season with little expectation from the outside world. They’d come off a couple of injury-plagued years and were still waiting for Thompson to return.
Now is the time to fear the Warriors. When you don’t see them coming and take ‘em for granted like people did two years ago. Don’t forget they ended up winning it all that season when no one expected much of anything out of them. Some said their championship window had slammed shut, and it was time to move on. Keep an eye on this franchise because they have the pedigree and could sneak in one more title before their run is over.
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