Golden State Warriors shot for a championship is uncertain

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Draymond Green goes up for a layup against the Wizards.

Lucas Quick and Daniel Lee

After winning the 21-22 NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors are poised to repeat that success this season.

The Warriors started off the season with a win against the Lakers 123-109. However, they proceeded to end October with a record of 3-6. Making them a disappointing 12th seed in the competitive western conference.

Despite team chemistry concerns stemming from the drama between Jordan Poole and Draymond Green from the start of the season, no real issues have arisen. 

Steph Curry has averaged an impressive 32.6 points and 6.9 assists per game so far this season. However, the Warriors have not been able to convert Currys success into wins due to their defensive rating being 27th in the league.

From the off-season, there’s been some changes on the second team for Golden State. They lose veteran role players in Otto Porter Jr, Gary Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica. They are replaced with the signing of Donte Divincenzo, a great two-way player, and JaMychal Green, a longtime veteran who can play a Mareese Speights type of role. 

Including these additions, the bench will be defined by the young talents of Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. With three of them being under 21, the question is how much growth we can expect from the young players, all of whom expect to be future key role players for the team.

So far in the season however, there has been a clear dip in the defensive prowess of the Warriors bench. The Warriors starters give up 100 points per 100 possessions. But when Wiseman or Kuminga are on the floor, opponents score 111 points per 100 possessions.

The Warriors look to control the Western Conference, but there are a lot of stars returning and emerging into the conference. A team who look to match the Warriors’ talent are the Denver Nuggets. They haven’t been able to produce a lot of success since 2020, despite having back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. Denver has dealt with a large number of injuries to star players Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Their return, combined with a very deep lineup, will be a true test for the reigning champs. 

Same thing with the Clippers. They get one of the best players in the NBA back in Kawhi Leonard, but they also sign John Wall, who, due to injury, hasn’t touched the court in quite some time. Does it make the Clippers a better team? It’s a little too early to call, with Wall being 32 years old combined with his availability issues. However, he can easily be a threat if they choose to put him in as the sixth man. 

The Warriors bench looks weak to start off the year. However, their players are young and have a lot of time to improve during this season. This team has the tools to win, but needs to put it together on defense.