The Golden State Warriors have had a slow start to the year and are not dominating as many expected them to come off their most recent NBA Championship. There are several reasons why the Warriors are not doing as well as most thought, and we will break them down for you.
To go with that, we'll share what the Warriors need to do to have the best chance to repeat as NBA Champs. It is worth noting data on Sports Betting in California shows that the Warriors are pretty close to what their odds were to start the season.
Why the Warriors Have Struggled this Season at times
As an older squad, the Warriors have had to deal with injuries and players needing rest. Many remember the two years before their NBA championship last season when critical Warriors star players were missing more games than they played. Looking at three of their four leading scorers, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrews Wiggins have missed 14, 9, and 17 games, respectively.
While Golden State did not lose any starters or star players, the Warriors did lose several important role players. A void has been left by the departures of Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, Damion Lee, and Nemanja Bjelica.
Golden State was hoping new additions Donte DiVincenzo and Anthony Lamb, along with the development of younger players, would help make up for what was lost. The potential for some of those young guys to continue to develop is undoubtedly there, but it has yet to be where Golden State needs them for another title run.
The Warriors have the fourth-best record in the NBA with a 17-5 home record, winning 77.3% of home games. The contrast is ugly, though, as Golden State is 3-16 on the road. That is the worst record in the entire NBA, winning just 15.8% of road games.
Part of this may be the quick turnarounds, back-to-backs, an older roster, and just some bad luck. The Warriors will likely fair better on the road in the playoffs when there are travel days and the games are not tightly packed together. All three of the Warrior's road wins this season came when there was at least one day between their previous game.
Hope for Another Golden State Title Run
There is hope for the Warriors and another NBA title run. If the Warriors want that to happen, more wins are necessary, and Golden State would surely like to get to at least the sixth seed or better to avoid the playing tournament. For all of that to happen, improvements have to be made. Here are three reasons the Warriors have hope for it to happen.
Last season when the Warriors won the Championship, their full roster was available. Golden State stayed healthy during their playoff run, and their better play was noticeable. The Warriors' roster may finally turn a corner regarding health, as Golden State's entire rotation will likely be available within the next couple of games.
As crazy as it sounds, some of the injuries could end up helping Golden States' long-term goals. Because of the injuries, some of the younger players have gotten extended rotation times that would not have been there otherwise. Players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have seen their minutes grow when guys like Curry, Wiggins, and Thompson have missed time.
There have been bright spots and some low lights in regard to their play. The hope has to be that some of the early growing pains and mistakes may help when the games become more important. Perhaps mistakes made in November and December won't be mistakes when the playoffs start. The Warriors need at least a few young guys to step up, but that may be trending in the right direction.
Something that can help any team is improving their roster, which is not out of the question for Golden State. It is possible to do that in two ways, free-agent signings and trades. The Warriors have some exciting trade pieces, as young players like James Wiseman, Moses Moody, and a few others have not gotten a proper chance to develop because Golden State is chasing titles.
Could a few of those players be traded for a veteran or two that is ready to help the Warriors go after another title? Golden State could use another big man to play the 4/5 to platoon with Kevin Looney and Draymond Green.
There is also the chance for the Warriors to sign a veteran that is a free agent. Also, once players start getting bought out a little later in the season, some potential signings could fit in Golden State.