After a spate of injuries that decimated their lineup, the Golden State Warriors fell out of the NBA’s tier of elite teams. Once healthy, however, they were back on top of the league for the fourth time in eight years.
Ric Bucher, on “The Speak for Yourself” show, emphasized that health plus the Warriors’ incredible depth made their rise almost inevitable. He also explained that it is for this reason why LeBron James’ extension and a fully healthy LA Lakers squad will not sniff the championship.
“Why can’t LeBron and the Lakers – LeBron and Anthony Davis – do what the Warriors just did? Weren’t the Warriors injured for a couple of years and they fell off and they got healthy and they came all the way back? Why can’t they do that?
“Steph and Klay and Dray were able to climb the mountain again because of Jordan Poole, because of Andrew Wiggins. You can sign LeBron James for a couple of more years at the max extension. Just don’t think that that in and of itself will mean more championship runs.”
Bucher went on to detail how the Warriors’ superior depth features several first-round picks like Kevon Looney, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole. He even failed to mention James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, who are all expected to contribute better to the team’s title defense.
Warriors genral manager Bob Myers had another underrated signing after losing a few key supporting players. Donte DiVincenzo, another former first-round talent, will be playing for the Bay Area team next season.
Bucher then discussed who James and Davis have as role players:
“Austin Reaves, undrafted; Talen Horton-Tucker, second-round pick; Damian Jones, second-round pick. These guys are overachievers for where they’ve been. The idea that they’re now going to elevate themselves not only to being just NBA players but to being championship-caliber players is just a bridge too far.”
The NBA analyst got it wrong with Jones, as the former Sacramento Kings player was a round one pick in 2016. But another new signing, Thomas Bryant, was a second-rounder in 2017. Juan Toscano-Anderson, like Reaves, was also undrafted.
The Golden State Warriors are looking more formidable than ever
The Golden State Warriors are nailing team owner Joe Lacob’s vision of creating a win-now squad that can also contend in the future. They are not letting up after winning their fourth title in eight years last season.
While other teams like the LA Lakers are struggling to fill out their roster, the Bay Area team boasts a loaded deck. They lost Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II in free agency, but re-signed Kevon Looney and acquired Donte DiVincenzo.
The Golden State Warriors will also enjoy a revitalized Andrew Wiggins along with Jordan Poole’s further development. They played big roles last season but are expected to deliver more.
Coach Steve Kerr will have James Wiseman back after a long stint on the injury list. The former No. 2 pick in 2020 will bring a mesmerizing blend of athleticism, skill and length to an already stacked lineup.
Steph Curry and Draymond Green will now play with a serious vertical threat they didn’t have during the last NBA Finals. There’s the reason why the Warriors are installed as favorites to repeat as champs next year.