2013-2014 Golden State Warriors NBA Blog Preview: WE ARE GOLDEN! + Thank you Jim Barnett!

Could be the best Warriors squad since 1975- no joke. - Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing the goldenness that will be the 2013-2014 Golden State Warriors season.

Of all the many season previews I've done since GSoM's origins in 2005, this has to be the most exciting. 2006-2007 was intriguing because of Don Nelson's return and 2007-2008 was great because the Warriors were just coming off WE BELIEVE. This one's different though. The Warriors are coming off a rare playoff trip and actually got much better in the offseason. Much better.

Before we preview the 2013-2014 Golden State Warriors aka The City aka Sleeve Believe aka WE ARE WARRIORS aka WE ARE GOLDEN, let's hit the rewind button...

Rewinding 2012-2013 WE ARE WARRIORS

Regular Season: 47-35

1st Round vs Denver Nuggets: 4-2 WIN

2nd Round vs San Antonio Spurs: 2-4 LOSS

Last sprint the Warriors qualified for the NBA Playoffs for only the second time since 1994. They made this happen with All-Star play from David Lee, All-Star-snub play from Stephen Curry, solid performances from Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack off the bench, nice work from young perimeter players Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes and of course some help from the best crowd in the entire association.

After winding up with the 6th seed by coming through in the last week of the regular season, the Warriors faced the much-over-hyped Denver Nuggets who went on to implode in the 1st round. (Teaming up both former Warrior rookie "sensation" Anthony Randolph and Shaq's buddy JaVale McGee will do that to you.) Then a banged up and overmatched Warriors squad took the eventual Western Conference and nearly NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs to 6.

Bottom line: GOLDEN.

For a fantastic review of individual player performances from last season check out Nate's Looking back on the 2012-13 Golden State Warriors season and all the 2012-13 Golden State Warriors Season Reviews in their full glory

One other thing I'd like to note: Since 1994 (Chris Webber's rookie campaign- that's how long ago) the Warriors have not lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. WE ARE IN IT TO WIN IT.

Key Losses

Key Additions

Welcome Andre Iguodala!

After seeing his team collapse in the 1st round to the Dubs after an amazing and unexpected regular season run, Andre Iguodala made the smart move and joined the good side.

Welcome Jermaine O'Neal!

Battling back from countless injuries and Hoops Father time, the excellent defending Jermaine O'Neal decided to make the Warriors his 7th NBA stop in free agency. If he can stay healthy, this will prove to be an excellent signing.

See: NBA Free Agency Q&A with Kings, Rockets, and Suns bloggers on Toney Douglas & Jermaine O'Neal

Welcome Toney Douglas!

Will the 5th stop for this versatile backup guard be his best?

See NBA Free Agency Q&A with Kings, Rockets, and Suns bloggers on Toney Douglas & Jermaine O'Neal

Welcome Marreese Speights!

Can this big man stretch opposing defenses and open up some space down low for more layups and dunks?

Still Warriors!

It's what didn't happen- Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and Klay Thompson did NOT get traded. I'm perfectly fine with that.

Healthiness?

Did the Warriors add some good old fashioned rest this offseason? TBD


Biggest Strengths

Talented + Deep Roster

There's a lot to like about this roster from top to bottom. You've got vets who can make their presence felt on the defensive side like Bogut, Iguodala, and O'Neal. You've got high scorers in Curry and Lee. You've got ball handlers in Curry and Iguodala. There's nice upside with young players like Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. I hear there's some shooters here too. Big nights off the bench from Toney Douglas could put give this team a few more nice wins.

If you're a long-time Warriors fan, what's not to like here? I know the standards should be higher here, but seriously- what is there to possibly complain about? Chris Cohan- gone. Robert Rowell- gone. Mike Dunleavy Jr- gone. (The list could go on... trust me.) Even, Andris Biedrins- gone.

Barring some crazy injuries, this team is a LOCK for the playoffs and an absolute LOCK for some FUN WINS. That isn't something we're accustomed to saying around here.

Color Commentary from Jim Barnett

This season will be Warriors color TV analyst Jim Barnett's 29th and last with the team.  Barnett is a pro's pro and kept bringing A+ color during some very, very difficult Warriors seasons. No one has as much respect for the game of basketball.

I will miss all his old school 60's and 70's references. I will miss his passion and hoops insights. Shoot I'll miss hearing about Barnett's Law every night.

Thanks Jim.

Here's hoping the Warriors do something really special for Barnett this season. He will forever be a major part of Warriors lore.

Bruce Jenkins excellent piece Barnett's tenure with Warriors worth celebrating on SFGate is a must-read.

Biggest Weaknesses

Coaching

Scoring- No problem

Rebounding- No problem

Defense- No problem

Passing- No problem

Coaching- Well, we might have a problem here.
For most squads, the master tactician is the head coach. Motivation and the ra-ra support comes from assistant coaches. The Warriors have had that flipped for two seasons now with Coach Malone drawing up plays and Coach Mark Jackson pumping his players up and showering platitudes on fans and the media. I don't know if you'll find another head coach in the NBA who doesn't draw up any plays during the game. Now I've been very critical of Mark Jackson's inability or lack of desire to get into the details, but it did work last year and here's hoping it works again.

Potential Injuries

I won't get into the details here since it feels like I'm just asking for it, but there's injury cause for concern with just a few folks on this roster. Just a few.

Predictions

  • 50 wins
  • 3 Golden State Warriors on Western Conference All-Star team
  • Curry wins 3pt shootout on All-Star Saturday
  • Harrison Barnes enters the Dunk Contest
  • 6th Man of the Year is a Warrior
  • 1st round playoff series win
  • 6 game trip to the Western Conference Semifinals
  • Lots and lots and lots of FUN WINS!

Your Preseason Checklist

1) Grab your GSOM Night 13 seats!

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PURCHASE YOUR GSOM NIGHT 13 TICKETS!
Password: GSOM

More details: GSOM Night 13: Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings on Saturday November 2nd


2) Download Beyond the Box for iPad to get real-time Golden State Warriors news

The Warriors timeline features news and live game color from Golden State of Mind, Marcus ThompsonRusty SimmonsCSN Bay Area, and Blue Man Hoop. There's also Tweets and Instagram photos from Stephen Curry, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Jermaine O'Neal, Mark Jackson, and Festus Ezeli. Use it while you're watching the Warriors drain a bunch of trifectas on the hardwood during the preseason games and please send me requests through the Feedback form in the app.

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3) Sign up for Beyond the Box for iPhone/Android

No iPad yet? No problem.

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