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Marc Stein: Warriors 5th Best Summer in the West

Marc Stein over at is ranking the offseasons of the NBA squads. He wrote about the East several days ago and today he dropped his rankings for the West. Over the past 12 years (see The Dirty Dozen: Part I | Part II | Part III) the closest the Warriors have come to 5th place has been in the Pacific Division, but Stein has the Dubs in the 5th spot for best summer in the West:

I think you already know where I stand on these guys. Derek Fisher leaving is the only significant roster change, after several Warriors admitted they were expecting an overhaul, but Chris Mullin still managed to make his team eight to 10 wins better. At least that's the bump I expect from Don Nelson's return as coach, similar to what Phil Jackson's return did for last season's Lakers, which is why I'm betting on the Warriors to halt the league's longest playoff drought even without a drastic personnel makeover. Don't get me wrong. I realize these guys have plenty of holes and obviously won't be getting better defensively under the new coach. But there's talent in the Bay Area, far more talent than Nelson started with in Dallas and plenty of pieces to mix and match with lineups and run, run, run. As Nellie himself said the other day: "There's a lot of positives here and many of them happen to be smaller players."

8-10 wins better? That seems like a little bit too generous.

No one out there knows the Warriors better than the GSoM community, so drop some knowledge. Does adding Nellie magically transform the Warriors into a 42-44 win team from their pathetic 34 win showing last season? Remember the Warrior roster is actually worse than last year's with the salary dump of Derek Fisher who was usually the 2nd best performer on the team last season when Baron was struggling with injuries. We should expect improvement from the players, but then again wasn't last season supposed to be a breakout for Mike Dunleavy and Mickael Pietrus?

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