Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area wrote as part of his mailbag today that if everything goes right for the Golden State Warriors this season they might be able to make it to .500 and challenge for the final two spots in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Obviously, the major obstacle to the Warriors' success in the 2012-13 season will be the extent to which Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry are able to stay healthy.
But setting that matter aside and helping us imagine the possibilities of the coming season, Brett Koremenos of Hoopspeak.com described in depth why the Warriors are finally ahead of the curve, constructed similar to the logic of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks.
As Dallas proved in 2011, a collection of complementary skill-sets around one driving force can allow a team to compete, and win, against a collection of superstars. Golden State is in the midst of building a roster that will operate much like those Mavericks. If questions about health and coaching are answered, the Warriors will enter the upper realm of the West by coalescing to become more than the sum of their parts...Bogut, like Kevin Garnett, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Howard, uses his size to strategically position himself on defense with great results. Howard transformed a rag-tag group of misfits into a top defensive unit. Bogut will be asked to perform a similar task in Golden State. If the numbers are indication, it’s a role for which he’s well-suited.
Setting the uncertainty about Curry's health aside, the defensive impact of Bogut in his return from injury is probably the biggest basketball question this team faces - as Koremenos describes, this team will obviously be potent offensively and it's hard not to agree with his concluding points about Jarrett Jack's addition being "a stroke of genius" for reasons we've already described elsewhere.
Even if younger players like Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, and Draymond Green don't maximize their potential as we all hope, there will be enough depth on this team to legitimately challenge for a playoff spot as Steinmetz suggests.
But the overarching point here is that for the first time in a long time the Warriors have what looks to be a well-constructed roster of complementary players that could become a sustainably successful team in the future. And that's the most exciting thing that's happened to the team in years.