SB Nation has released its massive 2013-14 NBA preview with plenty of love for the Golden State Warriors while not going overboard with excessive expectations.
Obviously you should go read the entire thing, but we're here to help you navigate to all the juicy Warriors-related content as well.
(Click the links in the headers to see the actual preview content)
Warriors #1 in fun rankings
If success was measured by fun, the Warriors would be the top dogs in the NBA as described by Roger Sherman.
Pure, uncut basketball giddiness. Two things that assuredly belong in consideration of fun basketball are pace and 3-point shooting. The Warriors were the fourth-fastest team in the league last year and they shot a preposterous 40.3 percent to lead the league by a long shot at taking long shots. Stephen Curry is historically good at throwing 12-inch globes into 24-inch cylinders.
You already knew all of that. But I always appreciate when others notice that effortlessness with which Curry throws the round thing into the cylinder: mere mortals shoot the ball; Curry just throws it from wherever he wants.
Iguodala, Lee are the key players
When you go to the Warriors' section of the preview, you'll see that Curry is the headliner with wing Andre Iguodala and forward David Lee as the "key players".
We're all familiar with what Lee brings to the floor, but here's the blurb about Iguodala.
The Warriors' big offseason pickup not only gives them the lockdown defender they didn't have last year, but a perimeter playmaker who will take some of the pressure off point guard Stephen Curry. Though Iguodala isn't a pure scorer, his presence does effectively move either small forward Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson to the bench, where their production will replace the sparkplug that was Jarrett Jack.
Although people are concerned with how the team will "replace" Jack at the backup point guard spot, what we've already seen in the preseason is that Iguodala's presence on the court
Why Iguodala's acquisition excites people
Drew Garrison's film breakdown of Iguodala has already been features as part of SBN's previous Golden State Warriors preview, but it's worth revisiting now that we've actually seen this unit in action in (semi-)real games. While Iguodala is rightfully lauded for what he brings defensively, Garrison did a good job of describing his value to the Warriors' transition game.
Best & worst case scenarios
It's all about injuries, but I did enjoy Paul Flannery's vision of Stephen Curry's ankles never being mentioned again. That would be great.
Warriors predicted to finish sixth in the Western Conference
The Warriors were ultimately picked to finish sixth in the Western Conference, behind what we'd probably consider the usual suspects and, personally, I don't think that's an unreasonable prediction: in addition to the standard depth of the conference, there are a question marks surrounding a number of teams that could have a significant influence the Warriors' standing. And we've already seen that chemistry is not developed overnight, regardless of how complementary players appear to be on paper.
Ultimately, I'm just looking forward to what the team does in the playoffs once they've had time to gel and put together longer stretches of the beautiful basketball that we've only seen in spurts so far this preseason.
To check out what was said about the other teams around the NBA, check out the full preview.