After a disappointing end to last season, the Warriors look for a fresh start in their first of seven preseason games. The offseason started off on the worst possible note – a heartbreaking game 7 loss at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Quickly moving on, the Warriors and their fans were given the lankiest of gifts when Kevin Durant announced on the 4th of July that he would be bringing his talents to the Bay. Although he’s taken the court already as part of an exhibition game, this will be our first televised chance to see the new look Warriors.
The outlook for the Warriors season could not be rosier. Although they made some major roster changes, the newest Super Team, featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are heavy favorites to win the 2017 NBA Championship (at -130). I’m not a gambler, but I think this means that betting on the Warriors is a bad investment. For comparison, the Cavs are +275 and the next highest team, the San Antonio Spurs is at +1000.
For the Warriors, it will be an interesting game. As eager as we all are to see Durant play in the same uniform as Curry, there are a number of other questions at play. Here are some aspects I’m most interested in:
- While we won’t get answers in one game, this should serve as an interesting introduction to Kerr’s rotations. Will KD and Steph be on the floor together mostly, or will Kerr stagger their minutes to ensure one guy is always on the court?
- Will Javale McGee continue to shine? Stories coming out of opening practices this week indicate the McGee was an effective shot blocker and noticeable change of pace.
- Patrick McCaw blew up in summer league. Given the departure of standout sub Leandro Barbosa, there are some minutes available at the backup two. He’ll have to beat out Ian Clark in order to get minutes, and some of these early games will offer our first extended look at both of these guys vying for position.
The Raptors are in a different position. After a strong showing last year, they are hoping that newcomer Jared Sullnger can help alleviate the loss of standout center Bismack Biyombo, especially if DeMarre Carrol is less than 100%. Whatever happens, the Raptors are pretty likely to be one of the last teams standing in the East once the playoffs roll around. Until then, let’s just agree to be excited that Warriors basketball is back!
- When: Saturday, October 1 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time
- Where: Rogers Arena – Vancouver, BC
- Coverage: NBA TV (radio unknown)