The NBA regular season is becoming less important with each passing year as the best teams are prioritizing rest and health over wins. LeBron James’ Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference every year despite mediocre regular season play, and the Warriors simply did not try at times last year. For the most part, as long as the teams play hard in the postseason, it’s not a huge deal.
But there were valid concerns last season about the Warriors’ play. The Warriors won 58 wins, far fewer than any other season under Coach Steve Kerr. Their defense fell to 11th in the league, a far cry from both their 2nd-best rating the year before, and their league-best rating in the 2017-2018 postseason. Though the Warriors did deal with a lot of injuries last season, they still underperformed from their best.
This season should be different. For one, this could be the last year of their current core: with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant approaching free agency this summer, and Draymond Green the next, this could be it for the best basketball team in history. Regardless of whether the breakup happens this summer or in five years, the Warriors should relish what they have.
But also, the Warriors have the secondary goal of showing DeMarcus Cousins off to the league. Cousins is looking for a big money contract next offseason, and he can prove his health and ability to fit in on a winning team with the Warriors this season.
Adding Cousins to the four All-Stars will be exciting—which players will he play well with? Can he fit in the Warriors’ defense? Can he develop a two-man game with Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? The possibilities are endless and exciting. Furthermore, Cousins will obviously be trying his hardest every minute this season. He has a lot to prove, and he knows it. Hopefully, his energy will be infectious, and the rest of the Warriors will follow suit.
He’s already been a hilarious addition to the team, joking around with Steph and KD. He’s a colorful locker room personality and a joy to root for.
Boogie looks like he’s motivated and ready to go. If he’s able to return to health and play within the team concepts of a champion, the Warriors will have another impressive success to add to their incredible list of achievements.