3 ways the season can play out for the Warriors

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S CurryThe Golden State Warriors have high expectations going into 2012-13 (not to say they don’t often begin the season with these expectations, they just seem a little more warranted this year). Nearly everyone agrees they had a great offseason, and it seems as though it may very well come down the health of the team (Warriors fans haven’t heard that one before). So what should we expect? Here are the three possible scenarios I see playing out for Golden State this year:

Scenario 1:

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In the first game of the regular season, an exuberant Draymond Green sets a pick for Stephen Curry near the top of the key. It’s the Dancing Bear’s first playing time of the year, and in his excitement he pops out a second too early. The results are disastrous: Curry stumbles over Green’s left foot, simultaneously spraining both ankles while throwing the ball up towards the rim. Andrew Bogut – who has looked superb in the first couple quarters of the season – leaps to catch the errant pass, smashing his head against the side of the backboard and incurring such severe head trauma that he is sidelined the majority of the year. In a span of 5.3 seconds the entire season is lost.[1] Golden State goes into tank mode 2.0 as management decides to keep David Lee sidelined with a dubious gluteal pull. Meanwhile, midway through the season, Harrison Barnes decides to take a hiatus from his basketball ball career to market his new brand of sneakers, “the Black Falcons.” Andris Biedrins plays 35 minutes a game and the Warriors finish 20 and 62. Bob Fitzgerald still finds a silver lining.[2]

Scenario 2:

The Warriors stay healthy for the entire 2012-’13 season; that includes Curry and Bogut. And it’s everything management dreamed of and more. They’re unstoppable – like Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, that is, before Batman realizes all he has to do is hit him in the face instead of attacking his giant, impenetrable torso. Bogut and Lee have a field day finding Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush, Barnes and Curry on the perimeter for open jumpers. Even ol’ Dick Jefferson shoots better than 35% from three in limited playing time. As Bogut regains his touch offensively, his defensive presence, coupled with his passing and rebounding show why he was one of the top centers in the league before the elbow injury. Rush continues to improve, accomplishing what Dorell Wright couldn’t before him, and cementing himself as the starting small forward. Thompson avoids any sort of sophomore slump, we prove to be one of the deeper teams in the NBA, and the Warriors win 52 games, good enough for the 6th seed in the Western Conference. In the first round of the playoffs Golden state gets an aging Spurs team (of course people have been saying that about the Spurs for a few years now) and they shoot them out of the building before falling to OKC in the second round. Bob Fitzgerald begins to sound more and more like a west coast Tommy Heinsohn, at one point even comparing Festus Ezeli to Bill Russell. Andris Biedrins plays 35 minutes the entire season.[3]

Scenario 3:

Admittedly the most likely scenario of the three, (although I like to think the upcoming season will be most reminiscent of scenario 2) this scenario falls somewhere in between the first two. I don’t think anybody would be surprised if Curry and Bogut miss a few games due to lingering ankle/knee issues. However this year, as long as neither misses any extensive time, it looks as if Golden State might be deep enough to withstand a few injuries (especially at point guard with Charles Jenkins and the addition of Jarrett Jack.) Carl Landry will quickly become a fan favorite providing physicality and depth at the power forward spot, and Thompson looks as if he’s just going to keep getting better. Under this scenario, the Warriors win between 45 and 48 games and hopefully enough to sneak into the 7th or 8th spot, but you never know with an extremely deep Western Conference this year. Funny to think, though, last year we were hoping to sneak into the 6th or 7th spot in the opposite direction.

[1] After the game, reports come out that Joe Lacob has suffered a similar injury to Bogut; speculation is that it’s from banging his head repeatedly against a wall.

[2] Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Fitz haters that seem to be in abundance; in fact I actually like the guy as a broadcaster and a radio host. But seriously, ‘overly optimistic’ is an understatement. He’s like the Goebbels of Golden State: the man can put a positive spin on everything!

[3] I think one way we’ll be able to measure the success of this year’s Warriors team will be how much playing time Biedrins gets. There will be a direct correlation between his minutes and our success: the more minutes he plays, the worse our team will be doing, and vise-versa. I’m going to start a sort of odometer as the season progresses which will track the relationship between the two. Right now I’m deciding between calling it the KBOB meter (Keep-Biedrins-On-the-Bench meter) or the KARP meter (Keep-Andris-Riding-Pine meter).

Eli Pearlman is a writer for The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted at EPearlman@TheSportsBlitz.com

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