One week from tonight, the #GSWCountdown will be complete and the Warriors will play their first regular season game of the 2012-13 campaign. The preseason was fun and all and it was nice to get a glimpse of the team, but it’d be safe to say that the players, coaches, and executive staff – not to mention the fans – are more than ready to get things started for real.
As we brace ourselves for the grind of an 82-game regular season, we tapped the local blogosphere to again take the pulse of Dub Nation. As we did prior to this year’s draft, we reached out to some of the most notable Warriors bloggers to get their thoughts on this year’s team. Specifically, we asked each of them the same six questions, and we’ll post their answers to one of those questions in each of the next six days.
Today, Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break), Ben Cruz (Warriors World), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Bleacher Report), Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) and Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy) answer the following question:
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Coaching – and, more specifically, offensive coaching. The Warriors took a huge risk last year when they hired a head coach with zero coaching experience. Mark Jackson's first season was such a crazy mix of injuries and trades that it was difficult to draw any solid conclusions. This year, with a talented and deep roster, Jackson will be expected to deliver wins. On offense, it's unclear what identity Jackson envisions for the team. Will they run? Will they execute in the halfcourt? Will they remain a purely jump-shooting team or look to score inside more? It'll be up to Jackson to make and implement those decisions. We'll learn this year whether he's up to the task.
Ben Cruz | Warriors World | @cruzkontrol
Chemistry. Yes, on paper the Warriors have a good team but they also have a bunch of guys who have never played together before. In order to succeed in the tough Western Conference, the Warriors need to figure each other out quickly and learn to play together like all good teams do. They can make all the upgrades they want on the roster but if the pieces don't fit together seamlessly, then they won't get to where they want to go.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report | @SherwoodStrauss
The frontcourt is key to improving the overall GSW defense. Andrew Bogut is one of basketball's best defensive bigs, and team success will depend on his ability to compensate for mistakes across the lane.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
Assuming you can check off defense being a priority under Mark Jackson's regime, which I think we can safely do, the biggest factor to the Warriors success will be offensive rebounding. And that's because the Warriors aren't particularly athletic nor "slashy" to the basket this season. Granted, a deep bench and muscle with height included is certainly a welcome change compared to that of the past two decades, but the roster is rather non-explosive, if you will. You have a bevy of players whose forte is the outside jumper: Steph, Klay, Rush, and David Lee already are four of the potential starting five right there whose number-one weapon is a perimeter shot. Even in the Open Practice, you could see four Warriors from the outside looking at D.Lee take an ill-fated jumpshot. Being so new to the game, Ezeli sometimes doesn't know where he's supposed to be on the court (i.e., in the low block). We may see Carl Landry in crunch time for his offensive rebounding, if the Warriors happen to be playing "catch up."
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
They absolutely must rebound better than they have in recent years. Last season the Warriors had the worst rebounding differential in the NBA (-6.6 per game). On defense, improvements in effort and scheme will be rendered almost meaningless if opposing teams keep getting second and third chances. Rebounds on the offensive end help the Warriors get easier scoring opportunities and get to the line more often, which is good for a team that probably relies too heavily on jump shots – near the end of games, especially.
Getting better at home is a close second. The Warriors have always played in front of large, passionate crowds, but their home record (12-21) was only a game better than their road mark (11-22) last season. That needs to change.
The warriors.com staff sends a huge thank you to this ‘starting five’ of Warriors bloggers. We’ll tap their brain tomorrow about what it will take for this year’s Warriors to make the playoffs.
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