The season preview edition of the Bloggers Roundtable continues with a look at the Warriors' strengths and weaknesses. Grant Hughes (Bleacher Report), Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy), Rich Twu (Let’s Go Warriors) Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report) and Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break) take it from here.
Grant Hughes | Bleacher Report | @g30three
This team's greatest strength is its backcourt three-point shooting. Stephen Curry drilled a record 272 threes last year, leading the league by a comfortable margin. But Klay Thompson also finished third in made triples with 211. With Andre Iguodala showing a real knack for finding open shooters during the preseason, I think there's a chance that both Curry and Thompson will hit more shots from beyond the arc this year than they did last year.
Right now, the team's biggest weakness is its depth at center. Normally, having Jermaine O'Neal and (eventually) Festus Ezeli as backups wouldn't be a problem at all. But because Andrew Bogut's health will remain a major question mark until he makes it through a season unscathed, there's a distinct possibility that the Warriors will have to rely on their reserve bigs to fill significant roles at some point this year. You want guys like O'Neal to play spot minutes in the right situations, not start 30 games.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BAAportsGuy
The team's greatest strength is something the players have talked about a lot: versatility. They aren't stuck playing a certain way, and have built a team that can withstand minor injuries, even to their key players. They'll probably want to push the pace, force turnovers and fire away from distance as often as possible, but they shouldn't be pushed around by the more physical squads. They have guys who can match up with the bigger/slower teams, and that flexibility also helps in that it makes it harder for opposing teams to prepare for the Warriors.
The team's greatest weakness is probably their interior defense, simply because to protect the paint they need to count on Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal to stay healthy and Festus Ezeli will miss a lot of time. The Warriors only blocked 4.2 shots per game last season, tied with the Kings for third-fewest in the NBA. That number goes up with a healthy Bogut, but he's missed 36 games per season over the past five seasons.Want more on this topic from Steve? Click here
As for weaknesses, well, Dell Curry's been around the NBA for a long time and he told me at the Curry Camp in Redwood City last month that his greatest concern about the Warriors is that "X" on their backs and how they respond to it. I would have to agree, especially now that we've already seen the Warriors stumble with that in the last two preseason games.
Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
The Warriors’ greatest strength would have to be their top six players (yes, I’m making that a category). Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes are six players who will provide all sorts of problems for any team in the NBA on any given night. There aren’t many teams in the league that can stack up their top six players to Golden State’s.
While there is some debate about which five of those players should see the most court time, the bottom line is all six will see plenty of action and whichever five Mark Jackson picks to throw out there won’t be easy to handle for anyone.
In the past, Golden State hasn’t had this many guys that were considered to be impact or winning players. They will soon find out that the old saying is definitely true: “The more, the merrier.”
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Greatest strength is their ball movement. Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Bogut and Lee are all above-average passers. When they're clicking at full speed, it's a sight to behold. While the Warriors have excellent shooters, part of their success from behind the arc is attributable to the open looks they routinely get. Those looks are possible because of unselfish players capable of finding the open man at any given moment.
Biggest weakness is late-game offense. When opponents lock down and crowd Curry in crunch time, it's unclear who takes the big shots in his place. Thompson still isn't great at creating his own shot off the dribble, Lee struggles in late-game situations and Iguodala is notoriously streaky. This might be where Barnes distinguishes himself, but his injury has held him back in this young season. Last year Jarrett Jack was there to step up when Curry was swamped. With Jack gone, the Warriors are still searching for someone with his assertive confidence and ability to create for himself.
More from the season preview edition of the Bloggers Roundtable: