Dynasty’s are not meant to last. The torch always gets passed. The Bulls in the ’90s eventually turned into the Lakers in the early 2000s. The Miami Heat and Lebron James eventually gave way to a dominant Warriors dynasty.
However, none of those dynasty’s slid so quickly from the top of the league to the dungeons of the NBA standings like the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors dynasty included five straight trips to the NBA finals, including three championships.
Some would call this years Warriors season a perfect storm of bad news. Two former Final’s MVPs left the team; Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets this summer and Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The fall from grace was no surprise to Steve Kerr, the Warriors head coach. However, no one could have predicted just how far they would fall. As of March 10, the Warriors are at the bottom of the western conference with a 15-49 record. That’s a long way from the 2015-16 Warriors, who set an NBA record in wins, going 73-9.
Call 2019-20 a wash for the Warriors. This team has its eyes on next season, where they will once again be a contender out of the west.
A healthy Warriors
If you were to spin this season into a positive light, the injuries could be seen as a blessing in disguise. After five straight seasons of playing into June, the core of the Warriors have a lot of miles on their tires. In a lost season, Draymond Green has missed a considerable amount of time, due to injury and ‘load management.’ Steph Curry has had almost 6 months off, and Klay Thompson has the whole season off.
A reset for the Warriors core allows the players to come back refreshed next season.
Mixing old with the new
The lost season has allowed Steve Kerr to almost use this season as a tryout for the future of the Warriors. The team traded D’Angelo Russell, an ill fit, for Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins, a former No. 1 pick, is a skilled wing that has Kerr excited about playing with Curry and Thompson.
Along with the 25-year-old Wiggins, other young guys are also getting a chance to prove they belong in the rotation with the big three. Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss, both 22 years old, are getting chances to revive their careers. Rookies Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole have also raised some eyebrows with their play this season.
Don’t Count the Warriors out
Although Kerr denies the Warriors are intentionally tanking, it makes sense for them to do so. Owners of the worst record in the league this year, Golden State can do something they haven’t been able to do in since 2012; draft a lottery-level talent.
The situation is eerily similar to the San Antonio Spurs in 1996. David Robinson was out for the year for the Spurs, and San Antonio hobbled to a 20-62 record that year. Armed with the first pick, the Spurs picked Tim Duncan and ignited a dynasty that lasted almost 20 years. The Warriors are five wins short of those Spurs with only 18 games left. Is there another Warriors dynasty coming?
The short answer is no, a Warriors dynasty won’t happen next season. The west is a gauntlet of talent. The Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets and Rockets all beefed up with all stars and trades.
However, a top pick combined with three healthy All-Stars in the prime of their respective careers can turn it around and make the Warriors a contender.