Golden State Warriors: 5 takeaways from the 2018-19 NBA season

Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images /
2 of 6
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. Warriors need reinforcements off the bench

When Golden State went out and acquired Kevin Durant, it made a trade-off that’s lasted through each and every one of his three seasons with the team. They were now the greatest ensemble of All-Star talent in league history, but without much else behind them.

The Warriors were then forced to plug in a number of minimum-level free agents, ranging from Zaza Pachulia to Nick Young. It was a strategy that proved at the very least to stabilize things, resulting in back-to-back titles.

This past season saw those issues grow far more pressing than in years past. Age and attrition seem to have quickly crept in on veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, to the point of contemplating retirement. The bench unit as a whole ranked just 29th in scoring and 20th in assists.

With each passing year and Finals appearance, the odometer on Golden State’s leaders has picked up an inordinate amount of mileage. A few years ago, they may have been able to push through with a little extra gas in the tank. Now, it’s more important than ever to keep the likes of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green as fresh as possible with a supporting cast capable of consistently hitting shots.

The Warriors don’t need to find the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year. With load management more prevalent than ever, plug-and-play options, guys who can keep things afloat and play with the starters, would go a long way toward another run at a championship.