After an uneven 2022–23 regular season, the Golden State Warriors have unfortunately gotten off to a similar start. After not having as big of an offseason as other contenders, perhaps that was to be expected. Their biggest move saw them trade Jordan Poole in a deal for future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. That deal, which was panned at the time, is looking better for Golden State, but perhaps not enough to fix their biggest issues.
Paul has looked a lot more like himself after a down season in Phoenix and was a big part of their initial 6-1 start, with Paul ranking 10th in the NBA in assists while coming off the bench. With CP3 heading up the second unit, the Warriors no longer have the issue of being a net negative with superstar Steph Curry on the bench. He’s been beneficial by helping players in the second unit get easy baskets.
Still, Paul is 38 and Curry is 35, and both are likely to miss 15-20 games, either due to rest or injury. Klay Thompson is, too. Factor in the inevitable Draymond Green meltdown, and the Warriors have less margin for error than most good teams.
The Warriors’ margin of error is razor-thin.
The Warriors have dropped five straight games, despite Curry continuing to defy age with a blistering start. Through 11 games, he’s averaging an outrageous 30.7 points on 48.8/44.6/93 shooting splits. If those numbers hold up, then they would far exceed his back-to-back MVP seasons.
A better bench and a better-than-ever Curry are far better than anyone could have reasonably expected after a questionable offseason. Even then, Golden State may not be a true contender given their age and volatility.
As the 2023-24 NBA season inches forward, here are some of the biggest overreactions to the first couple of weeks of the year.
To their credit, they are deeper than last season’s team that went to the Western Semi-Conference Finals, giving them a chance to replicate their playoff success. Be that as it may, with aging stars that will be in and out of the lineup, they face an uphill battle to capture a fifth championship.