The Golden State Warriors lost last year’s NBA Finals in 6 games to the Toronto Raptors after being heavily favored for most of the year. During the offseason, they lost superstar Kevin Durant and center DeMarcus Cousins to other contenders, and traded away 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in a move to clear up their salary cap. While the Warriors’ core big 3 stays in tact, it’s safe to say their season next year will look a little different.
This article will be projecting the Warriors’ starting lineup next season when opening night rolls around. This means that injuries will be accounted for. Keep in mind that these reflect only my views and opinions, and mine alone. With that being said, let’s get started.
PG: Stephen Curry
2018-19 Stats: 27.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 2.8 topg
2018-19 Percentages: 47.2% FG, 43.7% 3PT, 91.2% FT
2018-19 Accolades: NBA All-Star, All-NBA First Team
The 2x MVP winner proved he was still one of the best in the league last season. He did all he could during the playoffs without all-stars Durant and Thompson, who were sitting out with injuries. During the Western Conference Finals, Curry averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game in a 4-game sweep against Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers. Despite the disappointing loss to the Raptors, Curry averaged 30.5 points per game, including a 47-point performance in a Game 3 loss.
Now as the undisputed number 1 scoring option once again, Curry may look to emulate his MVP campaigns. His scoring and usage rate should expect boosts as the Curry and the Warriors look to make things competitive in the West.
2019-20 Stats Prediction: 29.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.7 spg, 3.0 topg
SG: D’Angelo Russell
2018-19 Stats: 21.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 7.0 apg, 1.2 spg, 3.1 topg
2018-19 Percentages: 43.4% FG, 36.9% 3PT, 78.0% FT
2018-19 Accolades: NBA All-Star
Russell, the 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft always had the potential to be great, and after 3 seasons of decent play, he’s beginning to step it up. The former Nets guard emerged as one of the league’s top guards last season en route to making his first ever All-Star team. He made the playoffs for the first time and averaged 19.4 points per game on 36% from the field in a 6-game series loss against the Sixers, but that’s to be expected from a player who has only been to the playoffs that one time.
D’Lo had some great performances last season, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot as the Nets’ primary closer. In a 123-121 win over the Kings, Russell scored 27 of his 41 total points in the fourth quarter to lead his team to a comeback victory. Now playing alongside the greatest shooter in NBA History, Russell should develop his game even further and benefit, despite the lowered usage rate.
2019-20 Stats Prediction: 22.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.4 spg, 2.7 topg
SF: Alfonzo McKinnie
2018-19 Stats: 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.4 topg
2018-19 Percentages: 48.7% FG, 35.6% 3PT, 56.3% FT
2018-19 Accolades: N/A
Alfonzo McKinnie is by no means the Warriors’ long-term solution to their small forward position, unless he steps it up. The relatively unknown G-Leaguer worked his way to a role in the Warriors’ rotation, playing 72 games during the regular season. His most notable performance came during the start of the season, recording a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double in a win against the Bulls. He can knock down shots and is pretty decent at defending, which makes his skill set useful for a team with already so many offensive options.
He faces competition in Glenn Robinson III who had a down year last season while playing for the Pistons. In my opinion, the Warriors may opt to start McKinnie due to his greater familiarity with the team. His hard work and dedication has made him a favorite in the locker room, so it would not be a surprise to see him get some minutes this season. Of course, all-star Klay Thompson would likely take this starting spot from him after he heals from a Torn ACL injury he suffered in the NBA Finals.
2019-20 Stats Prediction: 6.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.2 topg
PF: Draymond Green
2018-19 Stats: 7.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 bpg, 2.6 topg
2018-19 Percentages: 44.5% FG, 28.5% 3PT, 69.2% FT
2018-19 Accolades: NBA All-Defensive Second Team
His stats may not show it, but don’t let it fool you. Draymond Green is a good basketball player. The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Winner is one of the most versatile players in the league. He serves as the Warriors’ facilitator and best defender, despite playing the power forward position. Green was even better in the playoffs, averaging 13.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
Green has always been the team’s vocal leader, which is why he will be very instrumental to the Warriors’ success next season. There is a possibility that Green could once again join the All-Star team if he continues to impress in his role next season.
2019-20 Stats Prediction: 11.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 6.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 2.4 topg
C: Willie Cauley-Stein
2018-19 Stats: 11.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.0 topg
2018-19 Percentages: 55.6% FG, 50.0% 3PT, 55.1% FT
2018-19 Accolades: N/A
Cauley-Stein was unhappy in Sacramento, which is why this change of scenery can be so interesting. He didn’t get too much attention last season, despite having a pretty decent year. He fills his role perfectly, and while he isn’t an elite rim protector, he’s certainly more than capable of doing that job. He can set screens and roll to the basket, which is something that Golden State could benefit from. His best performance last season arguably came against the Pelicans, where he recorded a 22-point, 17-rebound double-double in a Kings win.
Now with the Warriors, Cauley-Stein should have a bigger opportunity to shine. He’s the Warriors’ best big man by far, and should get a lot of minutes alongside Curry and Russell, who can also benefit from his versatility and athleticism. He makes the Warriors an even more exciting team to watch next season, and his ridiculously underpaid contract of 2 years/$4.4 million could make him one of the biggest free agency steals this offseason..
2019-20 Stats Prediction: 13.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.4 topg
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