Illustration by Gemma Fa-Kaji
The 2018-19 season is upon us, and the Warriors have recovered nicely from an unimpressive 1-4 preseason, going 4-1 in their first five games. Despite the discouraging preseason record, Coach Steve Kerr is optimistic and excited for the upcoming season. When asked if he prioritizes winning in the preseason, Kerr responded with “Uh, no,” and laughed. The Warriors have also started incorporating younger players into the team during the preseason, which is a difficult task for such a stacked team.
After winning the championship the last two years, the Warriors have the somewhat difficult task of staying motivated. Draymond Green, a starter for the Warriors, spoke about how they need to play to continue the streak. “We do have three championships. They’re all in the past. It’s about approaching each year with that same goal and that same mentality.”
The Warrior’s starting lineup is, as of now, undecided (though Damian Jones has started the first three games); Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green are four out of the starting five, but the last slot is somewhat of an unknown, with Jones, Kevin Looney, Jordan Bell, and All-Star DeMarcus Cousins all as viable options from the bench. Currently in rehab from an achilles injury, Cousins was signed to the Warriors on a one year, $5.3 million deal. While he is, as of now, unable to play, he is a continuation of the Warriors already superstar lineup, and will no doubt contribute great things to the team this season. The Warriors will be the sixth team ever to have five all stars from the previous season.
It’s important to fully understand the significance of what the Golden State Warriors have done over the past few years. Currently, they have a combined total of three MVPs, 19 All-NBA selections and one Defensive Player of the Year award. This season, it is not rash to say that anything less than a championship from the Warriors would be considered a failure. Although the team will likely go through some growing pains during the season when they adjust to the presence of Cousins, the Warriors will be a powerhouse.
The Warriors will still have opposition from other teams in the conference. The Los Angeles Lakers have become a threat with the addition of LeBron James. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have added eight new players, including Carmelo Anthony, to their already stacked roster. The Rockets will be a tough team for the Warriors to beat this season, and the Western Conference as a whole is no easy competition, even for a team full of stars like The Warriors. We can all look forward to a historical season from Golden State.