There used to be a time not so long ago when the entire NBA would tremble at the mention of the Golden State Warriors. Coming off a five-year run where they won three titles, owned the single best regular season in league history with 73 wins, and completely revolutionized the way basketball is played, the Dubs have, without a doubt, cemented their place in the history of the sport. Their days of terrorizing the association are over, however, as the reigning Western Conference champions are off to a league-worst 2-10 start to the season. What one year ago was a team fresh off a title and ready to continue dominating is now a team lacking identity and substance.
Injuries have been the main catalysts behind Golden State’s downfall. During June’s Finals, stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both missed significant time due to injury as the Warriors lost the series to the Toronto Raptors. Durant then announced his decision to switch coasts and sign with the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason, the first brick to crumble. Golden State managed to get All-Star D’Angelo Russell back from the Nets in the process, which led most to think that the Warriors could remain competitive in the post-Durant era.
Much to their dismay, those hopes would be short-lived, as Thompson was ruled out for the entire season in the summer with Curry following suit very early in the season due to a left-hand injury. With their twin pillars sidelined, the Warriors look completely lost and have gone from competing for a title to competing for a high spot in the lottery. Head coach Steve Kerr now claims the focus is on moving forward and rebuilding by developing their young players.
That strategy is what catapulted the Warriors into success in the first place, so it is not unwise to vie for it again. Rookie Eric Paschall, taken no. 41 overall by Golden State in the draft, is averaging 15.5 PPG on 52% shooting so far, making him the face of the rebuild as of now. This was a brutally sudden and unexpected transition for the Warriors, but with the 2020 draft and beyond now on their sights, they prepare to recover from their fall from grace.
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