This blog is intended to provide solution based commentary on the Golden State Warriors and other NBA teams. I could always complain, but what would that do for the Warriors and other teams that lose?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Everything You Need to Know About the 2010-2011 NBA Season Preview

As NBA season previews go they can be cliché, boring and not filled with much that you didn’t already know. You probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect from each team this year but maybe there's a few things you have missed. Maybe I have missed them as well, so leave comments. With that being said, let’s get right to it! We will start with the Eastern Conference first.

Eastern Conference

1. Miami Heat

The Miami "Everyone From Outside of Florida is Rooting Against them" are my logical choice to win the NBA title. Anything less, will be a disappointment for that team. They said so themselves. As I wrote previously, this will be one of the most anticipated teams to watch in sports history, not just basketball. If LeBron has a bad game one night-which should be noted is very rare-more than likely Dwyane Wade will still have a good game and vice versa. They don't even need to worry about production from Chris Bosh until the playoffs, but either way he will produce in the regular season. Many who are choosing to pick against the Heat keep using the argument that they will have to sacrifice on offense and that may not go so well. This may be true, but even if the Heat couldn't share the ball that would limit them to what, 99-101 points a night? Can you imagine the defense they will be able to play with LeBron chasing down everything and Dwyane Wade already being the best shot blocking two guard in the league? Basically, if the Heat can't score who will score on them?

2. Orlando Magic

If Dwight Howard truly shows improvement from working with Hakeem Olajuwon in the offseason then the Magic will finish second. If Stan Van Gundy does move Rashard Lewis back to small forward and starts Brandon Bass at the four spot, they will be dangerous. If they trade for Gilbert Arenas then we will have a very interesting Conference Finals matchup with the Heat. The Magic are a great team with obvious flaws those are a little too obvious to their opponents. Namely, living by the three, and forcing Dwight Howard to score 50 in order to beat you. If Dwight does turn into a 26 plus per game scorer, than the Magic just might come out of the East. In any event though, he would still have to combat a three headed monster by himself, that's where Gilbert would come in to help. Make the trade Otis Smith. Make the trade.

3. Chicago Bulls

Boston is not going to care about the regular season because they don't have to. So this spot will go to the Bulls who will be much improved in addition to being younger and deeper. Derrick Rose will be even more dangerous with a legitimate pick and roll partner in Carlos Boozer allowing Joakim Noah to clean up whatever is left off the table on defense and offense. Luol Deng will thrive as a third option on this team. Has anyone been more forgotten this offseason? It shouldn't surprise you if you hear Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy singing his praises during their nationally televised games this season. And lest we forget about  Ronnie Brewer running the break and playing solid defense to boot, since he doesn't take bad shots and is above 50% on field goals for his career. I don't even need to get to Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson and Taj Gibson coming off the bench. Maybe this team should be above the Magic. Yep, they will be.

4. Boston Celtics

Here they are, Kevin Garnett and the rest of the gang. Everyone knows that they're a year older, that chemistry could be an issue and that Rajon Rondo needs to attack more, and that Kevin Garnett has a lot of miles on his knee(s). With that being said, the regular season won't matter to them and they're fine with that, which is great. They won't worry about all of these issues for 6 months and they shouldn't have to. Sports Illustrated stories asking if they're finished, Bill Simmons panicking, ESPN dropping them in power rankings, no matter. At the end of the day do you want your favorite team playing them in the playoffs? This is who they are now, sleeping giants. Shaq will help them because he will sop up minutes in the front court, further conserving Garnett and Paul Pierce's legs for the postseason. He could have a Bill Walton like 6th man of the year campaign. He'll come in, slow the game down, score on a high shooting percentage and still be a presence on defense. Jermaine O'Neal will prove to be a decent addition in the starting lineup as he is statistically just as effective as Kendrick Perkins. On offense he will probably play better alongside Garnett because he can shoot from the outside. By the time they get to April and May Ray Allen will still be clutch, so will Paul Pierce and Garnett will still be able to lock down on D. If Rondo adds a consistent outside touch or go-to move, this team might end up going seven with the Heat.

5. Atlanta Hawks

Relying on internal growth should always be commended although it is a risky proposition. Everyone is always quick to criticize when a team doesn't do what it takes to keep a team together but the Hawks have had the least amount of roster upheaval in the conference over the last four years. All that has gotten them is a firestorm of criticism for re-signing Joe Johnson this offseason. Think about this, what if Al Horford turns into a 20 and 10 guy this year? Here's another, what if Josh Smith does become a consistent three point threat? What if Joe Johnson thrives in the proposed to be new offensive system installed by new head coach Larry Drew? What if Jeff Teague turns out to be a Shannon Brown like spark off the bench but with even more skill? That's a lot of ifs but none are out of the realm of possibility. This team can out run almost any team if they want to, play defense and score with the best of them. Since we have so many if's they will have to hang out here, in the 5th spot, waiting to circle the Celtics in the first round. By the way, don't sleep on Joe Johnson playing with a chip on his shoulder because of him being "overpaid" this year. Sure he would be the first player ever to do so, but still.

6. Milwaukee Bucks

This is where things start to get complicated. Nobody knows what Andrew Bogut is going to be like this year which muddles this teams prospects. We do know that Brandon Jennings will be improved and Corey Maggette loves to play against the central division and the rest of the eastern conference, check his splits. He's never played for a coach that emphasized defense so it will be interesting to see him garner more of the positive attention he has long been deserving of. Milwaukee kept the team's core together while adding some rebounding and scoring in the post with a newly hired staff of Drew Gooden, Jon Brockman and Ben Wallace Jr.; Larry Sanders. With an underrated but efficient front line and plenty of perimeter scoring, this team just needs a few years to grow together and the future will be bright. This year really depends on how Bogut will return though, unless Jennings decides to average 20 and 10 on 45% from the field, I'll stick with the former.

7. New York Knicks

I've always been an Amar'e Stoudemire fan and I will not let my bias completely affect my judgment on this one. The Knicks will make the playoffs this year. Take that for what it is. The Knicks will be an interesting story this year because they could just as easily miss the playoffs entirely. Many fans are expecting Anthony Randolph to have a big year in the Apple but they shouldn't forget that Mike D'Antoni's leash is about as long as Randolph's previous coach, Don Nelson. With this roster it is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of talent complimenting each other. If they can fit together they should make the playoffs, if not, they won't.

8. Philadelphia 76ers

That's right, a sleeper pick. Honestly, I see this final spot going down to the last few games of the season with the Pacers ala the Toronto and Chicago race of last year but with the Bobcats joining the party as well. When trying to determine teams that haven't played yet, I have to go off roster, depth, talent and coaching. The 76ers beat out the Bobcats and Pacers in two of these three categories. Just two years ago they had made the playoffs two years in a row and now everyone talks about them like they're a D-League team.. Also, has any other number two pick in the Draft flown under the radar further than Evan Turner in the last 10 years? As a more athletic Brandon Roy, once he learns the NBA who will be able to take away his vast array of strengths? He averaged 9 rebounds a game in college, as a guard. Also, how can we criticize Turner and Andre Iguodala for having similar skill sets but then think the Heat will thrive because for Wade and James it will be an advantage? Not to make this all about Turner but now Jrue Holiday will have a lot less pressure on him to be a great point guard. Turner is my dark horse pick for Rookie of the Year but he won't win it. Too bad he didn't get to go to Minnesota because then it would have been a landslide.

9. Indiana Pacers

Yes I am excited about the addition of Darren Collison but not as excited as I need to be to get them into the playoffs. Paul George will have to start or play a ton of minutes for them to make a strong push for that 8th seed and produce. That should happen for him in an up and down system like Jim O'Brien's. The glaring weakness for the Pacers is their depth up front. If anyone goes down on that front line, it's going to be tough cookies in the rebounding department. They will be strong on the perimeter though and much improved from last year. The future looks bright but there are only so many spots in the East this year. Oh yeah, they've got Danny Granger which will help as well but we know what to expect from him. He won't be a problem.
10. Charlotte Bobcats

I'm a big Shaun Livingston fan and if he realizes his potential the Bobcats will make me look bad this year. Then again, if Gerald Henderson doesn't get to play more this year, this will be a very thin bench. If Tyrus Thomas is starting and vastly improved he will help with a playoff push. Their roster is also set up in a way that they can't really afford to have a major injury. This will be a very impressive coaching job by Larry Brown if they get back to the playoffs because the roster was not improved in the offseason.

11. Washington Wizards

If Gilbert Arenas is still with the team at season's end, then things will have gone very well for the Washington Wizards. He and John Wall will be devastating on the fast break and Andray Blatche should continue to put up good numbers. The bench will be solid and everyone is expecting Wall to walk away with the ROY trophy. All of this will add up to an exciting season that will have everyone picking the Wiz as ready to leap next year into the playoffs. Again, that is if Gilbert stays with the team. If not, then look for development between the new young trio of Wall, Blatche and JaVale McGee. Wall has been chosen as the franchise player from this point on, but it would be too much to ask of him to single handedly lead this team into the playoffs in his first year. With or without Gilbert, it should be with though.

12. New Jersey Nets

The Nets can be penciled in for at least 15 more wins just for naming Avery Johnson head coach. Derrick Favors looks like the real deal and will be brought along slowly but this team will have a huge front line and Brook Lopez will continue to produce. There's also no reason Terrence Williams shouldn't start this year unless the Nets happen to acquire Carmelo Anthony. In which case, he would be great starting next to him at shooting guard because if they have to give up Devin Harris to get Anthony, those entry passes to Brook will get a lot more difficult. The Nets are on the right track but one shouldn't expect them to make the playoffs this year, if they do coach of the year will not need to be voted on.

13. Cleveland Cavaliers

You know a team with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Ramon Sessions and J.J. Hickson doesn't look terrible on paper. No one expects another run to the playoffs, but they do. Hickson could be an Andray Blatche like revelation this year. Jamison can still be counted on for at least 19 and 8 and this team will do nothing else but run. Running is a great formula for a team in transition, which is what the Cavs are. This will be Byron Scott's first time coaching a team without a top five point guard as well, so, will he be able to elevate Mo or Ramon to that status or will he find another way to win games? He will likely choose the latter. It remains to be seen how many games that will turn out to be.

14. Detroit Pistons

This team has an interesting mix of veterans, young players and promising youth. No one seems to know which direction they're going or what will be their calling card this year but one thing is for sure, Greg Monroe should start. The Pistons have nothing to lose in starting Monroe and no one should be in front of him. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince have said all the right things over the past couple of years but pretty much everyone expects one or both of them to be traded soon. Wherever they go they will help, right now though it doesn't really make since to have them on a team where Joe Dumars has high hopes for the new Tayshaun, Austin Daye, or for Richard Hamilton to be in front of their prized acquisition from last year Ben Gordon. This team is also in transition but maybe Tracy McGrady will come out like its 2004 again and make everyone eat their words. If he does, even then would we know what to make of this team?

15. Toronto Raptors

Chris Bosh is gone so now the keys to the future are being handed to Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan. This team will run, rebound, run some more, and then keep running. The injury to promising rookie Ed Davis will hurt the team early because if nothing else he was a symbol of something good that happened in the offseason. The Raptors will have two simple tasks ahead of them this season. Turning DeRozan into a 20 point per game scorer and making sure that Bargnani is the second best shooting big man in the game today. If both happen which they should, then the Raptors will have something to hang their hats on. Until then let the rebuilding begin! Or let DeRozan prove us all wrong and have the greatest Most Improved Player of the year campaign ever. That will be the only way they could get into the playoffs.

Leave a comment and thanks for reading, check back soon for the Western Conference preview.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Orlando Magic will need Gilbert Arenas

The Orlando Magic need to trade for Gilbert Arenas right now. The Magic have nothing to lose this year except for playoff position. In an offseason where almost every team in their conference made drastic changes that will result in improvements, the Magic made very few if any that will be of concern to the other top three teams in the league. Trading for Arenas would instantly put them back in the championship conversation. It might not even take much to land Arenas aside from giving up Vince Carter, in which case the team would be improved. If they had to throw in one or two more assets as well, I would still do it.

Michael Vick who is currently on his way back up the NFL superstar ladder, is an example as to why now is not the time to give up on Gilbert Arenas. It's easy to argue that he's washed up, a cancer, unpredictable, etc. But if you put aside your pessimism for a second and just think about the pairing of Gilbert Arenas and Dwight Howard your basketball mind begins to wonder.

Last season much like Vick's, was basically a wash for Gilbert. His numbers were down in almost every category and we all know that he was suspended for most of the season. With that being said, compare his numbers to Vince Carter and he still would have been equal if not better in terms of performance. More importantly though, you know that he would have been an improvement in the playoffs since he's a proven commodity in the clutch. If Gilbert was able play in Orlando's system which is predicated on launching wide open threes in transition and off of ball rotations, could you imagine the percentages and numbers he would put up then? Running the floor and spotting up at the three point line, and when in the half court set, receiving kick out passes from Dwight Howard off of double teams and ball rotations? It's all starting to come together now isn't it?

I bring up Michael Vick for the similarity of their situations, but more importantly for performance and career similarities as well. When Vick was first back on the market, teams were shying away from him because they were worried he had "lost some of his speed" and because he might still be trouble for their team off the field. They also didn't want to have to deal with the media attention that his signing would bring. Gilbert has all of the same concerns and warnings. But as Vick has proven, even if he did lose a step or two, he still was going to be faster than anyone trying to sack or catch him. In the same vain-but in a different skill set and sport obviously-if we have learned anything about Arenas it's that his confidence will never waver nor will his shooting stroke. When Vick was on the Falcons, he never played with a top flight wide receiver or offensive coordinator. Now that he's in Philadelphia with both, he's thriving.

Since Gilbert has been in the league, he hasn't played for an organization that hasn't asked him to be everything for his team. Along with that he has never had enough defensive help that would allow him to truly thrive. Kind of like when Vick was in Atlanta and had to play superman every Sunday, Gilbert has had to be Agent Zero every season of his career in order for his team to win. Check his career splits for wins and losses.

Arenas has never played for a team or coach that was known for defense. This would change in Orlando. Dwight Howard is the defensive anchor and star of the team so Stan Van Gundy would be able to hold Arenas accountable if he was slipping. But again, as we have learned from the Michael Vick reclamation project, if Gilbert was in a solid system that translated to wins, perhaps a lot of worries would be forgotten. This is all easier to write than it would actually be to do, but Gilbert would have every reason to stay on the straight and narrow. He would relish being the X-factor to combat the Heat's big three. He would love being back in the spotlight for nationally televised games. Having seen how Ron Artest has repaired his image, imagine what Gilbert could do. This guy once had a blog on the NBA's official website, what would he have after playoff success with the Magic?

You don't think that Arenas, Rashard Lewis, Howard and Jameer Nelson could at least hang with Miami, if not overtake them? Gilbert is one of the few players in the league who has no fear of anyone. He wouldn't shy away from matching up with Dwyane Wade in the Conference Finals and you wouldn't shy away from watching it. There are so many more reasons why Gilbert should be on the Magic right now that I don't even need to get into how his forays to the paint would open up things for Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. We'll just move on to your next counter point.

He can't stay healthy? Fair enough. But who likes to live in the past. Look at it this way; he's saved a lot of wear and tear on himself. Right now he's a young 28 years old and won't be 29 until January. At this point in his career he's only played a total of 17,334 minutes. To put that in perspective, it's less than Carmelo Anthony's 18,747. If the Magic buy Gilbert now for the low price of Vince Carter and a draft pick or rookie, they could be reaping big rewards in late May. The Magic have a window right now that is already starting to close. It wouldn't make sense to wait for Chris Paul to maybe come to town in the future. And if that were to happen, he'll have just as many miles on him as Gilbert did when he tore up his knee the first time. Orlando needs to act fast, before Gilbert starts playing well with John Wall and his price goes up. But even if it did, they still should go after him.

In late May when the Magic are down by five with two minutes to go, do you expect Dwight Howard to score twelve points all by himself? Will Rashard Lewis? Jameer Nelson? That's why you need Gilbert Arenas Orlando.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Don Nelson Out, Keith Smart In

The Nelson era is over for the second time in Golden State history. Keith Smart is set to take over as what coach according to the report by Marc Stein of This is a significant move for the new regime taking over the Warriors and it will be met with rave reviews by fans.

Moving right along, what does this mean for the Warriors this year? A Scott Brooks like turnaround is not to be expected but it does set a nice precedent. Last year Keith Smart had an impressive victory in Dallas with a 6 man team, but aside from that, not much else was memorable. Credit also needs to be given to the new owners for the timing because now, Smart will have a full training camp to work with and implement his own  philosophies and strategies. They should be a little different, right?

Scott Brooks didn't have high expectations last year mostly because he was under a coach who wasn't very successful. The advent of a full training camp though obviously helped him and the team. Not that we should expect a 50 win playoff berth but as I wrote previously, this is a playoff roster. Again, if the team can play a smidgen better on defense they would set themselves up for at least a few more wins. Play a lot better, 15 to 20 more wins.

When Smart was coach of Cleveland (the year before the LeBron draft) for the final 40 games of the 2003 season, the team still gave up a lot of points to opponents. Tanking or not, they did run finishing 3rd in pace for the entire league. And last year for the brief amount of time he had to work the sidelines as the head man, the team played pretty much the same way as it did under Nelson. Perhaps Keith will remember these events and prove that he has learned from the things he could and couldn't control during those brief tenures. More of an emphasis on defense would prove that and if slowing down the pace would help, so be it.

Kieth's contract expires at the end of the season so it looks as though he will get a full audition to prove that he is the man for the job. He will only have 5 days to make a blueprint and then try to build that house until the season opens on October 27th. I'm excited and optimistic to see what he can do.

What do you expect?

What does It Mean if The Miami Heat win the Championship?

For the most anticipated NBA season of the last 20 years you have probably already read or ignored a novel's worth of articles on LeBron and the Heat. I know I have. One thing I haven't noticed in the coverage though, is what it will actually mean if they win or lose the title. Let’s discuss.

For the group of pundits that pay attention to the “advanced stats” of basketball, this Miami Heat team should mean a lot to them. If Miami captures the title next year, all of their views, thoughts and opinions will be validated since LeBron and Wade are two of the most efficient players in the entire league. The same can be said for Chris Bosh at his position. Meanwhile, everyone knows that LeBron and Dwyane are already amongst the top five or ten players in the league based on ability alone. So talent would still be a very strong argument against the statistical revolution. But if the Heat were to lose, wouldn't it have to be considered a monumental disappointment from a statistical angle? The same would have to apply from the talent trumps all ideals subscribed to by so many traditionalists. You know, how can the Heat not win with that team?

What about the media? So many members of it have rushed to predict the futures of all parties involved with the new look Heat, mostly, with a negative view. Legacies have been tarnished and reputations have been ruined, that’s the theme of this team. The media and others that have chosen to pick against the Heat with a blind refusal to acknowledge the actual basketball side of the issues, might find themselves singing a vastly different tune come June. Instead of articles that discuss how the Heat ruined the NBA for years to come, there will be praise for their historical turnaround and sacrifices made for the sake of winning. If they lose, well, seeing the firestorm that LeBron created all by himself this offseason, it will be next to nothing if Miami falls short of a championship. Talk about a day of ruing and reckoning.

For fans it will be great. I know that sounds crazy but think about this. Front offices going forward from this point on will now have far more pressure on them to build contenders quickly if the Heat proves to be a successful model. The days of holding on to franchise players just because they can sell tickets and get the owners some extra playoff revenue will be shortened. General Managers will have so much more pressure on them to build contenders immediately as opposed to "rebuilding" every year. Owners will also be held more accountable to their employees; the players. They will actually have to prove to them that they are trying to win instead of just saying it. Coaching will improve because they will have better players to work with and have to be more creative strategically. Everyone is mad at LeBron right now but he has shed some light on the business practices of more than half the teams in the league. Lots of them sold their fans on the idea that they would have a shot at LeBron, so they practically gave away most, if not all of their assets in order to land one or two stars. Although it worked for Miami, it obviously didn’t for everyone else.

Finally what about the NBA? Many have complained that it isn’t good to have a monopoly on the leagues championships but, that’s how the league has always been. What this will do now is create an environment for players to have to work together in order to have a real shot at winning. After years and years of fans complaining about players being selfish and all about money, they will now be able to point towards the Heat as an example of the opposite, even if it is with reluctance. Teams will be able to do the same. For example, instead of having two star athletes and trading one or the other because they don’t get along or can’t play together for whatever reason, now the organization and players will have to make it work, if they actually want to win a championship.

Again though, this is all pertinent if Miami wins the Larry O’Brien trophy. If they don’t, then we can all go back to our regular NBA watching lives.

Well, at least for one more year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why the Warriors Shouldn’t Trade Monta Ellis

By Andrew Antz

Last season everyone remembers Monta Ellis for famously proclaiming that he and Stephen Curry could not play together. This statement instantly put Monta’s future with the team in jeopardy.

After the team was sold in the offseason, his future has still been in doubt because the new owner Joe Lacob hasn’t exactly publicly endorsed Monta Ellis when talking about the team’s prospects going forward. Stephen Curry and David Lee received glowing reviews while Monta was just “exciting” to watch. Monta has cooled considerably about his feelings on playing with Stephen even though neither one of them grew an inch this offseason. Yet and still, Lacob has even said that he questions the architecture of a team with two small guards starting, well, let’s clarify that.

This excellent piece on Monta Ellis last week showed that he has matured and will not continue to stand in his own way of being able to play with Curry. The best thing that can be done by the new owners now is to give Monta the benefit of the doubt and take him at his word. He should just be allowed to play with Curry for a long, long time.

Too often in the NBA teams trade their best players for cap room or because they are worried about chemistry. Monta has openly admitted that he will no longer let chemistry be an issue. And at $11 million a year, 25 points and 5 assists a night is a pretty good return on investment. So what would be the reason for still trading him now or in the future?

What could the Warriors get back for him that would be as good a value? He’s one of the top scorers in the league at his position. He has proven to be an efficient scorer in the past and likely will be again this year with Curry’s continued development and David Lee’s ability to score as well.

Defensively, everyone worries about the Ellis and Curry duo matching up with other teams. A look around the league though, shows that there aren’t very many shooting guards that take advantage of their size by going into the post or otherwise. As a matter of fact, what other backcourt in the NBA would outplay Curry and Ellis together on a nightly basis?

Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be detrimental to Curry’s career to trade the best scorer on the team? Look at Chris Paul and Deron Williams, Derrick Rose to a lesser extent. They all suffer from the one symptom the Warriors don’t have, a true shooting guard. A popular notion right now is that Curry’s progress has been impeded by Monta’s presence and propensity to shoot the ball. Well, what if Monta played with Chris Paul or Deron Williams, or even Rajon Rondo. Would you be worried about their numbers declining a little? Which problem would you rather have? Dealing with Monta and Curry or worrying about how Raja Bell is going to use his height to score at will on them?

Statistically, the Warriors have by far the best backcourt in the league. This year should prove the eyeball test as well. Plenty of teams have a great point guard but most also have a big hole at shooting guard. This will be one of the few advantages for the Warriors on a nightly basis this season.

Don’t trade it away.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hopes & Dreams for the 2010-2011 Season

Every season of Warriors basketball brings about new hopes and dreams. This year will be no different. With Monta Ellis showing up to camp early, the new acquisition of David Lee and Stephen Curry a year wiser, there is plenty of reason to expect more than what was shown in 2010. Without further ado here are a few things to hope for this year.

1. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry will become the best undersized backcourt in basketball since Joe Dumars and Isaiah Thomas.

They already were the most productive backcourt in the league last year; combining for 43 points, 11.2 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 4.1 steals a night. Offensively the numbers are there. The defensive part of the equation can be accomplished if the W's change their philosophy. Since the W's play at one of the fastest paces in the league they are often out of position on the defensive end. Hopefully this year, in order to help out Curry and Ellis, the team will give a little more room to the perimeter players around the league and force opponents to beat them with jumpers. Kind of like how the Cleveland Cavaliers played defense last year as they didn't have great shot blockers or a great defender at the point guard position in Mo Williams. Monta has no problem staying in front of his man and playing the passing lanes, and Curry will have no problem out producing his opponent on most nights. Hopefully the team will simply lay off most of the backcourts in the league this year and allow them to cast away from a safe distance. This in turn will allow Curry and Ellis to have a bit of a head start the other way since they won't be beneath the free throw line on every defensive possession.

2. Andris Biedrins will be healthy and happy.

Larry Reilly ought to be commended for his acquisitions this offseason, especially for that of Dorell Wright. Along with Andris Biedrins, the W's will feature 2 players in their starting lineup who are known for defense first, a welcome change. Andris is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker (when healthy). Now that he has David Lee hanging around the paint with him he will have far less of a burden on his shoulders for cleaning the glass. Hopefully this will keep him healthy for a full year. Perhaps Dorell Wright will prevent more uncontested cruises to the lane than last year's starter at small forward.

3. David Lee will continue to produce.

In years past when the Warriors have gotten a player that they thought would thrive in their system, he usually regressed and the trade ended as a disappointment. There is no reason (aside from injury) that Lee shouldn't be able to be just as effective with the W's as he was with the Knicks last season. He has been widely criticized for his defense but it wasn't like he was playing next to great defensive players in New York. Lee will benefit the most from playing with Biedrins this year because now his defensive liabilities-which every player has-will be significantly masked, as long as penetration is kept to a minimum and Biedrins remains healthy. With Lee on the boards and the pick and roll with Curry or Monta the W's will have shored up two of their biggest weaknesses from last year: rebounding and frontcourt scoring.

4. Dorell Wright will start and have a breakthrough year as a defensive stopper. Also, he will take no more than three attempts from deep and will connect on at least one per night.

Dorell is coming from a team that emphasized defense his entire career, so hopefully he will be a positive influence on the rest of his new mates. Since scoring will not be a problem for this team he should start and be able to focus on two objectives: Defense and floor spacing.
Dorell shot .389% last year from downtown, but this year he will be playing with a more capable cast of shooters and passers. So hopefully 1 for 3 a night will be the worst case scenario. Dorell will benefit greatly from the open looks that David Lee will provide off the pick and roll as well as Monta Ellis' drive and kick abilities. Hopefully his strengths won't regress from the new surroundings and system.

5. This is the dream: the Warriors win the NBA title! The hope is playoffs.

Honestly, on paper the W's should make the playoffs. Lee, Ellis and Curry will form the second most potent offensive trio in the league. As long as the team can play average defense or even slightly below that, they should outscore most opponents. Last year it took 50 wins to make the playoffs, that number should come down to around 45 or 47. The W's gave up 112 points a game last season, if they can bring that number down to about 105 or 106 which is still below average, they will make the playoffs.

6. Hopefully the Warriors WILL NOT trade Monta Ellis. There will be a forthcoming article as to why they shouldn't, but for now, just don't do it.