The Warriors are bad now?

Ellen Neale, Staff Writer

Despite the criticism that they faced, the Golden State Warriors ended the 2018-19 NBA season at the top of the Western Conference. They rebounded from injury after injury, with many of their top players consistently being unable to play. Despite this, they were still able to maintain an incredible record. However, their season ended on a disappointing note. After a long season, they made the finals and faced the Toronto Raptors. Unfortunately for them, their injury-riddled squad of players could not overtake the power of Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and the extraordinarily healthy Raptors. This loss ended their reign of superiority and trashed their chance at a three-peat.   

Flash forward to this year, and the NBA season has been going on for just a few weeks, but the Golden State Warriors are already in last place in their conference. Yes, last place. How does a team go from being in first place in the Western Conference last year to being in dead last this year? Their record has them at currently two wins and twelve losses, on a team where that is historically far from usual. So how did this drastic change happen?

Well, to answer that question, all you have to do is look at the change in starting lineup.  Their current starters are D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III, and Jordan Poole. Yes, Jordan Poole: a late first-round draft pick of this year’s NBA draft. This is a significant contrast from their previous starting lineup, which consisted of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Demarcus Cousins. Every player on that list has been an All-Star at one point or another. They are all polished veterans, which is why Durant and Cousins’ departures in the offseason, as well as Thompson and Curry’s lingering injuries, were a complete shock to the Warriors’ system.

Now, the Warriors’ struggling roster consists of six players who are either rookies or sophomores. Most with any experience are not considered to be that skilled. This is almost the complete opposite of the force that the Warriors have been in previous years. The Warriors in the past have been a terrifying beast that absolutely destroys most teams that cross their path.  

As a Celtics fan, I am quite happy with the downfall of the Golden State Warriors. No longer are they the same threat that has controlled the league for so long. My personal belief is that they will not easily be able to recover to their previous potential, even if Curry and Thompson were to make triumphant returns from their injuries. This leaves open space for better competition among the league, or for a new team to become dominant over the rest.  

Overall, my props are given to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant’s snake-like mentality, Klay Thompson’s ACL, and Steph Curry’s hand, for all playing a part in bringing down the monster that was the Golden State Warriors in their prime of dominance.  To my Celtics, you better take this opportunity.