Are we finally going to see the Golden State Warriors get back to their old form in the 2021-22 season?
I’m not so sure that they’ll be a championship contender, but the Warriors should improve after missing the playoffs last season. Klay Thompson is expected to return at some point this year, with the team targeting his return for around Christmas Day.
While Golden State’s trade for Kelly Oubre Jr. last season didn’t work out, the Warriors may be deeper this season once Thompson returns.
Andre Iguodala is back and the team added Otto Porter Jr., Avery Bradley and Nemanja Bjelica in free agency as well. While the veterans aren’t complete roster changers, it gives the Warriors some insurance if youngsters Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman aren’t ready to handle major minutes.
Guard Jordan Poole seems poised for a breakout season, as he became a key part of the rotation at the end of the 2020-21 season and has dominated early in the preseason.
Stephen Curry is going to be an MVP candidate once again after leading the NBA in scoring last season, and a projected lineup of Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Wiseman could move the needle in the West.
Moody and Kuminga could make or break this team if one or both players is an immediate contributor. Ultimately, Thompson’s health, and the level of play he returns to, will determine Golden State’s ceiling.
Here’s how the oddsmakers at WynnBET view the Warriors heading into the 2021-22 campaign:
Golden State Warriors Win Total Prediction | 48.5 (Over -105/Under -116)
I’m not as bullish on the Warriors as Vegas is, as I think you have to factor in that this team was on the playoff bubble without Thompson last year.
Klay isn’t going to return for potentially the first two months of the season, and who knows how much he’ll be able to play right away. The Warriors did a good job adding veterans to make up for his absence, but the young guys, who will be volatile, are all going to need to produce.
Maybe oddsmakers think the Warriors use some of their young pieces to pull off a major trade for a star at the deadline or even before, but Golden State was unable to make a major move despite having two lottery picks to trade in this year’s draft.
Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, underwhelmed as a rookie, but he could be a game-changer for Golden State this season. Still, I don’t love the over at 48.5. There’s just too many good teams in the West and too many questions for Golden State after Steph.
Golden State Warriors Playoff Odds
Look, if Curry had any help last season the Warriors probably escape the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, but they didn’t and it’s hard to say that there is more help this season until we see how well Thompson can play after two years out of the game for injuries.
There is no way I’m taking the Warriors to win the title at those inflated odds, and I think Vegas is adjusting for the team’s popularity rather than the proven product that will be on the floor.
If the young guys pop or the veterans can all contribute in a big way, the Warriors will be good. But that’s a lot to ask from role players, and that’s all Golden State has after Curry without Thompson.