By Leonardo Ramirez
This kind of season is different from what you would expect coming out of the defending world champs. This Warriors team has had no life all season, and their play reflected that. So much has happened this year that it feels like it’s been 3 or 4 seasons in one. It reminds me of the documentary series The Last Dance because of all the team drama behind the scene that fans or the media would have no idea happened while amid a dynasty. But that’s a story for another day.
Now, let’s recap what happened during this chaotic season, starting with Draymond Green and Jordan Poole’s altercation before the season began. So not a good start. As the season started and progressed, you could immediately tell that the punch set a notable tone at the beginning of the season. Draymonds’s willingness to be a vocal leader was severely diminished, and it was different from what it was in the past. Needing to earn the trust back from his teammates, It took time for Draymond to try to evoke that level of leadership he traditionally does.
Then throughout the year, the Warriors had to deal with multiple Steph injuries that took him out for multiple weeks during the season, like the labrum tear and the lower leg injury. Then Andrew Wiggins suffered a right abductor strain and missed ten games. After being cleared for his return, Wiggins missed the remaining 21 games due to a personal family matter. And Jordan Poole, who had a very up-and-down season, many argue he had a significant drop from last year to this year. Overall it was just a tumultuous season from multiple standpoints. Then the 0-8 start on the road, which should’ve been better. While looking back on those games, they would fail to execute down the stretch, games against Charlotte, Detroit, or Orlando, all these bottom-feeder teams, that the Warriors were incapable of closing out on the road for a good majority of the season.
Then, the two-timeline situation with Wiseman, Kuminga, Moody, and PBJ. And not to mention Ryan Rollings, who was taking up a roster spot, not a two-way spot but a roster spot. Joe Lacob saw this season as an opportunity to put his foot down and put in his signature season contribution to the franchise. Unfortunately that them sticking to one particular style of play, It takes away from roster spots that the Warriors desperately needed to sign vets when guys went down to try to give the team some margin of error by signing guys that know how to play the game in terms of a system that starts from a defensive and disciplinary standpoint. You look at all these moving parts and factors, it’s easy to understand why their season has been so up and down.
The trade deadline significantly affected how the rest of the season played out, solely based on the Gary Payton II acquisition. Being able to trade Wisemen for 5-second rounders and flipping that for GPII was not only a season-changing trade because GPII proved last year to be a championship-caliber piece. But it also sent a clear message to the core of the team that the front office still believes that there capable of being back-to-back world champs. Ultimately it starts and ends with the punch to the youth movement and the injuries. I and everyone else could understand why things were not like last year.