NBA: Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks

By: Yama Hazheer

The Warriors are making it known that they are legitimate title contenders in the league. No longer looked upon as solely a jump-shooting team, the Warriors have made significant strides defensively. Helping lead the team into becoming the best defense in the league, Steve Kerr and Ron Adams are two names that draw league-wide attention to the Bay Area.

The basic offensive game plan of last season is extinct. Alvin Gentry, who is accomplished enough to be a head coach for over half of the teams in the NBA, has helped the Warriors offense evolve. With Kerr taking a page out of Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson’s book, using the influence of the triangle offense has helped the passing become crisp. Lesser known players are being more involved and are getting easier, more high-percentage shots than the Warriors have seen in the past few seasons.

The Warriors’ team chemistry might be the most impressive, though. Given the fact that a coach most of them loved and could relate to was abruptly fired, many expected the team to lose the unity they built with one another. Coach Kerr has kept them together. He did not come to the Warriors franchise and play the hero role; he knew what the team has been through.

Now at 42-9, the Warriors are the talk of the NBA. However this time, not in a negative spotlight. They have two All-Star starters in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Kerr coached the Western Conference team to a victory and they return to the Bay Area with the best record in the NBA. Everything seems bright in Northern California for the Warriors, but at times, the team still feels like it’s missing something.

They have been quiet, yet active in their pursuit for another veteran to add to their bench. There has been an array of names that have been linked with the Warriors. Here are a few of the major names that have been mentioned with Golden State:

Ray Allen:Allen Shooting

If Allen joins any team, he would be the oldest player in the league (if you’re not counting Steve Nash). Shooters age better than flashy players that rely on athleticism. Allen did well for the Heat in their playoff runs each of the past few seasons, including hitting one of the most clutch shots in NBA Finals history to force a Game 7 in the 2012-13 season ultimately resulting in his second ring.

Allen can obviously stretch the floor and will be needed more for the postseason than anything. He has played 23 and 20 games respectively in the playoffs in each of the past two years, averaging around 25 minutes per game. He would take attention away from Thompson and Curry, resulting in easier looks for them. He isn’t the defender he was in Boston, but the Warriors team defense is good enough to help disguise it, if needed.

Kevin Garnett:

Garnett Brooklyn

Allen’s old teammate is still one of the toughest players in the NBA. Garnett is past his prime and would not play a major role for the Warriors. Yet, his toughness and defensive presence can help the Warriors. They do not get much from Mo Speights or David Lee defensively, anyway. There isn’t much to lose.
The issue with Garnett is working around his contract and finding the right pieces if the Warriors were able to make a trade happen. KG has tons of experience in his two decades in the league and would bring credibility to the team’s interior defense when they have to face bigger frontcourts in the playoffs.

This list was actually bigger, but Jermaine O’Neal called off his comeback and A’mare Stoudemire opted to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. So both of those options are off the table for the Warriors, which only raises the odds of the Warriors standing pat.

One Response

  1. ds207

    Unfortunately nobody with a reasonable brain will take David Lee’s albatross contract in a trade, so the chance of a trade is slim. Warriors do need a backup center badly because they are sunk if Bogut goes down to injury again, and Ezeli is already overdue for his next sprained ankle. He has not shown much of a game on the few occasions he makes it to the floor anyway, as Kerr has gone to Mo, but Mo Buckets plays NO defense, and is undersized against guys like both Gasols.