Last season, the Golden State Warriors didn’t make it to playoffs, yet again, making it 16 out of 17 years without a playoff birth (only playoff birth in that span was 2007). To top it off, they have won only one NBA Championship, which came in the 1946-47 season, when they were based out of Philadelphia. We did see some improvement in the 2010-11 season though, and that had partly to do with their coach, Keith Smart. Under Smart, the Warriors won ten more games than in the previous season and towards the end of the regular season, they finally seemed to have put it together, by beating the Lakers and closing out the season with a 110-86 win over the Portland Blazers. In order to see even more improvement and possibly a shot at the playoffs, they should not have let go of Smart. Having a different coach three consecutive years will not make the team more successful. The Warriors had finally figured out how to play under one coaching style and now they are going to have to adjust to a whole new one. But since they have made the decision to look for a new coach, they now need to find a coach who will help the team improve their defense (since this last season, they only averaged 40.55 total rebounds per game).
The Warriors have a young roster, but the players are maturing quickly and have exceeded most people’s expectations. Dorell Wright scored more points last season than his past six seasons combined. He also led the NBA in 3-point shots. Stephen Curry led the NBA in free throw percentage and Monta Ellis was his same scoring machine self, averaging 24.6 PPG. However, even though Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry make a great duo, the Warriors need a big man in order to improve their rebounding and blocks. They have enough offense and they could definitely use some help when it comes to defense. It would make sense for them to trade one of their shooting guards for someone like the Mavericks’ key reserve center Brendan Haywood, who is 7’0”, 263 pounds, and is a good rebounder and shot blocker.
Also, Jerry West joining the Warriors as an Executive, will play a significant role in their improvement for next season. When West was the GM of Los Angeles, the Lakers won seven championships and made it to the playoffs 17 times. After that, West became involved with the Memphis Grizzlies, who made it to the playoffs three consecutive years from 04-06, with him as their GM. The Grizzlies franchise had never made it to the post-season, before making it in 2004. West still has the same passion and love for basketball after all these years and if history really does repeat itself, then the future for the Warriors looks bright, now that West is a part of their organization. Perhaps getting season tickets will finally payoff for all the loyal Golden State Warrior fans that fill up the Oracle Arena every night and support the team, despite the constant disappointment.