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Golden State Warriors 2022-23 Season Preview

Golden State Warriors 2022-23 Season Preview

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant

Welcome to the team season preview series! From today to the start of the season, I’ll be recapping the team’s season, go through their moves in the off-season, and end with a discussion of what’s to come in the upcoming season for them.

Season & Off-Season Recap

It feels like a long while since we’ve seen the Golden State Warriors in the finals — I know it’s only technically been two finals without them, but that still feels too long.

Though, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that a team built around Stephen Curry can be contenders. Last year, that was not the case. The offensive weapons around Curry last season were simply bad — barely cracked 100 points per 100 possessions without him.

You give him better weapons, however, and they will be contenders. And that’s exactly what we saw this year.

But it wasn’t much about his greatness — though he has been great, as usual — it was their defense being elite. Despite being 32 years old, Draymond Green was still arguably the best defensive player in the league. To me he is the smartest defender in the league and it isn’t even close.

He clearly had an impact. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Warriors had a 104.0 defensive rating with him on the court, which is good for the 96th percentile. Their defense didn’t fall off the cliff without him, though — still had a 109.5 defense (75th percentile), but he raised their defense to one of the best.

We also can’t talk about this season without mentioning the return of Klay Thompson. Having missed the last two seasons, every fan was excited to see him play. And it seems he didn’t miss a beat. Sure, they may have been some decline, especially on defense, and he may have not been 100%, but his stats and shooting percentages are his usual self.

There was a blessing in disguise with Thompson missing all this time. It allowed Jordan Poole to get more playing time, more opportunities and accelerate his development. I loved what Poole has done in his first playoffs.

One other key piece this season. Well, he was technically more than just key — he was an All-Star starter. Not just an All-Star. All-Star starter. Andrew Wiggins surprised me, especially in the finals.

As for the off-season, they did lose some key pieces, but did a fine job at attempting to replace that production by bringing in Donte DiVincenzo and Jamychal Green — both should be impactful and help the Warriors to repeat. If you want to know more about their fit, Joe Viray did a great job examining Green’s fit and DiVincenzo’s.

Their hands were tied with other potential moves that they could have made, mainly by the market and their luxury tax concerns. So, it’s clear they are hoping those two additions could somewhat replace what Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr brought. And are hoping for all the young guys — Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, Moses Moody, and Poole to make leaps.

What’s in Store This Season

  • Can they repeat?
  • Poole’s potential leap
  • Thompson coming back to 100%
  • Young core’s improvement
  • Potential future contract concerns
  • A full season of Curry, Green, Thompson?

Of course, the first thing that you should look forward to is the Warriors looking to repeat. That’s the main goal for this team and anything short of that would be a failure. Championship or bust.

As long as the core is the same and healthy, the goal will always be winning another ring and they will always be in that mix. But there are many questions and plenty of things to look forward to.

The first thing that every Warriors fan should be ecstatic about is they will have the trio of Curry, Thompson, and Green fully healthy to enter the season.

This year in the playoffs, that trio was plus 8.6 in 455 minutes with a 119.7 offense and a 111.0 defense. Even during the three years with Kevin Durant, that trio without Durant on the floor in regular season and playoffs combined, was a plus 11.0 in 1228 minutes with a 117.7 offense and a 106.6 defense.

Now, that’s not to say we should expect that level of dominance again, but considering how great they were in the playoffs, after playing only 11 minutes together in the regular-season, then it’s encouraging.

Curry is still arguably the best point guard in the league and is coming off an insane finals — Per BBall-Index, amongst starting guards

  • 96th percentile in movement points per 75 possessions
  • 89th in movement impact
  • 97th in isolation eFG%
  • 99th in isolation points per possession
  • 99th in 3pt shot making
  • 96th in 3pt pull up shot making
  • 98th in passing creation quality
  • 91st in box creation

He still ranked highly in most of the offensive stats, though, there was a decline in his finishing ability and rim pressure compared to his previous seasons.

Despite some offensive regression, Green is still capable of being the best defender in the world. And Thompson, who will now have his first healthy off-season in over three years, should be closer to what we remember him as.

Outside those three, this is a completely different team to what we saw the last time they made a playoff run and that’s part of the reason why they have a good chance at repeating.

In his first season as a regular starter, Poole has taken a leap and another one in the playoffs. This season he averaged 22.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per 75 possessions on 59.8% true shooting. And somehow kept this production but increased his efficiency to 65.4% true shooting in the playoffs.

Having another guy that can score efficiently, be at least average at creating shots for himself, and be elite off the ball in this Warriors system is a big plus. It will be interesting to see his improvements as a passer and taking more on ball opportunities.

In addition to Poole, the team has a solid collection of young talent in Kuminga, Moody, and Wiseman — all three should contribute more next season.

Finally, this will be an interesting year for the top players — outside of Curry. This year will have a significant implication in extension talks, which will have a great impact on this team’s title chances going forward.

Who should they give the extensions to? Who will be the odd man out? Will Poole make a big enough leap? Will Green still provide that consistent DPOY calibre defense?

So, so many questions will be in play this season.

But that’s all the future talk. When it comes to this season alone, they will depend on Curry’s greatness, youth’s growth, and health. Barring any major injuries, I don’t see why this team shouldn’t be the favourites to repeat.

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