Through 8 games this season, the Golden State Warriors started the season red hot. They currently have the best record in the league (7-1) and will face their most brutal stretch of the season this week against the Hawks, Bulls, and Nets.
Should the Warriors be considered title contenders this early on in the season? Andre Iguodala has a different mindset.
“We’re okay; we’re a work-in-progress,” Iguodala continued, “We’ve had a more favorable schedule, so I don’t think you look too much into it. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”
The Warriors veteran forward and future Hall of Famer will not allow the team to get complacent despite the hot start. And he’s right. The Warriors have had a leisurely schedule, beating the Lakers Clippers, Kings, Hornets, Pelicans, and the Thunder twice. Teams with a combined record of 22-32. Does Andre make a fair point? I think so.
On a positive note, the Warriors have done an incredible job with rotation management. Steve Kerr and his staff have seemingly constructed cohesive lineups that go hand in hand with the team’s game plan. The coaching staff has found ways to utilize all 15 players based on matchups and in-game scenarios. With a bench full of savvy vets and raw young talent, the Warriors appear to have a strong enough cast to hold the fort down until Klay Thompson returns to action.
With a tough stretch of games coming up, the Warriors will rely on Jordan Poole, Otto Porter Jr., and Nemanja Bjelica to potentially play heavier minutes. Golden State will need additional playmakers and shot makers to compete against teams with pieces limiting Steph’s impact. Winning these crucial games may very well come down to bench production, and if that is the case, I give the Warriors the advantage.
Despite the hot start, the Warriors still have kinks to work out along the way. Two draft lottery picks need development, and Klay Thompson’s highly anticipated return in the coming months will require minute restrictions, scheduled nights off, and shifts to the rotation.
Let’s see how the Warriors fare against steeper competition before we set our expectations for this team.
Golden State will compete in the first half of a back-to-back against the Houston Rockets today and host the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow.