With the NBA well into the offseason and team’s rosters mostly set, the landscape of the Western Conference is starting to shape up. The Golden State Warriors lost a competitive six-game series with the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the 2012-2013 playoffs. Having proven themselves as a good playoff team, the Warriors looked to get even better during the offseason. Golden State did this by signing All-Star free agent Andre Iguodala. Now with some other nice roster additions the Warriors have put themselves in the conversation as an elite team in the west.
Iguodala adds a lot of what the Warriors were missing this last season. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes had great seasons, but they are still young and are learning the complexities of NBA defense. This is where Iguodala excels. He has proven himself to be one of the best wing defenders in the NBA and can change a team’s defense all by himself. Besides that he will be able to lead the young and athletic players into becoming good defenders. The Warriors’ defensive-minded center, Andrew Bogut, will love having Iguodala as the front line of the Golden State’s defense. The Warriors also added free agent point guard Toney Douglas who lacks the court vision necessary to run a team but is an above average defender.
Golden State already has an explosive and effective offense. Stephen Curry had a breakout season last year and shot 45 percent from three point range. David Lee represented them in the All-Star game posting 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds a game. They also have a lot of young and talented players who will only get better. Iguodala should fit in perfectly by using his skill of facilitating and getting all their shooters good looks. He will also be able to allow Curry to play off the ball a little, similar to what Jarrett Jack gave them last year. Iguodala is also an elite athlete and will get to the rim easily with all the spacing Golden State’s shooters will provide. Big man Carl Landry has left in free agency, but a lot of what he did can be replaced by new addition Marreese Speights.
The Western Conference is loaded with many strong teams. The already young and talented Houston Rockets signed superstar Dwight Howard. Championship coach Doc Rivers is joining Chris Paul and the improved Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs have won 50 plus games a season for over a decade and can never be counted out. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are still enough to make the Oklahoma City Thunder a contender. It will be a tough challenge, but the Warriors have the shooting, depth, athleticism, and star power to compete against these great teams and grab a top spot in the west.