Intrigue, concern for Warriors in 2012-13

Intrigue, concern for Warriors in 2012-13
July 17, 2012, 4:50 pm
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The Warriors might make another move or two this offseason,but it seems clear the core of their team is in place.Theyll have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in theirbackcourt, with Jarrett Jack likely coming off the bench. Harrison Barnes orRichard Jefferson is expected to start at small forward, and the four-fivecombination should be David Lee-Andrew Bogut.The Warriors will expect a little something from second-yearguard Charles Jenkins and rookies Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green.The Warriors still hope to re-sign Brandon Rush and add abig man off the bench, but the team is not expected to dramatically changebefore October training camp.Well what do you think? Keeping things very broad at thispoint, thats a roster that is both intriguing and concerning. Yes, its stillonly July, but its not too early to start talking about the 2012-13season.THE INTRIGUEThe Warriors roster is different from virtually every otherroster in the league in one, specific way: The best passers and decision-makerson the team are in the frontcourt. Andrew Bogut and David Lee are both terrificpassers when you compare them to other big man.Other four-five tandems may be better in other areas, butwhen it comes to passing, know-how, and a little cleverness in delivering theball, Lee and Bogut have the potential to be the best passing frontcourt in theleague.Thats good, in and of itself. But it should be even moreadvantageous given the Warriors backcourt of Curry and Thompson. Those twoexcel at shooting the basketball from the perimeter and coming off screens. Ditto for rookie Harrison Barnes, who should get plenty ofplaying time in his first season.If theres been a knock on Curry early in his career itsthat hes not a true point guard and running a team doesnt come naturally. Atthe same time, Curry is a dynamic shooter, and with his feet set among the bestin the NBA.So, why not take the ball out of his hands a little more andput it into the hands of the frontcourt players? In short, why wouldnt thisteam try to emulate Sacramentos style in the earlymid-2000s, when they had VladeDivac and Chris Webber delivering the ball to Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic,etc?Thinking about the Warriors offense that way makes it easyto look forward to the 2012-13 season.THE CONCERNTheres a fine line between bad luck with injuries and beingplain-old injury prone. This is a big year for Bogut and Curry, likely definingwhich side of that line theyll be on in their careers.Bogut is going on four seasons now of being banged-up andmissing too many games. Yes, a couple of them were of the strange variety, butthat doesnt matter anymore and it certainly doesnt matter for theWarriors.Its all about this year for him and them.For the Warriors to be successful, Bogut has to play a fullseason or pretty close to it. Hes too important to this team on both ends ofthe floor for the Warriors to win consistently without him. Ditto for Curry,though not to the same degree.And the reason its not to the same degree isnt becauseCurry is less important, but because hes got a very good point guard in Jackbacking him up.Simply by being on the floor, though, Curry makes theWarriors better. His flaws have been documented, but hes such an elite shooterthat he always must be accounted for.Can Curry make it through a full season? Who can say forsure after seeing him tweak and re-tweak his right ankle during the 2011-12season?Acquiring Jack helps a lot because it means that if Currygets hurt the season doesnt need to be lost. Golden State can progress and besuccessful with Jack.But lets be clear: The Warriors cannot reach theirpotential as a team unless Curry is healthy. And speaking of Jack, hes notwithout his own health issues. Jack quietly missed 21 games last year (almost athird of the lockout season), including the last 13 with a stress fracture inhis right foot.Can Thompson get through a Year No. 2 in which hes going toplay more games and more minutes?