Fresh off of a 44-38 season but a disappointing second-round exit in the playoffs to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors enter this new season with lofty expectations regarding their projected win total.
With the exit of legendary General Manager Bob Myers, many people did not know what to expect from Golden State during the off-season. However, it was clear that the newly appointed GM, Mike Dunleavey Jr., wanted to make an immediate splash. He acquired 12-time All-Star Point Guard Chris Paul and re-signed Draymond Green to a brand new four-year, $100 million deal.
Although they lost two key players in the form of Jordan Poole and Donte DiVincenzo in the off-season, with the new acquisition of Chris Paul alongside some other new faces such as Dario Saric, Rudy Gay, Brandin Podziemski, and Trayce Jackson-Davis, the Warriors are primed to be back in the “Contenders” category this season.
Here are the Warriors NBA Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Warriors Odds
Over: 48.5 wins (+100)
Under: 48.5 wins (-122)
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Why The Warriors Will Win 49 Games
The Warriors front office found their biggest weakness and honed in on it this off-season. Golden State finished last season with the most turnovers per game in the league with 16.3, and the second most points per game allowed to opponents off of turnovers with 19.4. So what do they do to solve this problem? Ship out Jordan Poole, who had the fourth most turnovers in the league, for one of the greatest Point Guards of all time, Chris Paul.
While Paul is not exactly the youth they may need, it is a win-now move that nets the Warriors a more than capable point man to facilitate the offense and minimize turnovers. At 37 years old in Phoenix last season, Paul averaged 8.9 assists per game while posting an incredible 4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. In addition to this stellar point play, he has averaged fewer than 2.4 turnovers per game in his last four seasons. Placing him at the point and moving Steph Curry to Shooting Guard to allow him to focus on his off-ball movement and shooting sounds like a recipe for success.
Golden State’s ability to turn draft picks into stars has separated them from the pack, and it seems apparent that both of their 2021 lottery picks are ready for this next step. In the 21 games he played after the All-Star break, Jonathan Kuminga averaged 13.2 points per game on 57.2% shooting from the field and 44.0% shooting from deep. While Moses Moody has not received a lot of playing time so far, he certainly makes the most of it. In the playoffs last season he shot 59.1% from three and 91.7% from the foul line. These two went on a tear to close out last season and seem poised to build on this momentum.
Why The Warriors Will Not Win 49 Games
Unfortunately, nothing great can last forever. Love them or hate them, the Golden State dynasty has been the pinnacle of greatness in the NBA for the last decade. Due to this, the Warriors have done their best to retain the core of Curry, Thompson, and Green. However, their durability has wavered recently, with all three being 33 or older.
In the past two years alone, there was only one season where one of these three stars could play in more than 65 games: Klay Thompson during the 2022-23 campaign with 69. There is no denying the greatness of these players when they are on the floor, but availability is the best ability, and these three have had a tough time avoiding the injury bug.
Additionally, the Warriors were incredibly pedestrian with their interior defense last season and did little to address it in the off-season. They allowed 49.8 points per game in the paint to their opponents and finished bottom-six in the league last season in blocks per game.
Throwing this all together with the fact that they play in the toughest division in the league is just cause for some pessimism regarding the win total. The Pacific Division saw each of its five teams make the playoffs last season, and the Kings, Suns, Clippers, and Lakers have all gotten better in the off-season.
Final Warriors Over-Under Win Total Prediction & Pick
Even though the Warriors not only retained their core but, more importantly, added much-needed ball security and defense in the form of Chris Paul, the odds dictate that the Warriors will likely finish the season under 48.5 wins. While it is tough to bet against the Warriors when they still have the Splash Brothers and a strong supporting cast, I will take the under for the win total, given the incredible competition within their division and questionable defense.