3. Golden State Warriors- 23-43 (2011-12)
Yes, I have the Warriors finishing the season with a winning record and fighting for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. But that prediction rests on the health of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry, who played in a combined 38 games last season
Curry injured his surgically repaired ankle earlier this month (but is expected to play in the season opener), and Bogut is still looking to make his comeback after having ankle surgery last January.
The team also has a solid core of complimentary players to surround Curry, Bogut and David Lee with. The team had a successful off-season, signing backup point guard Jarrett Jack and rugged forward Carl Landry through free agency. Shooting guard Klay Thompson will also look to improve on his rookie season numbers of 12.5 points per game and 41 percent three-point field goal percentage.
Harrison Barnes will likely be the Warriors’ starting small forward opening night, but unlike some of the other players who were drafted before him, he won’t have the pressure on his shoulders of rescuing a franchise from futility. This will allow him to play a relaxed, more natural brand of basketball for a team who could be fighting for a playoff spot. Expect Barnes to snag some Rookie of the Year votes at the end of the season.
Key Players: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut
Key Additions: Harrison Barnes
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