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The Golden State Warriors sit at 1-1 to start their season. They whooped the Lakers in the season opener, but fell to the Clippers the next day. The Dubs starting five showed why they are one of the top lineups in the NBA. The splash brothers Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry each scored over 30 points in back to back games respectively. David Lee went for back to back 20 point games and Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala both had strong games defensively and offensively.
The thing about the Warriors is that they had an extremely strong and durable bench last year that was important to their playoff run. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry led the way as back up point guard and big man. Richard Jefferson was also a viable option off the bench as was Festus Ezili once Bogut came back from injury. This season’s bench is almost completely made up of new faces.
Returning to the bench is Kent Bazemore who has improved vastly from last year but still has a long way to go before he sees a lot of playing time. Festus Ezili showed he can be a great big man but he will be out until around February rehabbing from knee surgery. Draymond Green blossomed in the playoffs and will be nice off the bench. Harrison Barnes will probably need to move to the bench as Klay has shown he wants to be the starter. Barnes did not play in the first two games, still coming back from injury but will play in Saturdays game. Every other player on the bench is new. Mo Speights, Toney Douglas, and Jermaine O’Neal. Draft picks Nemaja Nedovic and last years second rounder Ognjen Kuzmic round out the bench.
O’Neal is a seasoned vet drafted back in 1996. Many believe a retirement is long overdue for O’Neal. He has blocked well so far this season but needs to rebound better. Toney Douglas played well and scored 13 points versus the Lakers, however, he saw a lot of playing time in the game as the Lakers were being blown out. Its more likely Harrison Barnes will see much more playing time than he. Speights is probably the best addition this offseason. He rebounds well and had a couple of assists during the game, but his shooting is horrendous. He was 2-10 from the field. The rookies are just that, rookies. They will see playing time towards the end of games.
This bench is not as versatile as they were past year. The Dubs can only hope that it does not hold them back from being the top contenders in the West.