HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For a team that didn’t pile up many wins last season, the Golden State Warriors certainly racked up their share of highlight plays.
When you start with the dynamite backcourt tandem of Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, that should be expected.
But much has changed for this team since we saw them last.
New owners, new uniforms, plenty of new faces and maybe some renewed vigor for a team that has never had to worry about the passion of its immense fan base.
With training camp just days away, we’re still trying to figure out how coach Don Nelson is going to integrate eight new faces — All-Star forward David Lee, Dorrell Wright, Louis Amundson, Rodney Carney, Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and rookies Ekpe Udoh and Jeremy Lin — into the Warriors’ mix.
But Nelson is the league’s resident mad scientist, so if anyone is capable of cooking up something, it should be him. And he’ll be coaching (for as long as the new ownership group will have him) the sort of motley crew that should be easy to show some California love for all those Warriors diehards in the Bay Area.
Whether or not this team will inspire any reaction beyond their home base, however, remains to be seen.
There are so many roster holes, so many issues to be addressed, so much uncertainty going forward as new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber ponder the future of the basketball-operations staff and Nelson that it’s difficult to imagine an easy season.
Curry, Lee and Ellis are good building blocks, but there’s little in the way of dependability beyond that. The lottery pick, Ekpe Udoh, has already been ruled out for months because of injury. The defense is non-existent. The bench is only slightly better.
That’s a sobering-but-realistic view of what the Warriors face heading into camp.
Call us crazy here at the hideout, but there’s something about this group that is intriguing. We’re not ready to anoint these guys as the Hang Time Warriors just yet, but we’re keeping an eye on them during camp to see how all the new pieces fit.
A frontcourt rotation that starts with high energy cats like Lee and Andris Bierdrins is backed up by a non-stop grinder like Amundson, Gadzuric and the underrated Chris Hunter. And with the ball in the hands of Ellis and Curry, who is poised for a breakout sophomore season, this team could make some noise this season if things come together in camp.
We’re not predicting “playoff” noise (we’re not that crazy), but they could certainly make enough racket to force the rest of us to take notice.