The Golden State Warriors begin the most highly anticipated season in recent franchise history on Saturday with a preseason game against the Las Angeles Lakers. After an impressive postseason run and busy offseason, the Warriors and their faithful seem to be ready to hit the hardwood. Here is your list of three things to look for coming into this game.
1. Andrew Bogut’s Health
Bogut claims to be 100% healthy. By all accounts he has been practicing at full strength and has regained his quickness, allowing him to cover more ground quickly on defensive plays and also allowing him to make better use of his post moves on the offensive end.
It’ll be interesting to see how Bogut performs in a game situation. He has been a guy who has battled injuries for much of his career, so look for him to strut his stuff in a rare game where we will get a look at a healthy Bogut.
Especially look for his quickness and mobility on the offensive end. Bogut was not much of an offensive threat a season ago, but when healthy, he can be another interior scorer, alongside David Lee, to balance out this dynamic offense.
2. Andre Iguodala’s Presence
This will be Iggy’s first game in a Warriors jersey, meaning this is the first chance we will get to see how well he meshes with the rest of this group. Although it will be a small sample size, it’ll be interesting to see how well he plays alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Kobe Bryant will not play in this game because of his Achilles injury, but one of Iguodala’s roles will be defending the top perimeter scorer on the opposing team, allowing Klay Thompson to focus a little bit less of his energy on defense and exert a little more on the offensive side of the ball. In this game, that means Iguodala will likely defend Jodie Meeks or Nick Young. Both are guys that can score in bunches, but are nowhere near the level of a guy like Kobe.
3. Youngster’s Development
Young guys like Draymond Green, Kent Bazemore, Festus Ezeli, and most notably Harrison Barnes are coming off one of, if not their first offseason as NBA players. It’ll be interesting to see if all of these guys stayed in playing shape, and what parts of their games they worked on. It may not be too noticeable at first, but throughout the preseason, these guys should all have the opportunity to show what they have done to develop their games during the offseason. See if you can notice anything in this first game.
The offseason is over and the ball will be tipped in a matter of hours. The Warriors are expected to make some noise this season, and it all starts on Saturday.