Warriors

Five positives to take away from Warriors' season

Warriors
Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano-Anderson

Every season ends abruptly.

But the end of this Warriors season felt even more abrupt than usual. Maybe it's because the Warriors -- and their fans -- expected the team to go further. At least into the first round of the playoffs. 

Almost no one was prepared for them to lose in their second play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies, bringing their season to a close. That kind of ending makes it sting a little more.

But, despite the disappointing ending, there are still a number of positives to take away.

Here are five bright spots from the Warriors' season:

Steph Curry is still in his prime

At 33 years old, Steph Curry has more years in the league behind him than ahead of him. But this season was evidence that Curry still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

Curry averaged a career-high and league-leading 32.0 points in 34.2 minutes per game this past season on 48.2 percent shooting from the field and 42.1 percent shooting from 3-point range. That's the most minutes he has averaged since the 2015-16 season. Most of his numbers were only comparable to that year, when he was named the first-ever unanimous MVP. 

But what made what Curry did this year even more impressive is that he did it with far less help.

Curry is the reason why the Warriors were able to make it into the play-in tournament at all. Knowing that he can still play at this level should be highly encouraging to the Warriors and their fans.

 

As they integrate Klay Thompson back into the lineup and continue to develop their young talent, Curry will still be able to perform and deliver for his team while his teammates find their footing.

The emergence of young talent

James Wiseman was the top storyline for the Warriors heading into this season. As the No. 2 overall pick, he was said to be the future of the franchise. That all might still be true. But he's not the only part of the future that emerged this year. 

Jordan Poole and Juan Toscano-Anderson were revelations for the Warriors as they continued to develop. 

In Poole, the Warriors have found a steady backup guard who can knock down shots as well as facilitate for others. The Warriors view as someone who can lead the second unit next season.

As for Toscano-Anderson, he has become Andre Iguodala-light. 

Untapping their potential was a huge development for the Warriors as they navigated this season.

Andrew Wiggins' consistency

Andrew Wiggins didn't have a good reputation when he arrived in Golden State midway through the 2019-20 season. He was said to be lackadaisical and couldn't perform in crunch time. He proved every inch of that to be wrong

Maybe it's the way the Warriors utilized him -- as a secondary, and sometimes tertiary scorer -- who didn't have to create much for others. 

He became the most steady presence for the Warriors, missing just one game all season and only twice failing to score in double digits. 

It's hard not to get excited at the thought of Wiggins playing alongside Thompson next year, and rightfully so. The Warriors have found a gem in Wiggins, who is a stabilizing presence for an overall young and inexperienced team.

Found something at the end

Considering how much the Warriors struggled at various points throughout the season, their final 20-game stretch of the regular season, in which they went 15-5, is something to be excited about moving forward. 

The Warriors figured out how to put together comprehensive basketball, and while issues kept them from getting into the playoffs, they're now at a much better starting point when it comes to evaluating the moves they need to make this offseason. 

Golden State still is in somewhat of a rebuilding mode, but now the Warriors can identify two or three key areas they need to address, instead of an overhaul of roster construction and personnel.

RELATED: Warriors' goal next season must be playoffs, not NBA title

Draft picks

The Warriors could have as many as two lottery picks in this year’s draft, and potentially two picks in the top four. There's a lot to unpack in terms of the chances of it being a top-four pick, but we'll get into that another time. 

But either way, the fact that the Warriors have two lottery picks is a great weapon for them to have. It gives them incredible flexibility.

 

With the need to continue developing Wiseman, it's unlikely the Warriors are going to want two more young developmental projects. But, if they can package one of those picks into a trade for a veteran player, it's a win. And if they decide to keep both picks, well that can be a win, too. 

Either way, having these picks as assets heading into the offseason gives the Warriors a lot of options, and that's always a good thing.

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