Warriors

Five New Year's resolutions for Warriors' 2022 season

Warriors

The Warriors' 2021 as a whole was full of highs and lows.

At the start, Steph Curry was continuing to look like a NBA MVP again but Golden State lost two straight games in the 2020-21 Western Conference play-in tournament, failing to make the playoffs for the second straight season. Klay Thompson was in the midst of missing his second straight season to a leg injury, though there were reasons for optimism and a light at the end of the tunnel for the Splash Brother. 

That light now is much brighter with Klay's return possibly just days away. The Warriors still are waiting for James Wiseman to return from a knee injury, just as rookie Jonathan Kuminga looks like a future star. Draymond Green is playing out of his mind defensively, and then there's Curry. 

Steph's year is ending with him not only in front of an early-season MVP race, but also making history with every 3-point shot he drains. Curry now is the all-time leader in 3-pointers, passing Ray Allen, while earning MVP chants in San Francisco, Brooklyn and beyond. 

The Warriors are back, and fans are ready to see what they can do next. So, here are five New Year's resolutions for the Warriors in 2022 as we close the book on 2021, for better or worse. 

1. Klay Day

Everything begins with the return of Thompson. The only day that could match him stepping on the court at Chase Center is the Warriors lifting up the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the end of the season. 

 

The Warriors, as of this publishing, haven't announced when Thompson will make his triumphant return. When that day does come, it will be the loudest game in the short history of the Warriors' new home. Even before his return, though, Thompson already has made an impact on the Warriors. 

His Warriors teammates, old and new, constantly speak of his work ethic and the motivational boost the three-time champion brings to the building. He has continued to be the sport's most loved figure off the court for his epic Instagram Lives and living his best life on his boat. 

On the court, his mere presence alone will help the Warriors in great ways. Even if he isn't the version we last saw when he scored 30 points in 30 minutes in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, he'll be another knockdown shooter, at least, which will be a major help for Steph and many others.

The anticipation is coming for Klay Day, and his impact already has been felt. 

2. Young Dubs

With every minute he spends on the court, Kuminga is showing why the Warriors selected him with the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, even though he was considered a raw prospect at 18 years old. Now 19, Kuminga is ahead of schedule and Curry believes the young and powerful forward has the it factor to be great. He isn't the only young Dub that Golden State is counting on for the future. 

Moses Moody, the No. 14 pick in the 2021 draft, was seen as more of a pro-ready prospect than Kuminga. That hasn't been the case, but Steve Kerr has been encouraged by him and he did score 37 points in a G League game earlier this season.

And then there's Wiseman. The No. 2 pick in the draft currently is surrounded by questions regarding his health and if selecting him was the right choice. He can't answers those questions quite yet as he continues to rehab his knee

When Wiseman returns, he'll be met with unfairly high expectations. The Warriors need to keep it simple for Wiseman and continue easing him in while find ways he can thrive. 

Last season, Golden State did a poor job juggling development for Wiseman and trying to win games. With Kuminga, and Moody to a lesser extent, Steve Kerr 2.0 and his new coaching staff have done a great job. How they handle Wiseman will be something to keep a close eye on in the new year. 

3. Poole Party

Jordan Poole's growth in his third season as a pro has been one of the biggest keys to the Warriors starting the season so strong. The former first-round pick was sent down to the G League last season and returned a new player. He has only gotten better since. 

 

This season, Poole stepped in as the Warriors' starting shooting guard and has averaged 17.9 points over 28 games. He has grown into a go-to scorer, but his role soon will change. When Thompson is back, it won't be off the bench. 

Kerr again will have a starting backcourt of Curry and Thompson. Poole likely will be the Warriors' Sixth Man, coming off the bench for instant points and being the playmaker of the second unit. For his skill set, it sounds like a perfect situation. 

The transition, however, might be harder than it looks on paper. If it goes as Kerr and Co. hope, the Warriors' offense will only be that much better. There could be a few bumps in the road though, at least for a short period. 

4. Strength in Numbers

Part of the beauty in the Warriors resembling some of their dominant teams of the past, has to be their depth. Strength in Numbers is back, and Kerr couldn't be happier.

Curry and Green have played up to their superstar status. The front office also deserves a ton of credit for signing players like Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica, plus bringing back Andre Iguodala. Each have played major roles already this season, and those roles could easily increase at any moment. 

Injuries and, unfortunately, COVID-19 issues, are inevitable. The Warriors' depth has been a huge help when they have been down players, and they hope that is only going to continue. Their first hope, like every other team, is to stay as healthy as possible. If they do hit a snag, they seem to have the players here and a strong G League system to stay more than afloat.

5. Bring Home The Hardware

The biggest and most obvious resolution is to win the championship. Duh. 

Why stop there, though? Curry can join elite company by winning his third MVP. Only eight players -- Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- have won three or more MVPs in NBA history. 

RELATED: Steph not putting limits on final 3-point total after hitting No. 3,000

Draymond winning his second Defensive Player of the Year would give him the same as Dennis Rodman, another legendary defender who played much bigger than his height. It's becoming more clear that Green is one of the all-time great defensive players the game has ever seen. Winning the award would only further justify that. 

It's about more than just Steph and Draymond when it comes to this trophy case. Andrew Wiggins is building a case to be an All-Star for the first time, Poole has been one of the league's most improved players and even Klay can get in the conversation for Comeback Player of the Year if he returns to form for the NBA's best team. 

 

The Warriors are hungry for it all heading into the new year. Go get it. Be the biggest villains again, stack the halls with trophies and hang another banner. 

What else was Chase Center built for?

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast