Warriors

Kerr mentions two goals for Warriors entering this season

Warriors

The Warriors went to five straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, and badly want to get back to basketball's biggest stage.

It's going to be extremely difficult to win the Western Conference, especially now that Klay Thompson will miss the entire season because of a torn right Achilles tendon.

So how can they do it? Well, Steve Kerr is going to be preaching two things all season.

“We want to be a top-10 defense and play very fast," the eight-time NBA champion told The Athletic's Ethan Strauss last week.

Here is how Golden State's defense ranked the prior six seasons:

2014-15: 1st

2015-16: 6th

2016-17: 2nd

2017-18: 11th

2018-19: 11th

2019-20: 26th

The Warriors didn't bring consistent defensive effort in 2017-18 and 2018-19, as they coasted for various stretches during the regular season. And you can completely throw last year's injury-riddled disastrous campaign out the window.

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The defense should be vastly improved because the Warriors added a lot of size and wingspan this offseason. But there will be some growing pains when trying to assimilate a bunch of new parts.

As for playing "very fast," that goes hand-in-hand with being a strong defensive team. It's hard to push the ball if you're taking the ball out of the net all the time.

 

So in order for the Warriors to rack up the fastbreak points, they need to get stops and/or force a bunch of turnovers.

Here is how Golden State ranked in pace the last six seasons:

2014-15: 1st

2015-16: 2nd

2016-17: 4th

2017-18: 5th

2018-19: 10th

2019-20: 15th

As you can see, the Warriors like to run.

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But in order to be lethal in transition, you also have to take care of the basketball and make good decisions on the fly. And it's safe to assume the Warriors will have some nights where they are sloppy with the rock, because that happens on teams that are incorporating a lot of new players.

So don't be surprised when you see Kerr -- who despises turnovers -- visibly frustrated at times, particularly early in the season.

Ultimately, the Warriors dearly will miss Klay. But they still should be extremely fun to watch.

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