The 2019-20 season was a far cry from the unparalleled success the Warriors had seen over the past five years. After five consecutive runs to the NBA Finals and three Larry O'Brien trophies, the Warriors were the worst team in the NBA, finishing the season with a 15-50 record before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 12.
Stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson missing almost the entire season with injuries played a large part in the Warriors' struggles, but the two are expected to return to the lineup in 2020-21. The Splash Brothers returning to the Warriors' rotation, along with the motivation of living through such a dismal season will push the Warriors right back into NBA title contention next season, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
"The greater motivation will be what transpired this season," Smith said on "Get Up" Thursday. "They were 15-50 at the time that the season stopped and it was suspended, we know that's not the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant was gone, but Klay Thompson was gone and Steph Curry was out for a chunk of time. If Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were there, do you really believe the Warriors would have been 15-50?"
Smith went on to emphasize he believes the Splash Brothers would have made a sizable difference in the win column for the Warriors, and that with both back in the fold for the Warriors, the team vaults right back into the top of the highly-competitive Western Conference.
"You add another piece to a healthy Steph and Klay, they are right back in the championship picture. Because they are, as a backcourt, the Splash Brothers, is a collection of the greatest snipers, the greatest shooting backcourt in the history of basketball."
The Warriors have plenty of firepower for a potential blockbuster trade, including the $17.2 million trade exception from Andre Iguodala's deal to Memphis and a draft pick that is guaranteed to be one of the first five picks in October's draft.
Although he reportedly might have to wait a few more weeks before beginning to make moves, general manager Bob Myers likely is chomping at the bit to tinker and put together a roster that once again can compete for a championship.
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