Warriors

Why Warriors believe a loaded West actually is good thing

Warriors

The 2020 NBA Playoffs start Monday, and we don't even know when the 2020-21 season officially will begin.

But it's never too early to look ahead, right? Right.

Even before teams bolster their roster in October via the draft and free agency, it's very safe to say the Western Conference will be loaded next year.

And guess what -- that excites the Warriors' executive vice president of basketball operations, Kirk Lacob.

"That's awesome. Our guys have been waiting for this challenge," he said last week on the "Runnin' Plays" podcast. "If you look back at our last five years, the best version of this team you've seen is (when) its been challenged.

"That was actually our issue for a little bit. We looked around -- we're on top of the hill -- and we're like, 'Come and get us. This isn't fun if you're coming for me.' People are coming for us now."

With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green onboard, the Warriors have an incredible core to build around. And the franchise is very confident Andrew Wiggins will thrive in his new role.

But the front office is aware it needs to bolster the roster with several key additions. As Lacob noted, the Warriors have "a lot of ammo" to do just that.

 

Golden State also will have a lot of motivation to bounce back in a big way.

"Their competitive drive is gonna be at an all-time high. No question. I think that's a big part of it," Lacob said. "I think all three of them (Steph, Klay and Draymond) are driven by people saying they can't do something. This group is really competitive.

"I'm almost worried that this much time off is gonna get them so riled up that we're gonna have to tone it back a little bit at the beginning (of training camp). This is like holding the meat in front of the dog for hours."

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Unless the Warriors somehow acquire another superstar this offseason, they probably won't be considered the 2021 title favorite by most in the basketball world. So when people start making predictions and saying the Dubs won't get back to the NBA Finals (or even the West finals), it's going to get the competitive juices flowing.

And with the conference being both top-heavy and deep, it won't be easy to rack up wins. They can't simply show up and expect to outlast their opponent.

To reiterate, that's a challenge the Warriors will embrace.

"Everybody getting better is a good thing," Lacob said. "It's not as fun to win when noone's there meeting you at the mountaintop. It's more fun when it's hard."

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