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Where Will the Warriors Land in the West?

After losing Kevin Durant and with Klay Thompson out next season many wonder where the Warriors will land in the West. Some think they will be fine as a team, others think their reign is over.

But, in reality, what can we expect?

Losses

Warriors will land
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson (Photo by Eric Gay / Associated Press)

First, taking a look at the losses, there are quite a few. The Warriors lost Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala. Durant and Iguodala are two specific cornerstones to the dynasty.

Not much needs to be said on how these players can impact a team. Especially when they are all together.

Taking away Durant will impact their offense noticeably. Durant’s ability to score and generate offense is unmatched. Any team that loses a player like that will instantly notice some decline.

Iguodala provided leadership and cohesiveness to the group. Seemingly any time the team was in a bind Iguodala would come up with a momentum-shifting play.  On top of that Iguodala’s veteran experience will be missed. Iguodala has seen it all in the NBA. That is not common throughout the league.

The loss of Cousins is interesting. The NBA never really got to see how good the Warriors could be with Cousins. Not to mention he likely hadn’t built the best chemistry on the court with his teammates. But, there is no denying how incredible Cousins is. When he is healthy he instantly changes the game plan.

These losses will certainly impact the Warriors. This next season especially may show that the most.

Gains

So far, the most notable pick-ups for the Warriors are D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Comparing these players to Durant and Cousins respectively would show a dip in quality. Though, they are still solid players; and Russell is budding into a star. Warriors will land

When Thompson returns from injury Russell will likely play behind either him or Curry. Cauley-Stein will also start immediately.

These players will certainly help the Warriors out. But, the odds that they are able to play to the levels of their predecessors is unlikely.

Predictions

The Warriors are in a tough situation for this next season. But, after that, they should be back to, mostly, normal.

The Western Conference is a serious dog fight. This will be the first time in years that the Warriors are going to have to grind out wins for a playoff spot.

Looking at the competition seemingly all of the playoff teams have either the same core or have added new pieces to improve. The Warriors though have suffered a lot.

Realistically, the Warriors will be battling it out to get somewhere between the 6 and 8 seed. It will likely come down to the wire. Between the Warriors, the Pelicans and Mavericks one of these teams is most likely to miss out on the playoffs. The Warriors will likely edge out the Pelicans for one of these seeds, solely based on their experience. The Warriors will land the 7th seed in the next season.

The Warriors will certainly see a dip in quality compared to the last couple of years. But, they should still make it into the playoffs. Even past next season, the Warriors should be playoff regulars. So don’t worry Golden State Fans, the Warriors will land consistently in the playoffs and should be just fine in the years to come.

 

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