The Golden State Warriors experienced one of the best five-year runs in sports history. Three titles, the best regular season record in NBA history, the emergence of three superstars, five straight finals appearances- the list of their accomplishments is endless. However, this golden era of Bay Area basketball may be on pause for a year. But it wasn’t KD leaving that halted their run. They’ve proven that they can win without him, and they picked up another all star caliber player in D’Angelo Russel. No, it was the combination of injuries and age that halted the Warriors historic run.
Going into this year, expectations were not high for the Warriors. Not because of their lack of star power, but because of their lack of depth. Their veterans on the bench, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, are no longer with the team. Klay will likely miss the whole year rehabbing his torn ACL. The whole roster is filled with rookies and unproven players. The burden was going to fall on Steph, as many thought he could lead this team offensively in the same way James Harden does for the Rockets. That is, until Steph broke his hand and was ruled out for the next three months. The question now becomes, where do the Warriors go from here? Well, while this may seem like the most unlucky stretch in sports history, there is a silver lining here. The Warriors had two options: try and make another run, even though most knew they probably weren’t going to win anything this year, with Lebron and AD with the Lakers and Kawhi and Paul George with the Clippers, or they could take a year to recover from the brutal five-year stretch they endured. Now, it seems that injuries have forced them into the latter option. That might be the best thing for the Warriors. They won’t run Steph into the ground trying to make the playoffs, Klay doesn’t have to rush his recovery, and all of their young players will get valuable minutes that they wouldn’t have ordinarily gotten.
For Warriors fans, this will be a tough year to handle. They have been spoiled by one of the best teams of all time for the last five years, and now they’re going to have to take a down year to recover from that run. But, all hope is not lost. This isn’t going to be a full, organization-wide rebuild; this is just an off year for their stars. Once everyone’s healthy, they’ll be coming for their fourth banner in seven years.