The Golden State Warriors are not going to win 73 games again.
There are a few reasons. For one, they don’t really want to. There is the lack of desire to chase that number again from players who felt it might have worn them out more before the playoffs. Another reason, a lot of breaks fell their way last season — staying healthy for one — and that may not happen again.
But the biggest reason 73 is off the table is this simple fact: These Warriors are not last year’s Warriors. Gone are Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa; in are Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia, and David West. You can argue this coming season’s team is better, but mostly they are different.
And different takes time to meld, something Golden State GM Bob Myers talked about in an appearance on KNBR’s Murph & Mac.
“I think a lot of people think we signed Durant and everything is great, which in reality, that is a really good thing. But we have a lot of new parts. This is not a team like last year’s team, where we could just hit training camp in stride. As much as we like our roster, it’s gonna take some time to evolve with guys like Durant, David West, [Zaza] Pachulia. We lost six guys. So even though we’re happy with the offseason, I do think we’re gonna have some turbulence….
“It takes time to develop chemistry. And that doesn’t happen in one day or one week or one month. It’s exciting. I think it’s gonna be a great process to watch unfold. But I do think because of the expectation level, probably the highest expectation you can ever put certainly on a Warriors team — even though I think a lot of people thought we would win the championship last year, I think people now are even having higher expectations. When you have that level of expectation, that’s where you want to be as an organization, but it also magnifies any adversity or any stretch of losing.”
When the Warriors start a little slow this season — not necessarily .500 slow through 20 games, but slower than some expect. That will mean hand-wringing in some quarters and analysis of what is going wrong. There will be rough spots at the end of games. Around the league, some fans and front offices will enjoy that.
The Warriors have to shrug it all off and follow the process. By Christmas they will have started to figure things out; by the All-Star break they will be the Warriors the rest of the league fears.
But November is not going to easy.