Love them or hate them, the Golden State Warriors are going to be much-watch basketball this season as they try to defend their title.
These are not the same old Warriors. Yes, we’ve seen them come off a championship run before and yes, the heart of this team is still Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. But there is a budding youth movement on this team and several new faces with JaMychal Green and Donte DiVincenzo replacing Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II.
Whether you’re rooting for them or against them, they play one of the most exciting brands of basketball and offer plenty of reasons to get excited for the 2022-23 season.
3. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole
Wiggins and Poole were the breakout stars of the Warriors championship season and there’s every reason to think they’re just getting started.
It feels like Wiggins has been around forever but he’s still just 26 years old and last year was his first chance to player extended minutes with the rest of the Warriors big three completely healthy. And as good as he was during the regular season, he was better in pretty much every statistical category except 3-point percentage during the playoffs. Wiggins has learned his role and his to maximize his skills and physical tools within that role. His confidence has been rebuilt and solidified by success. This year he’ll get a chance to begin iterating on that more and more.
Like Wiggins, Poole was even better during the Warriors playoff run. His per-game counting stats dropped slightly as Curry, Thompson and Green took on more primacy but he bumped his shooting percentages from 44.8/36.4/92.5 in the regular season to 50.8/39.1/91.5 in the postseason. Like Wiggins, he’s built confidence thriving in a set role. Now it’s time to experiment and see what else he can do.