Where I predict the best case scenario or maybe just how I want the season to play out for each player on the 2017–18 Golden State Warriors.
It’s crazy to even suggest that a NBA player average a 5x5 for an entire season. But if anyone was capable, it’s Draymond. While that benchmark may be slightly outside his 7-foot wingspan, Draymond leads the Warriors to the best defensive rating in the league, clinching his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. His proudest moment this year, however, is mentoring Jordan Bell and watching the Rook pin the King against the backboard in the Christmas Day Massacre: GSW 132 - CLE 98
Yeah, Kevin will flirt with a 30 PER this season. Yeah, he’s the favorite to win the All Star Game MVP. Yeah, he’ll be First or Second team All-NBA. Yeah, he’ll finish Top 5 in MVP. Yeah, he’ll sign a max 5-year deal in the off season. All par for the course. But KD’s biggest achievement this year is with another definitively “stronger than” performance in the NBA Finals, KD leapfrogs Lebron as the #1 player in the Association.
Number 11 is most well-known for concentrated outbursts of production. 37 in a quarter. 60 in 11 dribbles. 19 in the 4th quarter that doomed a franchise. As Klay enters year 7, I expect him to improve his yearlong efficiency and shoot for a milestone that has been achieved by the best and greatest shooters: The 50–40–90 Club.
Proving that money doesn’t change the man, Curry the Human Torch lights the league on fire. He already has seemingly every 3 point record in the book and perhaps the greatest offensive season in league history. But this year, on the World’s biggest stage, Curry takes the spotlight. Steph may not admit it, but his 3rd NBA Championship may be the sweetest as his two-way domination against the smaller Isaiah Thomas locks up an NBA Finals MVP to his collection.
His head doesn’t kneecap a future Hall-of-Famer this year.
Can you be the “Shaqing a Fool” MVP if you have two Champ rings? Try as he might, Javale won’t shed that rep. But I put Javale’s social media presence this year toe-to-toe against any in the league, even fan favorite Joel Embiid.
Livingston owns one of the most underrated moves in the league: the point-guard-back-down-turn-around-elevated-jump-shot. But this year Shaun takes his game to new heights by selling his story of the prep-to-pro that nearly lost it all in one layup to “Fruitvale” director Ryan Coogler.
He got his money. He got his years. He got his Finals MVP. He got his VC friends a 55-minute trip in traffic away. Iguodala doesn’t want it or need it, but the Sixth Man of the Year award is finally his.
McCaw won’t supplant Andre as the first guy off the bench (at least not this year). But a strong season for the second year player takes a downturn as he mysteriously gets DNPs during the home stretch. Coach Kerr is coy, but NBA Twitter knows when a team is trying to devalue a restricted free agent to-be in anticipation of a large contract. Doesn’t matter. In July, McCaw resigns with the Warriors for a 2+1, $21 million.
Leads the team in Game Winners.
Leads the team in “Can you take a picture of me with Klay Thompson?”
West wins his second ring and gives another hyperventilating locker room interview using hieroglyphics to explain why didn’t care losing minutes to Jordan Bell in the playoffs. On the parade stage in downtown Oakland, West announces his retirement. Next business day, GM Bob Meyers announces a new intern/Assistant to the GM, Mr. West.
Kevon has a winter streak of garbage time games where he looks like a functional basketball player, then gets immediately traded with collaterial to Dallas. When the Mavs face the Warriors in the First Round, Kevon gets four straight “DNP — Rick Carlisle.”
Starts one game. Improves his free throw percentage to at least 40%.
This is a stacked rookie class. Ball, Fultz, Simmons, and Smith Jr. all seem to be heavily featured pieces in their respective systems. Bell is what — 7th guy off the bench? Nevertheless, by the All Star Break it is going to be impossible to deny Bell minutes. In Los Angeles, Bell will showcase his talent in the Rising Stars Challenge to the tune of a near triple-double with blocks, earning enough of a reputation to get slotted into the All-Rookie Second Team.
The Skipper makes it through the entire year on the bench.