Warriors 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Lack of Depth Catch Up to Golden State?
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) warms up at Chase Center.
- Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
- Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Golden State Warriors' win total this year.
All odds as of Thursday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Golden State Warriors Win Total
The Case for the Over (47.5, PointsBet)
Miss me with Kevin Durant. Miss me with Andre Iguodala. Miss me with Klay Thompson for a few months.
This is Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Steve Kerr — without expectations, without pressure, with a grudge to bear and an opportunity. I do not want to bet against them.
In many ways, this is the litmus test for Curry. Curry’s backers have long said he’s not just the best player in the league now, but one of the best in league history. Their case is not without merit.
Now we get to see what he looks like not flanked by four future Hall of Famers (or three, going back to 2015 and 2016).
This is an opportunity to prove that he’s not the product of system and surrounding greatness and that his brilliance can translate on its own.
Green seemed to slide for most of last year but got himself in shape and turned it on to help the Warriors secure the 1-seed. He was brilliant in the playoffs.
There’s reason to hold concern for Green’s health as he ages, but for another season. With everyone writing him off, this is the exact spot you want to buy in on him.
The Warriors hit their under the last two seasons because the bar was set in the low 60s. This number is asking if a two-time MVP and his former-DPOY cohort, with Klay Thompson conceivably back at midseason, can hit 50 wins.
That’s an absurdly low bar. I get Durant’s gone. But what made the Warriors The Warriors the past five seasons was undeniably Curry, and he’s still around. That, plus Kerr in a spot where he gets to get creative, gives confidence.
D’Angelo Russell is coming into his prime, and if Kerr and Curry can get through to him, to maximize him, the Warriors will have the most dangerous perimeter attack since… well the last time they had Curry and Klay Thompson healthy five months ago.
The Case for the Under (49, Circa)
So you’re trying to create a formula that says the adversity is so great that their top-end talent can’t compensate.
The schedule is brutal. The Warriors have the ninth-toughest schedule in October and November, the 11th-toughest in January and the 10th-toughest from March through the end of the season.
The only real weakness for the Warriors the last few years was their bench depth, and it has gotten a lot worse in the offseason. Reliable wings Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala are gone. Quinn Cook, who was underrated last season, is gone. Their bench depth now features guys like Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. Those are decent role players, but that’s their best depth.
Klay could be back sooner, but the uncertainty around a return has to give pause. If the Warriors are comfortably set for a playoff spot but neither competing for a top-two seed nor battling for a spot at all, they can be patient with Thompson’s return. The Warriors are likely hesitant to return a player too soon from injury after the Finals.
How does Curry look when not flanked by one of the greatest shooters of all time, nor Durant? Curry now faces the same adversity offensively that most stars face for large chunks of their careers — not having absurdly more talent than the opponent.
The Warriors defense has quietly been the secret backbone of the team in their finest moments. Now they have worse rim protection with Willie Cauley-Stein. They have worse perimeter defense. They have worse isolation defense and more players to target in pick-and-rolls; the Warriors’ switch defense will be a shell of its former self.
The Warriors can no longer suffer an injury to a key player and survive it with the other three All-Stars. Curry tweaks an ankle, and that’s all she wrote; the team will spiral. They can recover to get back into it, but there’s no more insurance policies. This team’s floor is simply significantly lower than its ceiling is high, relative to the number.
Update: Man, their preseason game vs. the Lakers was sobering. The defense, the bench, the whole thing. Draymond Green prefaced the game that they were going to look bad, but I did not anticipate that.
- The pick: Over 47.5
- Confidence: 3 out of 10
I’m ignoring a lot of data points here and taking the over. I’m choosing to believe that Curry, the most impactful player in the league by any metric over the past four seasons, can carry a team with Green and non-G-League talent to 50 wins.
However, I can’t count it among my most confident. There are so many things that can go sideways, so many things that might not work. I’m choosing to be a believer, but if you need belief, you can’t feel confident in the bet.