Achtung Panzer! #1: The Tanking Golden State Warriors

Welcome to Achtung Panzer, a series that will take a look at the teams buying a few extra tickets for the 2020 NBA Draft lottery. We begin with an unlikely entrant, the Golden State Warriors. For each of the past five seasons, the Golden State Warriors have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, the longest streak for one franchise in either half of the NBA since the Boston Celtics went to eight straight championship rounds between 1957 and 1966 (winning seven!) This year, the Warriors, down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to extended injuries and down Kevin Durant …

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Are the 2019-20 Golden State Warriors Good?

The Golden State Warriors fell short of winning their fourth title in five years in June, with injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson acting as a decisive Gotterdammerung at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. This year…hoo boy. Some prognosticators have suggested they won’t even make the playoffs, as Durant is gone to Brooklyn, Thompson will miss a substantial portion of the 2019-20 season, and Stephen Curry isn’t getting any younger and has had his own battles with injuries throughout his career since getting hurt in the 2016 playoffs. Vegas, for its part, remains optimistic, pegging Golden State for …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part VI: Pacific Division

As we wrap up our look at NBA contracts, a few things—good and bad—about Wiggins Factor as a stat start to come through in the analysis. In one case, it’s a sins-of-the-father argument… This really should say ‘the Wolves HAD one of the worst front offices in the league’. None of those bad contracts were signed by the current regime. — Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) August 23, 2019 It’s going to take the new front office awhile to take out the trash. And in another case, it’s an example of Stewart’s Maxim: “It’s not funny anymore when it’s your guy.” @RealFoxD …

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Golden State Warriors Headed for a Fan-Friendly Decline

The Golden State Warriors, mere weeks removed from their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals, are a moribund franchise about to embark on a collapse that will give them some boffo odds in the draft lottery in 2022. Sure, they’ll hang on in the short-term, maybe even make one more deep playoff run on fumes and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shooting 30 threes a game between them and seeing enough of them go in to get past a not-quite-there-yet Nuggets or Jazz team in the first two rounds before the Clippers put up a Kawhilight reel in the …

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Breakfast Special: Golden State Bluesmobile

The Golden State Warriors always prided themselves on “strength in numbers”, but the only numbers anyone’s counting in Oakland as the team prepares to depart across the Bay next season are the ones on the potential lost free agent contracts for Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant suffered what history says will be a career-ending injury to his Achilles in Game 5, while Thompson, after scoring 30 points, collapsed in a literal sense down the stretch when his ACL finally said “no mas” in his left knee. Although, to Klay’s credit, holy crap: Klay walking back onto the court WITH …

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Kevin Durant’s Career Is Over

Sometimes, a player can get injured, even catastrophically, sit out a season, come back, and return to the form they enjoyed before they got hurt, noticing no dropoff in performance that anyone is able to measure statistically. An Achilles tendon rupture, which Kevin Durant suffered during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, is not one of those injuries that players typically come back from. Here’s a list of the All-Stars besides Durant who have torn Achilles tendons, according to collected sources from a Google search that all seemed to be working from the same data set: Elton Brand, Dominique Wilkins, …

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Breakfast Special: 12 Minutes of Kevin Durant

I am, in my heart of hearts, a deeply religious man. I believe in the gods, and I believe that the gods are the arbiters of probability, the referees who decide whether Schrodinger’s Cat lives or dies, and in their various guises made manifest at sporting events. And not in the performative Christianity “thank God for this championship” sort of way. Just once I’d like to hear a player on the losing side say “well, we’d have won, but you heard the other team. God wanted them to win, clearly.” No, I’m talking about the kind of divine intervention that …

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Breakfast Special: Will the Raptors Blow a 3-1 Lead?

The Golden State Warriors finally failed to hit 109 points in a Finals game, a score they’d posted like clockwork in each of the first three games of this championship series despite losing two of them. Too bad for them, because 109 would’ve been enough to win this one. As it stands they lost 105-92 to the Toronto Raptors and look an awful lot like a team that’s going to be forced to surrender when the battle shifts back to Canada for Game 5. In some small way, this is validation for Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry looked completely spent in …

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Breakfast Special: Now Steph Knows How LeBron Feels

Granted, Shaun Livingston is not J.R. Smith, but for Stephen Curry, his 47-point, 14-of-31 shooting, 6-of-14 from three and 13-of-14 from the line, eight-rebound, seven-assist gem of a game, one of the greatest performances in defeat in NBA Finals history, was wasted in a listless 123-109 loss in Game 3 as the Toronto Raptors grabbed back home-court advantage. Not since LeBron James‘ 51-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist performance last year, which was ruined when Smith lost track of the clock and launched a thousand Internet memes has one player done so much with his teammates just standing around watching. Although on the …

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Breakfast Special: Until the Road Team Wins a Game

The Golden State Warriors scored 109 points in each of the first two games of the NBA Finals. Trouble for Toronto came when they scored 118 in the first game and just 104 in the second, leaving the series tied at 1, home court advantage for now having evaporated, and the series on its way back to Oakland for Games 3 and 4 as the Dubs send off Oracle Arena in potential in-six championship fashion before heading into the new fancy digs in San Francisco next season. Game 2 was made possible by one of Golden State’s patented third quarters, …

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