NBA 2k22 review: The Golden State Warriors, the return to the top – The NBA season has just come to an end by consecrating the Golden State Warriors, winners of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. So it’s time to take stock of the Californian franchise.
What to remember from the Golden State Warriors
The Warriors’ offseason got off to a bad start last summer. With the injuries of Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, as well as the uncertain vaccination status of Andrew Wiggins, all lights were not green for Golden State. Which explains why we placed them in 8th place in the Western Conference in our early season preview . Nevertheless, apart from the long-term injury of James Wiseman who has not played a single game this season, the rest of the year has been more favorable to the Warriors. 3 players ( Curry, Green and Wiggins ) selected to the All-Star Game , a historic 3-point record for Curry and a final place of 3rdof the Western Conference at the end of the season . This will also have allowed the gradual return to competition of Klay Thompson after two years of absence.
The Playoffs then went off without a hitch for Steve Kerr’s men. Only one small setback against Denver in a series won 4-1 , assured conference semi-finals against the Grizzlies ( 4-2 ) and finally a gentleman’s sweep against the Mavericks ( 4-1) . The NBA Finals were more contested, the Warriors being led twice during the series before turning the tide from game 4. Victory 4-2 for the Warriors against the Celtics , with the bonus of the title of MVP of the Finals in the purse (finally) by Stephen Curry .
In terms of statistics, Stephen Curry finished as the team’s top scorer (25.5 points per game), helped by Thompson (20.4), Poole (18.5) and Wiggins (17.2). The versatile Draymond Green totaled for his part the best total of rebounds (7.3), assists (7) and blocks (1.1), a sign of his importance in the Warriors team despite a lower scoring share. Golden State only obtained the 17th offensive rating in the League during the regular season but was on the other hand the best defense in the League, which had its importance during the Playoffs and the NBA Finals.
Our forecast at the start of the season: 8th / Final ranking: 3rd
The Revelation: Gary Payton II
If the rookies Moses Moody and especially Jonathan Kuminga could have been named revelations of the year, it is Gary Payton II that we have chosen to highlight in this section. His defensive impact has been surprising this season and particularly during the NBA Finals where he shone off the bench . Carried around in the various NBA franchises and even in the G-League teams in previous seasons, the son of The Glove has finally shown himself worthy of his father. Best interceptor for the Warriors in the regular season (1.4 per game), he will also have contributed offensively with 7 points per game, at very correct percentages(61% shooting including 36% from a distance).
The Disappointment: Damion Lee
While James Wiseman can be consider a disappointment given his off season, it’s hard to blame him for anything about it. A player who has not been up to his teammates, however, is Damion Lee . Compared to the dazzling progress of other boys like Jordan Poole , who got off to a bad start after a rather bad rookie year, Damion Lee pales in comparison to the Warriors’ champion squad and fails to raise his level.
At 29 , the fullback is now an unrestricted free agentand has no guarantee of returning to Golden State’s roster next year. 20 minutes per game for only 7 small points, 44% in shooting including 33% from afar and only one average pass is too little. Defensively, Lee will also have been struggling during the important games of the Playoffs and his presence will have been notice… negatively. In short, there are not many disappointments in this Warriors team but Damion Lee can logically be placed in this category.
What next for the Golden State Warriors?
The defending champions currently have 8 players under contract in 2022-23 : Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green, Wiseman, Kuminga, Moody and Poole, for a total of 171 million . A cap already totally exploded, but all the executives who contributed to the title are still there. To strengthen the workforce, it looks complicated financially, with either the signing of players with a minimum contract , or rookies.
That’s good, the Warriors have 3 picks in the Draft : the 28th , the 51st and the 55th. For the remaining roster spots, some current Warriors players may decide to sign at a minimum (Gary Payton II, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damion Lee, Otto Porter). In the case of Kevon Looney , the pivot earns 5 million per year and is at the end of the contract, to see if he will agree to sign at a discount to stay in Oakland or if his good Playoffs will allow him to earn more elsewhere.
In any case, it is the card of continuity that will be play by Bob Myers , the General Manager of the Warriors: to take advantage of the last good years of his trio of stars while continuing to train the young generation of Moody, Kuminga, Wiseman, Poole etc.