By Justin Taylor
With Landry and Rush officially in the fold the roster for 2012-13 is set barring an
unforeseen trade or Andris Biedrins getting put out to pasture
The Warriors roster is finally balanced in a way that we haven’t seen since the days that Joe Barely Cares roamed the paint. That doesn’t mean that the minds of some tortured fans have found that kind of stability yet. If you’ve seen the message boards or comment sections on Warriors Facebook posts you’ll see that there are plenty of people who don’t believe that all of the positive movement over the past year means a damn thing. There is no disputing that the roster has improved dramatically but I still can’t fault anyone who doesn’t see this as a 50 win team (god bless anyone who does) or anything more then an 8th seed in the Western Conference. Until we see our starting five walk onto the court on opening night (and pretty much every night thereafter) the doubters will have plenty of ammunition. No matter how great the picks, trades and signings have looked nobody can be right until October at the earliest.
As excited as I am for this season there is a lot of scar tissue on my heart and on the ankles of Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut. We’re tougher and we’re deeper but we’re also still young and fragile. I’m trying my hardest but my own ankle problems make it impossible to jump in with both feet. I’m warming up but we’ve been to the second round of the playoffs twice since 1990 and have been derailed by injuries, egos and idiots more times then I care to count. It seems like we’ve weeded out the idiots and the egos but the triage unit is still open for business and thriving.
I was having this conversation with a life coaching guru and Warriors fan that said your conscience is what keeps you positive and moving forward while your sub conscience (what is referred to as your Gremlin) is the voice that tries to remind you why things can’t or won’t be done. I thought that analogy applied to my own internal struggles as a Warriors die hard so I tried to add up all of the points from my conscience and my Gremlin. It wasn’t pretty but part of growing is recognizing what is holding you back. Check it out:
Don't get your inner Warriors Gremlin get wet or let him control your thoughts
Conscience: This is the deepest, most balanced team we’ve had in as long as I can remember. We’re two deep at every position, we've got experience, we’ve got youth and we’ve got character. This is easily the most likable team since the We Believe Warriors!
Gremlin: I’m glad you’ve got likable guys at every position but that isn’t going to get you anything more then an 8th seed in the playoffs if that! Having great character doesn’t trump all of the talent that’s still out west. When anything goes wrong, and things always go wrong for this team, you’ll be crying about Utah owning your lottery pick next year.
Conscience: The perimeter of the offense is absolutely lethal! With David Lee and Andrew Bogut; two of the best passing big men in the game; down on the blocks, teams are going to have to pick their poison when we get the inside out game going.
Gremlin: Typical Warriors fan. I’m glad you’re so excited about the offensive side of the ball but don’t forget about the other 50% of the game. You’ve got exactly one above average defender in the starting line up and you’ve never even seen him in a Warriors uniform but you have seen him in the training room a lot.
Conscience: Bogut and Steph Curry have had a ton of time to properly heal and every report I’ve heard to this point has them being ahead of schedule in their recoveries.
Gremlin: You must have gotten hit in the head with a Hoop Troop T shirt cannon! Has there ever been a report of a guy being behind schedule? You think the PR department would tell you if they weren’t? Ever heard of a chronic injury? Cause that's what Curry has got; the guy can’t even slide his feet on D without rolling over his ankle and ending up back in rehab. Bogut’s injury may have been a freak accident but 7 footers usually aren’t the same after multiple surgeries on their feet and ankles. Right now they’re trying to sell you season tickets and mini plans so don’t expect anything but glowing news coming out of Oakland for about a month and a half. Even Andris Biedrins will be showing “major improvement and incredible dedication” until the cameras turn on and they can’t bullshit you anymore.
Conscience: I’ve seen videos of Steph looking great in workouts and tweets from Bogut saying he is feeling great.
Gremlin: You’re a bigger sap then I thought. Did you see the tweet about the lingering swelling in the Aussie’s ankle? I would forget about that one too if I were you.
Conscience: Klay Thompson spent his offseason working out with Team USA and got a ton of praise from Kobe and LeBron afterwards. The following week he made everyone in the Summer League look like a bunch of scrubs before the Warriors shut him down to avoid an injury…He’s going to be a STUD.
Gremlin: First of all, he spent five or six days playing with those guys and I’m sure those gushing Kobe and LeBron interviews were Raymond Ridder Productions. I bet the Kings, Wizards and Pacers posted similar videos about DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Paul George the same day. It’s called NBA marketing 101. Second of all, the Summer League is a bunch of scrubs!
Conscience: I don’t care what you say about the competition, Harrison Barnes and Charles Jenkins looked great this summer. We had a great draft and even if it doesn’t happen right away all of these young guys will contribute this year. Barnes will start at small forward, Festus Ezeli will start taking Biedrins minutes immediately and the team just gave Green a three year guaranteed contract so they must see something good there.
Gremlin: So let me get this straight, you’re pinning on your hopes on a couple of overrated injury prone guys and a bunch of guys who aren’t even 23 yet? Let me know how that works out for you.
Conscience: This team is so deep that we’re not really even relying on the rookies. With Jarrett Jack, Brandon Rush and Landry coming off the bench our second unit is as deep as any in the league before you even get around to the kids. You may have had a point if Jeremy Tyler was our back up power forward but he’ll most likely be getting his minutes in Santa Cruz.
Gremlin: Your whole bench is essentially playing on a one year deal so enjoy it while it lasts.
The Gremlin doesn't think we can hold on to our bench since we couldn't even keep our mascot
Conscience: One year deals mean these guys will be playing there asses off like Rush and McGuire did last year. I’d rather have guys playing for their next contract then bunch guys playing not to get hurt. The fact is that the crowds at Oracle this season are going to push these guys higher then any of them have ever been while management continues to pull strings and make sound decisions. I do plan on enjoying it and I appreciate your concern!
Gremlin: It’s obvious that I can’t kill your spirit just yet but when the season starts and they are under .500 at the All Star Break you’ll be right there with me begging them to fire the coach, bench the rookies and trade Curry. You’ll be back and I’ve got nothing but time…
I think that pretty much sums up the debate in my head and the one taking place on the internet between other members of the Dub Nation. This is a battle between the angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. That means the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle where the head is and it’s too early to get overly excited. I’ve liked preseason rosters in the past and gotten burned, badly. I’m so hyped for training camp to start that little gremlin in the depths of my mind has been getting his ass kicked. From what I hear the key to keeping him down is to acknowledge his existence but not to let him control your thoughts because he will always be there. All I know that is going to be easier said then done if Bogut and Curry aren’t ready…ahhhh, it never ends!