1.Testing Steve Kerr
It would be unfair to suggest that Kerr has had an easy run as Warriors head coach. Yes, he inherited an extremely talented team, but getting egos to gel, adding an MVP in his prime and continuing to motivate a team at the apex of a sport is extremely difficult. Not to mention the medical issues he suffered along the way.
However, this season will be the biggest test of his coaching tenure, with limited resources and significant roster overturn. Despite lowered expectations, we get to see how versatile a coach Kerr is.
The Warriors suffered with more than enough significant injuries last year. In addition to KD (which led to public questioning of the medical staff) and Klay in the Finals, Kevon Looney fractured his costal cartilage (the bit between your ribs), limiting him in the Playoffs and, following a very promising start to the season Damian Jones tore his pectoral muscle in December. Oh, and DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad… having only just recovered from a torn Achilles tendon… did I miss anything?
With limited depth to fall back on, the new look Warriors will rely heavily on their three healthy All-Stars. This will likely mean increased minutes and, therefore, increased miles on the figurative tires. Curry and Russell have a history of ankle and knee issues, respectively, and this season could be a true test of their durability.
Once again, the Warriors lack a definitive (literal) centerpiece. Willie Cauley-Stein is another, in a list of projects the franchise have taken on, that represent low risk assets with potentially high rewards. Marquese Chriss also fits this mold. Kevon Looney, having played valiantly through injury in the 2019 Playoffs, has a real chance to establish himself as a key player on this team and the franchises go to center going forwards.
Looney, entering his fifth season, has yet to showcase his full arsenal of talent in the NBA. In 2013, Ball is Life posted a video entitled “Is Kevon Looney the next Kevin Durant?” (not a joke). Yes, he was playing against high schoolers at the time, but the range of skills on display suggest he could be significantly more than his Warriors role to date has allowed.