Even though the 2023–24 NBA season is only one game old, ESPN’s Jay Williams made a strong claim regarding the Warriors’ chances of winning the league.
In a recent episode of “First Take,” Williams declared with assurance that the Warriors’ squad is too old to rank among the best teams in the Western Conference.
“The Golden State Warriors will be in the play-in tournament,” Williams stated. “I think we can all agree that in order for this team to win a championship, Stephen Curry needs to be the MVP of the Finals? It will be his 36th birthday in March. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the only player 36 years of age or older to win MVP of the Finals. They are past their prime in terms of age. When you are at your prime, the average age is 28. Klay [Thompson], Draymond [Green], thirty-three, about to be thirty-four. You also include [Chris Paul], who is 38 years old. Age is a significant factor for them. Age is a crucial factor.
Williams is also concerned about the lack of size on Golden State’s squad, as 6-foot-9 big man Kevon Looney is the team’s tallest player.
“Size, in the fourth quarter at the end of the game, they had CP3, Gary Payton II, and Steph Curry on the floor together, what the hell is going on?” stated Williams. “At 6 feet 9 inches, Kevon Looney is the tallest player they have. That won’t go well; they’re going to get hurt. Jordan Poole, who is 23 years old, averaged 20 points per game the previous season. He was the life of the party and the bench-warmer. They lack complexity. Despite their average of 38 points per game when coming off the bench.
If the Dubs’ season opening against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night was any guide, they will largely depend on Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to light up the score off the bench. The youthful wings combined to shoot 8 for 14 from the field against Phoenix, surpassing double digits in points scored.
Despite not scoring a point, Gary Payton II had a significant impact on the game. In his 22 minutes off the bench, he recorded a team-high plus-15 plus/minus rating and frequently slowed down the Suns’ offensive flow with his characteristic smothering on-ball defense.
Since the play-in tournament’s inception in the 2021 playoffs, the Warriors have only participated in it once in its present iteration, losing back-to-back heartbreaking games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies at the buzzer.
History indicates that it would be foolish to take a chance against this seasoned Warriors core, even though it might take some time to work out the chemistry for a group with so many new faces.