Assessing the 2021-22 Golden State Warriors

June 16th, 2022

By Alan Lu

The 2021-22 Golden State Warriors had a really good season overall. They won 53 games in the regular season, and they were able to make it to the 2022 NBA Finals this year.
(Photo:
Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images, via Bleacher Report)

The 2021-22 Golden State Warriors had a dream season this year.  Stephen Curry was tremendous all year long, Klay Thompson was healthy to play in the regular season and postseason, Jordan Poole had a terrific third season in the NBA, and the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight seasons.  The fact that the Warriors were able to make it back to the NBA Finals this year and win after all the obstacles they have faced in the past three seasons is remarkable in itself, and it is a testament to the championship spirit that their team has and embodies to this league. Also, executive Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr deserve credit and praise for how they helped build and shape the Warriors over the years, along with having the players to lead the way to three NBA championships in the past ten NBA seasons.

In head coach Steve Kerr’s tenure with the Warriors as their head coach, they were winning early and often, and they won 3 NBA titles in his first 5 seasons.  From 2015-19, the Warriors had a dominant dynasty in which they reached the NBA Finals every single year of Kerr’s reign as Golden State’s head coach.  The Warriors were dominant, they were fun to watch, they won championships, and they had fun while doing so.

But then, an unexpected string of injuries hit the Warriors hard and took a toll on them over the years.  In the 2019 NBA Finals, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both got injured, and went down to season ending injuries.  The Warriors then missed the playoffs for two straight seasons, and in both of those years, Klay Thompson was unable to play a single game.  The best news would arrive for them this season, and that would be their five-time All-Star, sharpshooting star guard, Klay Thompson would be finally healthy to play in an NBA game this year.

This season, the Golden State Warriors were able to get off to a tremendous start.  They started off the season 19-3, which was all the more impressive because they racked up a bunch of early season wins in the absence of Klay Thompson, who was still recovering from his Achilles injury.  Stephen Curry was dominant, and Jordan Poole was really impressive, especially in the early going.  The Warriors hit a few bumps along the way during the season, as Klay Thompson had his ups and downs on his way back, and Draymond Green got hurt for a stretch, but they were all able to get healthy (except James Wiseman) for the playoffs, which enabled the Warriors to fully realize their potential and hit their stride, and they were able to defeat a slew of teams to get to the 2022 NBA Finals. There, the 2022 Golden State Warriors faced a tough Boston Celtics squad, and they were able to battle back to win in 6 games to win the title.

Key Players:

Golden State’s legendary, superstar point guard, Stephen Curry had a very good season this year, and he helped lead his team to get to the 2022 NBA Finals.
(Photo:
Tom Pennington/Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Golden State of Mind)

Stephen Curry
2021-22 (GSW): 25.5 PPG, 6.3 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 44 FG%, 38 3PT%, 92 FT%, 60 TS%, 21.4 PER, 8.0 WS

Stephen Curry is a tremendously skilled, superstar point guard that can make a plethora of impossible-looking shots, and he has such good footwork and shooting prowess that he can make it look easy and effortless.  He did a very good job of operating on offense, and he thrived to help lead his team to win many games in the regular season and the playoffs this year.  He also especially terrific in the playoffs, and he made one big shot after another to help his team win the title.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting point guard of the Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins had a very good season with the Warriors this year. He made his first NBA All-Star team, he helped them get to the 2022 NBA Finals, and he also scored on this jaw-dropping dunk in the picture above in Game 3 against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.
(Photo:
Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports, via via Warriors Wire – USA Today)

Andrew Wiggins
2021-22 (GSW): 17.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 47 FG%, 39 3PT%, 63 FT%, 56 TS%, 15.0 PER, 5.1 WS

He is a very athletic, high-flyer that thrived as a shooter, scorer, and defender for his team this year.  He is a versatile, skilled forward that helped out in a lot of different ways on the court, and he was able to make his first All-Star team this year.  He is a rising star that played terrific basketball in the NBA Finals, and he really elevated his play by really excelling as a scorer and defender for the Warriors.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 3.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting small forward of the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors’ players, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole all played very well to help lead their team to get to the 2022 NBA Finals.
(Photo:
Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group, via The Mercury News)

Jordan Poole
2021-22 (GSW): 18.5 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.4 RPG, 45 FG%, 36 3PT%, 92 FT%, 60 TS%, 16.1 PER, 6.0 WS

He is an agile, skilled, sharpshooting combo guard that had a very good, much improved season this year.  He did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he can score in bunches.  On the downside, he can sometimes struggle on the defensive end, and he can struggle to guard taller, quicker opponents in games.  Still, Poole hit really big shots in the postseason, and he shot the ball really well in big games to help his team win the title this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (4 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Sixth man of the Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green
2021-22 (GSW): 7.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 53 FG%, 30 3PT%, 66 FT%, 58 TS%, 14.3 PER, 3.6 WS

He is an athletic, energetic point forward that has tremendous court vision, playmaking, and defensive skills.  He is a rangy defender that can guard multiple positions, and he can comfortably run the point and rack up assists.  He is a super versatile player that can play many different positions on the court.  On the other hand, he’s struggled to shoot the basketball, but Green showed his smarts and toughness by being able to make adjustments, and his ability to think and play the game really helped his team in the last two games of the NBA Finals this year.  He has been a very valuable player to the Golden State Warriors, and he had a very good year this season.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting power forward of the Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson
2021-22 (GSW): 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 43 FG%, 39 3PT%, 90 FT%, 55 TS%, 16.7 PER, 1.8 WS

Thompson is a very skilled, sharpshooting wing that came back strong after missing two seasons due to a knee and an Achilles injury to help the Warriors this season.  He did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, as he came back midway through the year.  On the other hand, he seems to not have nearly the same lift or explosiveness as before, and he seems to be a step slower as a scorer and defender.  Despite that, he’s proven that he’s still capable of scoring in bunches and knocking down many shots in a row to help his team in critical games, and he was able to help his team down the stretch to help them win the title.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting shooting guard of the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors’ center, Kevon Looney had a very good season this year, and he helped them fuel a comeback win in Game 2 of the 2022 Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
(Photo:
Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports, via Reuters, via The New York Times)

Kevon Looney
2021-22 (GSW): 6.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 57 FG%, 0 3PT%, 60 FT%, 59 TS%, 15.7 PER, 6.8 WS

He is an athletic, energetic big man that thrived as an interior player and rim protector to help his team this season.  Looney has really excelled at playing within the confines of the team system to help his team on both ends of the floor, and he is also a very good passing center and defender, as he’s shown that he can guard both out on the perimeter and in the paint.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting center of the Golden State Warriors
Side Note: Looney will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Gary Payton II turned in a very good season with the Warriors this year.
(Photo:
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press, via Warriors Wire – USA Today)

Gary Payton II
2021-22 (GSW): 7.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 62 FG%, 36 3PT%, 60 FT%, 68 TS%, 17.8 PER, 5.2 WS

He is an athletic, energetic playmaking combo guard that thrived as a shooter, scorer, and defender for the Warriors off the bench this year.  Payton was able to be a regular rotation player, and he played very well this season.  He got hurt in the second round of the playoffs on a collision play with Dillon Brooks, but Payton was able to recover to make his way back to the 2022 NBA Finals.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team
Side Note: Payton will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

The former 3rd overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Otto Porter had a very good season with the Golden State Warriors this year, and he experienced a renaissance as he was rejuvenated, and he provided strong shooting, defense, and versatility to help his team this season.
(Photo:
Christian Petersen/Getty Images, via Fansided’s Blue Man Hoop)

Otto Porter
2021-22 (GSW): 8.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 46 FG%, 37 3PT%, 80 FT%, 58 TS%, 15.9 PER, 4.9 WS

After signing with the Warriors on a veterans’ minimum deal, like Gary Payton II, Porter provided a lot of bang for the buck for his team this year.  Porter did a great job of shooting, scoring, and defending, and his versatility and penchant for making smart, sound plays really helped the Warriors on both ends of the floor this season.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team
Side Note: Porter will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Nemanja Bjelica
2021-22 (GSW): 6.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 47 FG%, 36 3PT%, 73 FT%, 57 TS%, 14.2 PER, 3.0 WS

Bjelica played really well, as he thrived as an all-around player for his team this past season.  His size, all-around skills, and versatility really helped the Warriors, and he especially thrived as a tall, playmaking forward that could shoot and defend this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team
Side Note: Bjelica will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Other Notable Players:

Jonathan Kuminga

He is a very athletic, energetic forward that quietly had a very good rookie season with the Warriors.  He is a high-flyer that can throw down thunderous dunks, and he thrived as a versatile scorer and rebounder this year.  On the other hand, he can be inconsistent with his outside shot, and he can sometimes struggle to make rotations defensively, which may explain why he hasn’t played nearly as much in the playoffs.  Despite that, he is a tremendously talented player whose potential is through the roof, and he could develop into being one of the best players to come out of the 2021 draft class.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (4 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors

James Wiseman

He is an athletic, energetic center that was the second overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, but he missed the entire season this year due to a knee injury.

2022 Season Grade: N/A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors

Moses Moody

He did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball in limited minutes, and he slowly and steadily earned minutes over the course of his rookie season with the Warriors.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (3 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors

Andre Iguodala

He is an athletic, skilled veteran swingman that was a former NBA All-Star, and he is a three-time NBA champion that also has won an NBA Finals MVP award. He didn’t play much this year but he was able to make an impact when he was on the floor this year. Though he struggled to shoot or score well in the regular season, Iguodala definitely thrived as a playmaker and defender, which helped him earn crucial minutes in the 2022 NBA Finals.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors
Side Note: Iguodala will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Damion Lee

He is an athletic, 3 and D swingman in the NBA.  Although he struggled with his three-point shot this year, Lee did a fairly good job of scoring and defending when he was on the floor this season.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors
Side Note: Lee will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Juan Toscano-Anderson

He is an athletic swingman that made it to the dunk contest this year.  While he didn’t threes nearly as well this year, he thrived as a facilitator and defender off the bench for the Warriors.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Golden State Warriors
Side Note: Toscano-Anderson will be a restricted free agent (RFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Other Players on the Roster:

Quinndary Weatherspoon (Two-Way Player)

He is an agile, skilled combo guard that can score and defend, but he has struggled with his three-point shot at both the NBA and in the G-League.

2022 Season Grade: D+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Chris Chiozza (Two-Way Player)

He is a point guard that can run the team at the point and will play tenacious, aggressive defense, but he really struggled to shoot or score the basketball this year in limited minutes on the Golden State Warriors.

2022 Season Grade: D
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Head Coach:

Golden State Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr had a tremendous season this year, and he helped get them to the 2022 NBA Finals.
(Photo:
Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group, via The Mercury News)

Steve Kerr
2021-22 (GSW): 53-29, 16-6 in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, won the 2022 NBA Finals

Steve Kerr had a tremendous 2021-22 season, which culminated in leading his team to win the NBA championship this year.  As he’s won 5 NBA titles as a player, and 4 NBA titles as a head coach, Kerr showed that he is demonstrably one of the best coaches in NBA history.  He set a very good culture, and he made timely adjustments along with implementing a very good scheme that maximized the talent on his roster.  He’s established himself as arguably the league’s best coach.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Kevon Looney
F Draymond Green
F Andrew Wiggins
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry
______________________
G Jordan Poole
F Jonathan Kuminga
C James Wiseman
G Moses Moody
G Andre Iguodala

The Golden State Warriors’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#28, #51, #55

The Golden State Warriors’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
52-30, 3rd in the Western Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:

The Golden State Warriors had a really good season this year, and they will likely need to keep their team intact, so it is expected that they will look to re-sign Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, and Andre Iguodala at the very least. In the meantime, they are projected to be capped out, and they are deep into the luxury tax, so they won’t likely be able to spend much on free agents in the offseason.

They don’t have many glaring flaws on their team, and they were very good on offense and defense.   The Warriors did a very good job of shooting and passing the basketball, and they also rebounded and defended well.  Sometimes though, they would turn the ball over too much, and they would sometimes commit careless turnovers early in postseason games.  They also could look to add more size to help them match up better defensively, and there were times where they struggled to guard the opposing team’s scorers and shooters out on the floor.

Overall, the Warriors had a tremendous season.  They won a lot of games, they were very fun to watch, and they managed to keep nearly everyone healthy at the season’s end while making a deep postseason run, and they won the title this year.  The Warriors should celebrate their title, and they have a great group of players, coaches, and front office personnel that really have helped each other win titles over the years.  They played at a very high level all season long, and their journey was rewarded as they collectively won a championship this year. The biggest thing for them will be to stay healthy, and the Warriors will mount their title defense for next season.

The team analysis of the Golden State Warriors was done before the 2022 NBA Draft and the start of free agency.  I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes.  Thanks for reading.

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