Warriors Try to Jump from Contender to Elite
Now that the Golden State Warriors have reached the point where great things are expected — where they are no longer upstarts from an overshadowed, sleeper franchise just trying to attract attention — the real pressure and responsibility begin.
The biggest step for any franchise to take is from good to great, from occasional contender to elite. The Warriors — with their second-year coach, brilliant shooter with the bad ankles, former No. 1 overall pick trying to prove he’s capable of playing a full season, and pair of overlooked ex-college standouts — are poised to become a major factor in the Western Conference.
The Clippers may be the favorites in the Pacific Division but the Warriors are not far from that level, having added Andre Iguodala to an already deep and intriguing team. So as they prepared for a trip to China to make an NBA-sponsored appearance, popularize the franchise brand, and also play two exhibition games with the Lakers, the Warriors acknowledged the challenge of expectations.