Golden State Warriors: Comparisons To Other Contenders

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Houston Rockets

Mar 5, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Houston Rockets defeated the Orlando Magic 101-89. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Patrick Beverly

SG: James Harden

SF: Trevor Ariza

PF: Terrence Jones

C: Dwight Howard

Key Bench Players

Alonzo Gee, Donatas Motiejunas, Isaiah Canaan, and Troy Daniels.

Head Coach

Kevin McHale, fourth year in Houston.


Trevor Ariza is a good replacement for Chandler Parsons. They are similar players. However, I am not convinced that Houston has gotten better. Instead, it seems as if they’ve flatlined; that’s a sin in today’s Western Conference. Here, teams have to either get better or get left in the dust–that’s how unforgiving the Western Conference is.

Besides Ariza replacing Parsons, Houston made minimal other moves. In pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh (or a combination of two of them), they cleared space by sending Omer Asik to New Orleans and gift-wrapping Jeremy Lin for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

So, let’s recap: while losing Parsons, Asik and Lin, Houston acquired Ariza and Gee. Although they ridded themselves of some overpaid players, they lost more talent than they gained. James Harden and Dwight Howard will win many regular season games for Houston, but I expect the Rockets to lose in the first round of the playoffs again.

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  • Now, comparing Houston to Golden State. The Warriors have a more complete starting five–that’s the case most of the time. Golden State’s bench is also deeper and more impressive than Houston’s: both Canaan and Daniels are unproven scorers and Motiejunas can’t play much defense. Gee, however, can be a solid bench player; he has the tools to score and play tough defense.

    Coach Kevin McHale has an advantage over Kerr because of his experience. I, however, am a believer in Kerr. I think he will prove himself quickly and make Golden State happy Stan Van Gundy turned down the Warriors for a more enticing job in Detroit.

    Overall, the Warriors have the advantage. Houston’s inability to play solid defense will be their downfall. As long as Harden continues to give minimal effort on the defensive side of the ball, Houston can’t be considered real contenders.