Predicted starting five:
Center, Andris Biendrins...Nelson's move to Hawaii comes as a big relief for Andris. Look for Andris to get back to averaging double figures in points and rebounds.
Power Forward, David Lee...The Warriors gave up some valuable pieces to get Lee (Turiaf, Randolph, Azubuike), but Lee gives Steph Curry are solid pick and roll partner with dynamic skill on offense. The Warriors will rely on Biendrins to protect the rim in the absence of Turiaf and Randolph.
Small Forward, Dorell Wright...Wright gives the Warrirors a well rounded player with length and defensive presence at 6'9". He is a competent catch and shoot three point shooter, but it's his size and athleticism that will help make up for the Warriors small back court.
Shooting Guard, Monta Ellis...Ellis had a breakout year last season and carried the team for most of the season with his scoring. Like Biedrins, Ellis is happy to see Don Nelson move on. Of course he has respect for his former coach, but everyone who followed the Ws last year knows there was tension. Expect Ellis to play hard for coach Smart and settle into his role as a veteran leader. Ellis will be an All-Star this year.
Point Guard, Stephen Curry...Curry is better than anyone imagined. He answered every doubt and made believers out of critics. He played great defense (on ball and team), he rebounded, and he showcased passing skills few people knew he had (especially in pick and roll situations). Curry and Ellis are the smallest backcourt in the NBA, but they will be atop the NBA leaders in steals and combined scoring.
The Warriors offense is based around Ellis, Curry, and Lee, who are all surrounded by a mob of physical bodyguards who defend and crash the boards. Next post, we'll take a look at the Warriors bench.