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Gary Payton picks Golden State to win Western Conference

Sep 3, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two Getty Images

Golden State is going to be a trendy pick for some this season.

They have the shooting in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, they have added Andre Iguodala to help them in transition and with perimeter defense, they have a double-double machine in David Lee coming back, they bring Harrison Barnes off the bench. Optimism runs high in the Bay Area.

Particularly in Oakland — where Hall of Famer (as of this weekend) Gary Payton is from and where the Warriors still play. (And will for a few years at least, getting a new stadium built on the water in San Francisco is a Herculean task the owners undertook.)

Payton told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com he is on the Warriors bandwagon.

“I think they’re going to be there,” Payton said. “I think they have a good chance of going. Picking up Andre (Igoudala), that was a good pickup for them. I think if (Andrew) Bogut plays well, they’re going to have a great chance. I just really do believe that. And I think Mark Jackson’s doing a great job down there. I’m really proud of my city. That’s why I mention it. People always think about our city as being the crime city. But they don’t understand. We’ve got a lot of good people coming out of there doing great things in athletics and doing a lot of things that’s positive. We want these kids to understand that they can do the same thing and come out and just keep our generation going that’s coming out of that area.”

That is some Oakland pride. And as somebody who was there a couple weeks ago visiting friends, there are certainly a lot of things to be proud of in that city.

As for the Warriors as contenders….

First off, we have made it, Payton has made it, and pretty much everyone will make it — the Andrew Bogut caveat. For Golden State to be a serious threat in the West they need his defensive presence healthy in the paint. They would be good without him, but not a contender. His passing skills work great with Curry and Thompson, but more importantly he is a quality backstop on defense, which they need as the aforementioned shooters are not great defenders.

But there are other questions about Golden State. To me, I think they miss the veteran presence of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry off the bench. I think there will need to be some melding of Iggy with Curry. There is some work to do.

Which is to say, the Warriors can be contenders if things go their way, but there are still a lot of “ifs.” But there are ifs for every contender in the West, it’s a matter of who best answers their questions.

  1. rohlo - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    idk, the rockets took 3 of 4 from the warriors last year and both teams improved nd the rockets got stronger down low..i still dont see the warriors playing any defense this year.i rate the thunder,rockets,spurs,clippers all ahead of the warriors!

  2. baymac408 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    This is a dope article! And The Glove is a Bay Area legend! Dubs up!

  3. baymac408 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Nobody cares what you rate rohlo!! You or your opinion don’t have crap on Gary Payton.. Warriors all day!! Idk bout you and your ratings foo

  4. spthegr8 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Apparently, the Glove is pickin up something else in Cali.Puff, Puff, Pass!!!!

  5. divan22 - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Where you from? Oakland, smokin’.

  6. antistratfordian - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    You’re not going to get very far relying on brick chuckers like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      …Curry and Thompson led the NBA in made 3’s.

      Their shooting percentages from 3 were 45.3% and 40.1% on a high volume of attempts, which is why you can’t just look at raw field goal percentage.

      Taking into account the high volume of 3’s, Steph Curry’s effective field goal percentage was 54.5%…compared to 58.6% for “brick chucker” LeBron James.

      In the future, do some research before commenting on basketball.

      • eventhorizon04 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        Typo: *Curry and Thompson led the NBA in combined made 3’s by a backcourt

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        haha Curry just had the best 3pt. shooting season in the history of the NBA.

  7. midnite2020 - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    I can definitely see them getting to playoffs hell ill even say 2nd round but to win the west now you buggin great young team but no way there taking out okc or houston san Antonio are just about dead Lakers are history and don’t see denver making any noise past the first round

    • kb2408 - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Mix in some punctuation, please.

  8. divan22 - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I love my Warriors, but winning the West is a tall order. I don’t trust Bogut to ever return to his prime.

  9. illegalblues - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    west is so stacked this year. gonna be good ball

  10. senorpapino - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Gary Payton has been desperate for some attention lately.

  11. kublakhaan - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    #1 issue is who steps up as back-up point guard to spell Curry. #2 is health of Curry & Bogut in the playoffs. #3 is continued development of Thompson and Barnes. #4 is if new big men can spell Bogut without big defensive drop-off. If everything goes right they could compete with anyone.

  12. skinsfanwill - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I think you all need to remember this name (Kent Bazemore). he can run the point, attack the paint, shoot the 3, and most importantly, DEFEND. He is the reason there was no use for Jack any more. I been bigging this guy up all year. He will be better than Barnes. Ya heard it here first.

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