Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: the Golden State Warriors

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

How will the Washington Wizards fare against a Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson-less Golden State Warriors team?

Washington’s record against Golden State last season: 0-2

Golden State lost: KEVIN DURANT, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Alfonzo McKinnie, Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell, Andrew Bogut, and Klay Thompson (injury)

Golden State gained: D’Angelo Russell, Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III, Eric Paschall, Alec Burks, Jordan Poole, Marquesse Chriss, Omari Spellman, and Alen Smailagić

The Golden State Warriors are starting a new era. They will begin this season in a brand new arena but without their two-time Finals MVP, Kevin Durant. They will also be without their 2011 draft selection, the All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson.

While they did navigate a sign-and-trade to obtain All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets, this Warriors roster is thin, to put it nicely. It’ll take an MVP-esque run from Stephen Curry to get this team into the postseason, and large contributions from the bench to go any further than that. It’s just unclear who will be making those contributions at this point.

For the Washington Wizards, these games will be a litmus test to the team’s legitimacy. Golden State has flaws and holes within the roster as it stands. However, they’re still stacked with All-Star talent. Can the Wizards expose the team’s weaknesses, and obtain an infamously difficult win against the Warriors on the road?

Wizards to Watch

The without-a-doubt player to watch for Washington in these matchups will be big man Thomas Bryant. Golden State has had a lot of things over their famous championship runs these last few years. However, they have never had a legitimate threat below the post.

Bryant stands to play some of his best games against a center rotation that features Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney. There’s a lot of hype surrounding Bryant as he enters his this season on the NBA, and he can prove he deserves it by making an example of Golden State’s weak interior.

Elsewhere, keep an eye on the Wizards newly extended All-Star Bradley Beal. Last season, he averaged just 22 points over two matchups with the Warriors.

But Golden State will have a hard time heckling him defensively this season without Thompson or Andre Iguodala. Chances are Beal sees a lot more ‘green lights’ when going to shoot in these matchups. The Wizards will need him to score in bunches to keep up with Curry.

On the defensive end, Beal be tasked with defending Curry, who put up games of 51 and 38 points against the Wizards last season. Beal will shoulder the load with Ish Smith and sophomore forward Troy Brown Jr helping out when Beal needs a breather.

Game Predictions

February 3rd, 2020 in Washington

The Wizards and Warriors first matchup won’t be until the new year. Just weeks ahead of the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see what kind of roster Golden State brings to DC. Russell is the subject of trade talks aplenty, already, and there’s no signs that’s stopping soon.

Amidst a three-game homestand that features the lottery leading Charlotte Hornets, and with the Warriors on a five-game road trip the Wizards get a much needed win here.

Next. Washington Wizards 2019-20 Season Preview: Dallas Mavericks. dark

March 1st, 2020 in the NEW Chase Center

The second and final series matchup between these two teams will be Washington’s first game inside Golden State’s new arena, the Chase Center. But with the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back, and Curry working plenty of overtime, look for a Wizards series closing win.