The Golden State Warriors may no longer be the dominant force they once were, but how could anyone think they’re going to miss the playoffs?
As the Warriors played their first game at Chase Center against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, an interesting graphic was displayed in the midst of the game. That would be because TNT analyst/commentator Chris Webber’s Western Conference playoff predictions popped up.
And as you looked at playoff seeds one through eight, you notice one major team missing — the Warriors. Webber — who began and ended his career with the Warriors — predicted that the team wouldn’t even clinch a playoff berth after five consecutive seasons of representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
Warriors Star Blasts Chris Webber for Prediction
Needless to say, projected Warriors starting center Willie Cauley-Stein couldn’t let this one go as he blasted the former NBA star on Instagram. Cauley-Stein goes under the name of “proofessortrill” on Instagram and blasted Webber for not only his prediction of the Warriors, but his career forecast of Cauley-Stein when he was at the University of Kentucky.
As you can see in the tweet above, Cauley-Stein said that Webber claimed that he would “never start a game” in the NBA.
Webber made this prediction of the 7-foot center during Kentucky’s run in the Final Four back in 2015 during an appearance on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike.”
“These days in basketball, if you’re a junior in basketball, and you’re 7-feet and you don’t average 10 points, you’re telling me he could be a DeAndre Jordan?” Webber said (via SportsNation).”… There is no way in the world. He can’t jump as high. … He will not start in the league. He’s a great kid, and hopefully he will have an NBA career.”
Of course, Cauley-Stein would go on to prove Webber wrong rather quickly by becoming a permanent starter for the Sacramento Kings in recent years. The Wildcats product has started 199 of the 295 games he’s appeared in over the course of his first four seasons in the league.
While the Cauley-Stein prediction was obviously exaggerated for effect by Webber, this prediction of the Warriors missing the playoffs is not one — it’s just how Webber actually feels.
The Warriors Have a Brand New Roster for 2019-20
Golden State has a vastly different roster from the past several seasons. Not only do they no longer have Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson will miss the first four months of the season due to a torn ACL while key fixtures such as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are gone.
The Warriors went with a brand new starting five due to all of their injuries along the front line in the preseason matchup against the Lakers. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Alfonzo McKinnie, Omari Spellman and D’Angelo Russell started the game.
While Curry, Green and Russell are expected to be members of the starting five once the regular season starts, the other two spots haven’t been decided. One figures that once Cauley-Stein heals from his foot strain, he should be the team’s starting center. Furthermore, McKinnie projects as the team’s starting small forward at this point.
As lackluster as Golden State’s starting five may look entering the season, are we really going to doubt that they’ll be one of the top eight teams in the Western Conference come April?