Getty Images
Getty Images

I don’t watch Stranger Things, but I’ve heard of the Upside Down. From my limited knowledge, it appears to be some kind of an alternate dimension where things are not what they seem. Or maybe they are. Who knows? It all generally sounds confusing, and—here comes the big transition you’ve been waiting for—it also sounds a lot like the 2019-20 Warriors.

Teams around the league may have made bigger moves this offseason, but no team got weirder or saw more turnover than the Warriors. Their current roster feels like it belongs to an alternate dimension. To recap: Kevin Durant tore his Achilles and decided to join the Nets in free agency; Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the Finals and won’t be back until around the All-Star break. The team said goodbye to Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins, and Shaun Livingston and added Willie Cauley-Stein, Omari Spellman, and Alec Burks during the offseason. Yeah, when you lay it out like that, things seem pretty weird. But Golden State was able to pick up the pieces somewhat by getting D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade for Durant, and though the fit seems odd next to Steph Curry—Russell is another lead guard who demands the ball—Russell’s addition was a necessary move. What could have easily turned into a tanking season (and a waste of a year of Curry’s prime) now becomes a season with some intrigue and even, dare I say, potential for Golden State.

For the first time in five years, the Warriors’ appeal is rooted not in their greatness or possible downfall, but instead in how they can overcome their flaws and surprise a league that is trying to hit the snooze button on them. Much like the incessant alert on your phone that tells you to update your software, you can never really ignore any team that employs Curry and Draymond Green. And even with all the additions and subtractions the team made this offseason, as long as the Warriors can rely on those two, they may have a shot to win the West.

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