The Western Conference is much tougher than the Eastern Conference to break through in the NBA, that's pretty much understood. So, while teams like Washington and Chicago can make big strides in the East this year, it will be tougher for upstart teams like the Warriors to make a huge dent in the top-heavy West against teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City and even the Clippers.
The big offseason news in Golden State was when coach Mark Jackson was fired following the team's playoff loss to the Clippers. He was replaced by Steve Kerr.
Then, the trade rumors happened as the Kevin Love bidding occurred during the offseason, and the Warriors played a big role. When Klay Thompson got involved in those rumors, feelings got hurt. Thompson's father recently said that, while owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myer were willing to trade Thompson as part of the deal, Kerr and adviser Jerry West stopped it from happening.
More offseason drama
Grantland reported that, before Jackson was fired, he had asked West to stop attending practices.
This was after ESPN.com reported that assistant Darren Erman had been fired after recording coaches' meetings because he was concerned that other coaches were talking bad about him.
“The atmosphere has bordered on poisonous, though to the credit of Jackson, his staff, and his players, it has not spilled onto the court,” Grantland's Zach Lowe wrote.
Jackson, however, vehemently denied that was true and USA Today Sports reported during the playoffs that West had been at practices.
"That's a lie," Jackson told USA TODAY Sports after a playoff loss to the Clippers. "Come on. That's a lie. That's disrespectful."
Jackson, however, was still fired.
The Warriors' most recent move was to add Leandro Barbosa as a backcourt backup, according to ESPN. He is signing a one-year deal to leave the Phoenix Suns.
The other addition to the bench was Shaun Livingston on a team already featuring a Team USA duo of Stephen Curry and Thompson along with David Lee, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green.
Standing in their way
One of the teams standing in the Warriors' way is Oklahoma City. The two teams had three outstanding regular season matchups last season, with Iguodala hitting a buzzer beater to win the first for the Warriors and then Oklahoma City winning the next two on a Russell Westbrook buzzer beater and then Kevin Durant's huge 54-point performance in the second meeting.
In order to get to the conference finals, they will likely have to leapfrog either the Thunder or Spurs. Neither seems like an easy task.