How Warriors' youthful inexperience will help, hinder team in 2019-20


Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

A lot has been written about how young the 2019-20 Warriors roster will be. Steph Curry is the only Warrior over 30 years old entering the season, and there are eight players on the team that were born in 1996 or later. Jordan Poole was born in 1999, and Alen Smailagic was born in 2000.

The Warriors lost some of their oldest and most seasoned players in this new youth movement. But just how much experience the team lost in the offseason is staggering when you dive into the numbers. The combination of Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, DeMarcus Cousins and Andrew Bogut totaled 59 seasons of NBA experience. These five departing players combined for more NBA experience than the entire current roster combined (56 seasons!).

After Curry, the most seasoned Warriors on the team are Klay Thompson, who will miss most of the season, and new bench addition Alec Burks. After Draymond Green in fourth, only one other Warrior has five seasons under their belt, and that is Glenn Robinson III. That means that 11 players on the Warriors have played in the league for four or fewer seasons. 

Of course, there are a lot of concerns that come with a very inexperienced team, and much of it does not start on the court. The stress and rigors of an NBA season can test a player, and many players will attest that it was not until later in their careers that they fully matured mentally and emotionally to cope. The discipline needed to be at their very best each and every night can be taxing.

Unlike the last five years under Steve Kerr, there will be very limited veteran leadership to impart knowledge and keep the team focused. It will be up to the coaches and a younger generation of veterans to take on this challenge -- to be the role models and teachers.

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Inexperience does not only spell trouble, however. With youth should come a new fresh enthusiasm. The last few regular seasons had become monotonous and uninspired as the team looked ahead to long strenuous postseason runs.

This new Warriors roster will not have that same apathy. Instead, they will be fighting every night to stay afloat and make the playoffs with a youthful squad that is chock-full of players looking to prove themselves in the league. 

If the Warriors are to have another successful competitive season, their inexperienced roster will need to mature and grow before our eyes. And it'll be fun to watch.

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