Joe Lacob: Warriors' mix of veterans, youth will prevent falling 'off cliff'

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Lacob: Warriors' roster mix prevents falling 'off cliff' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors' success over the past decade has been a direct translation of the decisions made in the front office.

It put together a dynasty, five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and three titles.

After finishing the 2021-22 regular season with the third-best record in the league (53-29), the Warriors won more than 50 games for the seventh time in nine years.

To owner Joe Lacob, the secret ingredient has been balance.

In the 2014-15 season, the All-Star trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green led the Warriors to their first NBA Finals since 1975.

Fast-forward seven seasons to present day, and the NBA world has learned that the Warriors are so much more than the Steph-Klay-Dray trio.

It’s been players like Jordan Poole and rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody who have electrified the league this season.

“Bob [Myers]’s job and my job is to think about this franchise over the long term,” Lacob said on Warriors Live: Playoff Edition before the Denver Nuggets-Warriors Game 1 on Saturday. “Yes, we want to win this year, clearly. And we’re going to put the best team on the court. But we don’t want to fall off a cliff like some other teams might be doing going forward. We don’t have any draft choices and you make a bet all on one year and people get injured when they’re older. So I think the truth is we wanted to try to thread the needle, and some have criticized us for it by having the young guys and having our veteran core. You asked me how it’s worked, I think it’s worked great.”

After missing playoffs two years in a row, the Warriors had an impressive start to the 2021-22 season -- so impressive that at one point they were the best team in the league for a while.

But a string of injuries quickly ended that conversation.

Although at the time it seemed like Golden State couldn’t stop drowning in complications, it turned out to be somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the young guys.

“We got a lot of injuries and we still won 53 games this year,” Lacob said. “So I don’t know how you can be very critical of that. If we had all of those guys, who knows how many we do win I don’t know. The point is these guys got experience, it worked out to their advantage, Kuminga, Moody got experience, Jordan Poole, I mean, exploded right? He’s been incredible, what an experience for him in year three, he’s 22 years old.

“I couldn't be more excited for the situation that we’re in. Jordan got the experience, Steph's coming back, and Draymond and Klay are all there, Wiggins is in the prime of his career, so look, I’m an optimist, I think we’re going to do pretty well here in the playoffs. I'm looking forward to it.”

Poole has been absolutely unconscious in his third year in the Bay, averaging 18.5 points, 4 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 30 minutes per game.

RELATED: Poole caps spectacular first half of Game 1 with wild layup

Kuminga and Moody, at just 19 years old, have been impactful in their own ways as they continue to learn in their rookie seasons.

Golden State will hope that its perfect blend of skilled veterans and willing-to-listen young core continue to be beneficial in the postseason as the Dubs attempt to make their sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight years.