As another NBA chapter nears, it’s time for our season previews. How far can this Warriors dynasty go?
Expected Conference Ranking: Is there something higher than 1st?
Best Move of the Offseason: They brought everyone back because Kevin Durant doesn’t care about the health of the NBA as a whole so long as his team is okay. Whatever. I’m not bitter. I only hope their team bus crashes into an Arby’s. Too far?
Worst Move of the Offseason: Nick Young! Hey, I guess the NBA was somehow able to sneak a saboteur onto this team without them noticing! There is nothing you want more on a team with four Hall of Famers than a bench player who thinks he’s better than all of them!
I’m calling it now: Young will have the worst net rating on the Warriors. Kumbaya Kerr will not bench him because the other players on the team wanted him. This will cost the Warriors an important game at some point. It won’t matter, of course, because the Warriors will lose something like six games all year. But Young will prevent them from going 16-0 in the playoffs or something. Let me have this.
Their Offense: They’re going to make everything. They finally figured out the Stephen Curry-Kevin Durant pick-and-roll in the Finals to at least an acceptable extent. Durant might slip too often, but otherwise, that was the one flaw in this offense and it’s gone. The Warriors have already won the championship. These are the end times.
Their Defense: Yeah, the team that has the second- and third-best offensive players in basketball also needed the best defender. That’s not excessive or anything.
Their Bench: Aside from the Nick Young implosion we’re all dreaming of? This is the one area where the Warriors might possibly maybe show some cracks. Andre Iguodala will be 34 by the time the Finals come. And, he already looked worse last season. Shaun Livingston is 32. Both already have their last major paydays.
If the Warriors are truly a four-man team, no matter who those four men are, they are beatable. If Iguodala and Livingston are still themselves? Game over.
Best Case Scenario: 82-0. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but they will be favored by several points every time they step on the floor. So why not?
Worst Case Scenario: LeBron’s teammates realize that they should play well in the Finals. LeBron stalemated the Warriors last season. It was the other guys who couldn’t pick up the slack. If the Cavs figure out the rest of the rotation, we’ll have a legitimate series in the Finals.