The Warriors stumbled out of the gates but there’s zero doubt they’ll win the title. The Spurs have shown glimpses of dominance and the Cavs are cruising through the East, but they’ll offer little resistance to Golden State.
THE SANTA CLARA
November 10, 2016
The Golden State Warriors have not impressed this season. They opened the Kevin Durant era with a 29-point home loss to the Spurs and a week and a half later Luke Walton’s Lakers pummeled them. There’s no denying that this start has been disappointing, but there’s still no reason to be alarmed.
This team is simply too talented to not ended up winning a championship. Stephen Curry is the best player in the world and Kevin Durant rivals LeBron James. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are All-Stars, Andre Iguodala is a premier defender and Steve Kerr is the smartest coach in the league.
When this team is in sync, firing on all cylinders with speed and precision, they can’t be stopped. I might take a little longer for everything to get into gear but there’s plenty of time. Golden State might stumble for a few more weeks but Warriors fans should know better than anyone that the regular season doesn’t matter. 73 wins got the Warriors plenty of coverage and praise but didn’t equate to a championship.
It’s easy to explain these struggles. Golden State’s defense is struggling and Curry and Klay had a couple bad games. Last week’s loss to the Lakers was the first time in 157 games that Steph didn’t hit a 3-pointer. The next game he made an NBA record of 13 3-pointers against the Pelicans.
Trust Steve Kerr to fix the defense. Trust the Splash Bros to continue to show why they’re the best shooters on the planet. The blueprint for the Warriors success can already be seen. It’s all about the ball-movement and unselfish play. Golden State leads the league in assists and there’s no whiff of resentment among their cast of stars.
“I struggled last year for the first 20 games, and Kevin wasn’t here,” Klay Thompson said to a group of reporters on Monday. “So it has nothing to do with Kevin.”
Golden State’s talent is second to none. If they can continue with their team first approach, they’re unstoppable.
The path for Golden State is a clear one. They’ll have the #1 seed locked up and home-court throughout the playoffs. It’s yet to be determined who the Dubs play in the first two rounds, but they’ll surely be sweeps. A matchup with OKC could be interesting, regardless of the Warriors winning each game by at least 20.
Pencil in a Warriors—Spurs conference finals. Gregg Popovich and the Spurs have enough pedigree to make it irresponsible to predict a sweep, but this series isn’t getting past five games. Kawhi Leonard should win MVP this year, but he doesn’t have nearly enough to take down Golden State. LaMarcus Aldridge is on the wrong side of 30, Tony Parker is declining rapidly and at age 39, Manu Ginobili should be playing pick-up ball at the Y instead of donning a Spurs jersey.
LeBron James will be waiting for the Warriors yet again in the Finals. The self-proclaimed King is enjoying his crown; to most, one title with Cleveland keeps him at best player in the game (despite Steph winning the past two MVPs). Regardless, LeBron’s reign over the NBA will come crashing down. The rivalry is brewing between Cleveland and the Warriors and many believe the addition of Durant fuels the fire.
Durant puts the fire out. It’ll be hard for LeBron to stare down Steph or flex when he’s getting routed by the Warriors. Curry and Co. know they let one slip away in last year and want nothing more than to get avenge that Game 7 loss in Oracle. The Warriors will be out for blood; doing everything they can to embarrass the Cavs. It won’t be enough to just win, they’ll make sure to crush them.
Contact Andrew Slap at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.
Opinion articles represent the views of the individual authors only and not the views of The Santa Clara or Santa Clara University.