THE SANTA CLARA
April 16, 2015
The Golden State Warriors are, hands down, the best team in the NBA.
In the Western Conference, which some have called the most competitive conference in history, the Warriors have stood out from the rest. They have the best offense in the game and hold their opponents to just 42.7 percent shooting from the field. They have the next MVP in Stephen Curry and there’s no doubt Steve Kerr will win Coach of the Year. Klay Thompson has emerged as one of most explosive players in the NBA, and Draymond Green’s energy and intensity fuels the entire team.
No matter what happens in the playoffs, the Warriors should celebrate the regular season. Any team that flirts with 70 wins will always be remembered.
The playoffs are a different animal, but if the regular season is any indicator, the Warriors have to be heavy favorites to win a title. Anything short would be a disappointment.
The Warriors may have some bumps along the way, as the real challenge will come from the San Antonio Spurs. Golden State has struggled against San Antonio this season, dropping two out of three. And you can never count out Tim Duncan and Coach Gregg Popovich, who have won five titles together. But Golden State is gunning for a changing of the guards in the West.
Everyone raves about the ball movement of San Antonio, yet Steve Kerr and the Warriors have shown that ball movement isn’t just for a bunch of old guys shuffling around the court.
In fact, Golden State leads the league in assists. They’ve been beating the Spurs at their own game.
It certainly would be tough, but Golden State should take care of the Spurs in six or seven games. From there, they’ll likely meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals.
Last year, the Spurs showed that team basketball can beat out individual greatness. And while the Cavaliers certainly have a few impressive players, Golden State has the best team. The Cavs often rely on handing the ball to one of their stars and hoping they can score at will. Golden State whips the ball around the court, always looking for the best shot possible.
And while LeBron James is unquestionably regarded as the best player in the game, Stephen Curry has just as big an impact on the floor. Even when Curry isn’t shooting the ball, he’s a headache for opposing defenses, who can’t afford to leave him open for even a split second.
Golden State hasn’t lost more than two games in a row this entire season. It’s hard to imagine any team winning four out of seven against them. The Warriors have had a special season, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t culminate in a title.
Andrew Slap is a sophomore communication major.