Record: 67-15 1st in the West
Season Ended: NBA Champions (beat the Cavs in 5)
Jordan Bell (SF/PF)
Omri Casspi (SF/PF), Nick Young (SG/SF)
Matt Barnes and Ian Clark
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Steph Curry (25 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast)
SG: Klay Thompson (22 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast)
SF: Kevin Durant (25 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast)
PF: Draymond Green (10 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast)
C: Zaza Pachulia (6 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast)
Shaun Livingston (PG), Andre Igoudala (SF), Omri Casspi (SF/PF), Nick Young, David West
Major Story lines
Will the Champs Repeat? – After winning the title in 2015 the Warriors learned the following year that repeating in this league is not easy. After losing in 2016 the Warriors went out and recruited the (arguably) second best player in the league and climbed back to the mountain top. They know this time that they can’t get comfortable but while they were coasting to the title the other teams in the West were plotting their moves and the result is about the wildest offseason we’ve had in years. We now have a big 3 in OKC, the Wolves, Nuggets, and Rockets all made huge moves in the offseason, and people seem to have forgotten about the Blazers and Spurs. Getting through the West will be no easy task on it’s own before they even get to see the Eastern Conference Champion.
What will Durant do after the season? – Once again Durant will be faced with an offseason decision. This summer has not been fun for him between the people questioning the value of his ring (me) and then the revelation that he had fake twitter accounts that he used to defend himself. You almost had to feel sorry for him but you definitely have to wonder how it has affected him. Durant pretended to enjoy being a villain but deep down you know he wants to be loved and it doesn’t feel like he’s going to get that in OKC.
Mike Predictions (68-14) (1st in the West)
- Warriors win the West – Despite what I think will be a very close race at the top of the West I think the Warriors have a bit more firepower and a lot more continuity and thus will still take the West. I do not expect it to be as easy as it was last season however and have them being pushed in the Western Conference Finals. More on that later.
- Draymond and Klay miss the All-Star Game – I’m getting ahead of myself with this one as I have not sat down with the whole list but I do believe these ancillary players are going to be pushed out when all is said and done. Klay doesn’t do enough of anything besides scoring and Draymond doesn’t do enough scoring to hold off the 4 Eastern All Stars now in the West and the guys on the brink.
Josh Predictions (65-17) (1st in the West)
- Golden State makes it to their 4th straight Finals – I don’t think their road will be as easy as last season’s. Teams like the Rockets, Thunder, Nuggets, and Twolves have all improved drastically. They also aren’t likely to get an injured Kawhi Leonard Spurs team again if they meet San Antonio in the playoffs this year. Regardless, I still think this is one of the best teams the league has seen in decades (maybe ever). While it’ll be a challenge, I think the warriors surpass all of the wests other “super teams” and make it back to the NBA finals
- Kevin Durant leaves in free agency – say what you want about KD… no seriously say what you want. I’ll probably agree. Physically, he’s an unstoppable scoring machine. Mentally, he’s a type B personality who didn’t want the pressure of leading a team to a title (depending on who you ask). Either way Kevin Durant has become the league’s most hated player on the league’s best team. And I think the hatred has gotten to him. So much so, that I think if Golden State wins it’s second straight title, KD will exercise his player option and leave town to try to win back some fans by joining a younger, up and coming team and being “the guy” again. The Lakers perhaps..