2016-17 in Review: Beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the Finals. Finished regular season NBA-best 67-15.
Finding ways to keep last season’s championship roster intact was the Golden State Warriors’ primary mission this off-season. And they passed with flying colors. Kevin Durant re-upped at a reduced rate. Andre Iguodala shunned other, bigger offers to return. Shaun Livingston, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, and David West all found reduced roles on a once-in-a-generation team more appealing than more money and greater roles elsewhere.
Bob Myers on keeping core: “The players are the ones that are responsible for all this. When we win…they deserve to move forward together”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 12, 2017
Teams that have won 3 championships in 4 seasons: Lakers 00-02, 85 & 87-88, 49-50 & 52-54; Bulls 96-98, 91-93; Celtics 59-66. All dynasties.
— Fast Break (@GSWFastBreak) September 21, 2017
Getting Jordan Bell in the second round of the NBA Draft was met with near-unanimous applause in the basketball world. However, if Bell gets significant playing time in his rookie year, it will signal that things have probably gone horribly wrong for the Warriors. The biggest off-season win for the team that already has everything may prove to be Chris Paul’s departure from their division.
The league’s undisputed best team now plays in the NBA’s weakest division. Although Chris Paul’s presence with the Houston Rockets means another legitimate Western competitor, alongside the San Antonio Spurs. But even then, both the Rockets or Spurs would enter a series against the Warriors as a heavy, heavy underdog. Golden State need not fear anybody in professional basketball.
That goes for the Cavaliers, too. The Warriors spent the offseason shoring up the contracts of their superstars and adding quality bench pieces. Cleveland had one of the most drama-filled vacations of any team since the Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O’Neal soap opera. The Cavaliers ultimately traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, which must have made Draymond Green and company cackle.
The problem most super-teams have run into is working against a cap that’s working to break them up. Not only has Golden St. avoided that, they’ve kept getting better. This incarnation of the Warriors could be the best one yet.
If inclined to play an all-bench unit, Golden State could trot out Livingston, Young, Iguodala, West, and McGee. That unit could go toe-to-toe with some starting line-ups. So, just as a reminder; this is all pretty amazing and unprecedented.
Now that they have commitment from Durant, signed Curry to an extension, and have Klay and Green signed for a couple more years, and won another championship, this season is all about building a legacy for this team.
They’ve accomplished pretty much everything a team can. Regular season or playoffs. The only thing they haven’t done is do it in bulk. Whatever the long-term goal is for the Warriors, it’s more than what they currently have, or could obtain this season. They can’t get to where they want unless they take home another championship this season.
Projected Weakness: If you dig long enough to find a weakness here, you might get to “doesn’t have actual superpowers” before you find one.
Projected 2017-18 Regular Season Record: 69-13