Western Conference defending champion Golden State Warriors still in the mix of the race to the playoffs. They dominated the NBA within the last five years. Five finals and three championships later. But things change in a single second. The Warriors don’t look to be a contender for the first time in years.
As a team in regular-season, they can win games enough to be in playoffs. But not on the top because of injury to Klay Thompson. With the acquisition of DeAngelo Russell from a sign and trade. They can figure out how these two point guards can play together.
With the playoff, they can be tested early by facing top tier teams. Even they had still the roster of Klay, Dray, and Curry that recorded the 73-9 in 2016. It will be questioned how deep they can go in the postseason. Still, Klay Thompson’s performance will base on how healthy he is. How he can impact the game on both ends of the court.
The Warriors had a luxury of a scorer like Kevin Durant. With the All-Star was gone the defense will focus to the guards. If they play Stephen Curry and Russell together the opposing guards will take advantage on offense. Guards like Damian Lillard or Russell Westbrook will dominate this duo. Then Klay Thompson’s impact on defense will be lessened as he forced to guard the bigger man. Although it’s tough to score in the paint with Willie Cauley Stein and Draymond Green.
In 2015 and 2016 they rely on their deep bench to make a run. But now they don’t have the same group of guys. No Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa or David West. They need Stephen Curry to play on the highest level of they want to compete. Without Kevin Durant the job for Curry was tough. He needs to create on his own after all. Nobody can save them if they had off night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers figured out in 2016 how to beat the Warriors. With a healthy squad, Golden State run will be over. There is no Andre Iguodala that will step up with them. To guard the opposing best perimeter player.