Many NBA fans, coaches, players, administrators, owners, etc. are asking can the Warriors beat last years regular season of 73 wins, especially with the addition of one of the top 3 players in the NBA All-Star Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder?
With 2 time MVP and first time unanimous MVP pick Steph Curry they will have the top player and the 3rd ranked player in the NBA together along with another great shooter in Klay Thompson.
Here are their 2015-16 offensive stats per game averages:
*With the Oklahoma City Thunder
There are many questions to be answered before anyone can answer the question if the Golden Staters can repeat last years regular season record and win their 2nd NBA championship in three years..
Lets look at the negative sides against it first.
1. Will the Warriors need 3 basketballs, one each, for Curry, Thompson and Durant and can all three sacrifice their shots for the good of the team?
2. Will the three rely on the threes as much as the three did last year as 26.0 of their 56.7 field (45.9%) of all goal attempts were for threes?
3. With the loss of several key players will their bench be as strong as last year?
4. Will the loss of their 2 bigs make then vunerable for basket protection and who will be their full-time post up player?
5. Will they be as good a defensive rebounding team?
6. Will Draymond Green be a plus or a minus because of his on and off the court actions of negative behavior?
7. Will they a real big target for the other NBA teams?
8. Will they be in a no win situation where they are darned if they do or darned if they don’t situation because of Durant? If they win the whole thing then people will say well you should have and if they don’t win it all, people will ask what to heck happened you should have won it all?
9. Will Curry, Thompson, really be able to adjust and share the ball like they say they can or is that just the talk? Will they be able to walk the walk?
10. How long in the regular season will it take for them to be able to adjust to having a different roster and a third big time scorer and shooter?
Now let’s look at the positives!
1. Best 3 perimeter shooters together on one team in the league especially from beyond the 3 point line for Curry, Thompson and new teammate Kevin Durant
2. If Green can behave himself he should be able to increase his assists per game above last years of 7.4 per game for the Warriors with another great shooter in Durant who can shoot the 3, post up and penetrate drive to the hoop.
3. Durant will take the pressure off Curry or Thompson if one is having an off night especially from beyond the arc.
4. Also Green can hit the three if left open as he averaged 1.2 for 3.2 per game for the 3.
5. They should be able develop an inside/outside game to go along with their great outside shooting, especially with the three, three point shooters. Durant can be used as a post up player when he has a defensive mismatch.
6. They will certainly be able to spread the floor with Curry, Thompson. Durant and Green.
7. Everybody seems happy that they were able to sign Durant
8. They will be tough matchups for opposing defenses
9. They have signed 3 veterans that should help them off the bench
10. Between Curry, Thompson, Green and Durant they had 21.4 assists so they do have players that are capable of getting the ball to the right man at the right place at the right time
So how do the 10 pluses do against the 10 minuses?
One question remains how will Thompson, Curry and Green react to the pressure during next years playoffs after blowing a 3 to 1 lead in the Championship series against the Cavs (first time it has ever happened in the championship series) and how will Durant react to blowing a 3 to 1 game lead in the Western Conference finals to his new team………does/could …….CHOKE!!!!!!!! be a reminder to all 4 players and be in the back of their minds when it is the pressure to win a series or go home.
The Warriors are in a no win situation, as they have nothing to gain if they win it all (because they have the best talent in the NBA and should win it all) and everything to lose if they don’t win it all (because they should win it all).
Once a team has CHOKED in the playoffs it is easier to CHOKE the next time if they keep thinking about the first CHOKE.
My personal opinion is that they will not win 73 games nor will they win the NBA championship this coming year because I think the 10 negatives that I listed outweigh the 10 positives.
What do you think and why?