I wrap up my first week of 30 team previews across the league (so far at 10) with the NBA Team Trigger articles.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Last Season: 67-15 (50.5 projected wins) and won NBA Championship
Key Additions: Ben Gordon, Kevon Looney (rookie)
Key Losses: David Lee
2015-16 Vegas: 60.5 projected wins and 11:2 odds to win NBA Championship
What better way to end the first week than with the defending champion Golden State Warriors? The Warriors had a remarkable run. Vegas never saw it coming, and it was evident, but justified. It’s rare for a rookie head coach to come in and win an NBA title their first year. Pat Riley was the last one to do so, in 1982 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Who knew? Could Steve Kerr be the next Pat Riley? Well, Golden State hopes so, because in 1983 Pat Riley once again led the Lakers to the NBA Finals (though swept in four games).
This team doesn’t look that much different here. David Lee wasn’t a huge part of the success of the team last season, reason he’s putting on the Celtics jersey this season up in Massachusetts. I don’t know how much of an impact Looney or Gordon will have. But the deal will be whether the Warriors can play with a target on their back, having the third-best odds to win the NBA Finals this year.
Just how good can the Warriors be this season? Well, I don’t see a Pat Riley year for Kerr and the Warriors. I believe this team’s still great because Stephen Curry has been proven to just be unstoppable. It’s tough out West, but I think they can get a top 3 seed. What’s hard to predict is the order of the Western Conference teams in the postseason and the seeding, just because you have no idea with injuries and sorts.
I still see this team as a title contender, but I don’t see them hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy again. 60 wins would be a great accomplishment in the West, if the Warriors can still get to the Western Conference Finals.
What do you think the Warriors can do this season? Will they be able to repeat as champions? Let me know in the comments below your expectations!