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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 9/14/15

At this time last year, very few people anticipated that the Golden State Warriors would be the NBA’s premier team in 2014/15. While the Warriors had a strong young nucleus, they also had a rookie head coach in Steve Kerr. There were plenty of questions regarding their core group after the Warriors lost in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs to the Clippers.

You know the rest. From start to finish, the Warriors were more than just a contender. They dominated in the regular season, then validated their gaudy 67-15 record by storming through the playoffs and knocking off the hobbled Cavaliers in the Finals.

A repeat would seem to be well within their reach, given that all their starters are back, as well as many of their key reserves. Not only do they have the league’s reigning MVP in Stephen Curry, they re-signed restricted free agent and versatile forward Draymond Green to a long-term contract.

The Warriors had some good fortune last season, as their core players remained relatively healthy throughout the season. An injury to a key performer could drastically change their outlook. As we’ve seen many times before, it’s not easy to remain the top dog in the Western Conference.

The competition is fierce and several teams will be nipping at the Warriors’ heels. The always-dangerous Spurs added prized free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. The Clippers remained a viable contender once free agent DeAndre Jordan changed his mind and spurned the Mavericks to stay in L.A. The Thunder possess the league’s best 1-2 punch in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Rockets reached the conference finals and have their own formidable superstar duo in James Harden and Dwight Howard. The Grizzlies are chock-full of wily, playoff-tested veterans. Even the Pelicans, behind the league’s best young big man Anthony Davis, can harbor realistic dreams of a deep playoff run.

Our topic of the night, just two weeks away from training camp, is this: Which Western Conference team poses the biggest threat to the Warriors’ supremacy?

Take to the comments to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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9 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 9/14/15

  1. Matt

    Rockets fan here

    I say (barring injuries and self-implosion)
    1. Spurs
    2. Rockets
    3. Clippers
    4. Thunder

    • Dana Gauruder

      I agree the Spurs look like the biggest threat to the Warriors. Hard to go against their experience and unselfish brand of basketball, along with the additions of Aldridge and David West.

  2. Chuck Myron

    I’m torn between the Clippers and the Spurs here. I’d be inclined to make the Spurs the favorites for the title, but integrating new pieces is always a challenge, and I’m not certain how LaMarcus Aldridge will fit into the culture of the Spurs. The Clippers, if they had depth last season, would have been second only to the Warriors. Now they have that depth.

  3. Thunder Spurs. Rockets. Go warriors!

    • Dana Gauruder

      If the Thunder ever have all of their stars healthy in the playoffs, look out.

  4. Arthur Hill

    Don’t overlook Memphis. The Grizzlies didn’t make flashy off-season moves like the Spurs and Clippers, but they have a tough, talented core that has been together for several years. Plus they added more depth with Matt Barnes and Brandan Wright.

    • Chris Crouse

      I agree, Memphis has to be right up there. The Spurs, Rockets and Clippers will also be tough to compete with.

      And what about OKC?

      The Western Conference is absurd!

  5. Jacob Jackson

    I think the Rockets and Warriors are in a tier by themselves in the West, despite how loaded the West is. Similar to the W’s, the Rockets are loaded with athleticism, can play a variety of styles and matchups, and know their identity.

    I expect a Western Finals rematch.

    • Chris Crouse

      I don’t have the Rockets in that tier, but they could very well win the conference. I have Golden State at the top followed by the Spurs and Grizzlies. Then the Thunder, Clippers and Rockets.

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