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.