Kevin Durant and Warriors are the Team to Beat this Season
Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers achieved something that had never been done in the NBA Finals when they came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors. While the win helped Cleveland end its championship drought, it also had an effect on last summer’s free agency market. Former Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant decided to leave the Thunder and join the warriors, who eliminated the Thunder in seven games last season. With Durant in Oakland, online NBA sportsbook odds have moved firmly in Golden State’s favor.
Now that Durant is a member of the Warriors, the big question going into the season is how is the former league MVP going to fit in with his new teammates?
While he was a member of the Thunder, Durant and Westbrook dominated the ball, allowing him to put up big numbers. As a member of the Warriors, Durant will not dominate the ball like he did in Oklahoma City, but he should still be an efficient scorer because the Warriors move the ball very well and have been the best passing team in the NBA over the past two seasons.
With players like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, who play selfless basketball on the team, Durant should be able to adjust to his new teammates very quickly.
After a 73-win season, the Warriors were already under a lot of pressure to win the title this season. With Durant now on the team, the pressure and expectations will be through the roof this year.
The Boston Celtics started the new age of super teams when they traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, pairing the two with Paul Pierce. The new big three won the NBA title the year they were formed and returned to the finals two years later, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The second and third super team in recent history involved LeBron James, who left Cleveland as a free agent to team with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. The Heat went on to appear in four consecutive NBA Finals, winning two, before James decided to go back to Cleveland.
James returned to Cleveland to team up with rising star Kyrie Irvin and fellow All-Star Kevin Love, whom the team traded for after James announced his intention to return to the team that drafted him. Since his return, the Cavs have made it to two consecutive NBA Finals, and won it all last season against the Warriors.
With the new Big Four in Oakland, it looks like the Warriors are going to start a new trend, especially if they win the championship this year. With Durant on the team, most people are focused on the fact that the Warriors will likely be the top offensive team in the league once again, but a lot of folks are forgetting that these guys also play very good defense, which will make them not only a dangerous defensive team as well, but probably the most balanced team in the NBA.
The biggest weakness this team will likely have will be rebounding, after losing Andre Bogut and Festus Ezeli in free agency. But the addition of JaVale McGee and David West should soften the blow.