From now until the start of NBA training camps, we’ll be asking a question about the league and its upcoming season. Today: Will the Golden State Warriors top the record 73 regular season wins they set last season?
BOSTON – Just imagine if Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyonce and Katy Perry decided to get together and form a singing group.
The talent on stage would be unlike any supergroup we have seen before.
But with all that talent and egos, how would it mesh?
Welcome to the Golden State Warriors’ world.
Because adding Kevin Durant to a star-studded team that already features Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and two-time league MVP Stephen Curry, is the stuff that video game dreams are made of.
But it’s real, folks!
The expectations for this team are going to be at a level we haven’t seen from any previous super group formation.
While others were hoping to contend for having the best regular-season record ever, the Warriors are expected to break the mark which they set a year ago (73 wins) and go from there toward winning another NBA title.
There will be critics who think it won’t work, that these pieces won’t fit or their egos will get in the way or that simply things won’t come together as quickly as some might expect.
I’m on the other side of the aisle in this argument.
If they can stay relatively healthy, this group will set a new regular season record for wins and come late June, will walk away with their second NBA title in three years.
Well there’s the obvious reason – they’re a pretty damn good basketball team.
And then there’s history which tells us that when teams cull together this kind of talent, success tends to come sooner rather than later.
Look at the Celtics of 2008.
Ex-Celtics coach Doc Rivers coached those guys with a heightened sense of urgency. Yes, Rivers knew all too well that the window for winning a title can come to a crashing halt quickly. But more than that, he had three future Hall of Famers who to be frank, were well past their best-playing days but still were good enough to be among the game’s best at that time.
Their title came in their first year together.
Miami’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were basically Boston’s Big Three but slightly younger. It took them two years to win the first of two titles in a four-year run in which they made it to the NBA Finals each year.
That brings us to Golden State, which has an even younger core of upper-echelon players and with the addition of Durant, they now have a Foursome unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
It’s rare to have so many superstar players on one roster.
It’s even more unheard of for them to be on the same roster at the peak of their respective games which is why I believe this group if they can stay healthy, will be one of the greatest teams to ever play in the NBA.
Draymond Green has been arguably the most versatile defender/scorer the last couple of years which is why he has been runner-up for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award each of the last two seasons.
Klay Thompson is a lethal shooter who has also been an above-average defender.
And then there’s Curry, the league’s MVP each of the last two seasons.
That threesome alone was enough to make Golden State either the best or second-best team (to Cleveland) in the NBA.
But adding Durant makes Golden State a runaway favorite to win it all this season as well as set a new mark for regular season wins.
And like most dynasties in the making, money has a way of forcing teams to shake things up a bit. That won’t be as big an issue going forward due to the significant spike in the salary cap.
This paves the way for Golden State to keep its core in place while adding veterans here and there who might be willing to take below-market value, knowing “below the market” in this salary cap age is still more likely to be more money they would have made prior to the new broadcasting deals signed by the NBA to kick in.
And that will afford them to keep that window of opportunity to be a title contender to stay propped open just a little longer than previous dynasty-like teams.
It adds up to a Golden State team that will challenge the 73-win Warriors team from a year ago, which will set the stage for another title banner in the Bay Area as we all bear witness to an emerging dynasty unlike any we’ve seen in the NBA previously.