Warriors

Healthy Warriors better than Lakers next season, Haberstroh says

Warriors

With the Los Angeles Lakers up three-games-to-one in the NBA Finals, on the verge of winning the title in the bubble, it is abundantly clear that the combination of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is a destructive force.

But looking towards next season, there is no guarantee that this Lakers team will be considered the heavy favorites to repeat.

One reason for that might be the return of the Golden State Warriors.

There is so much up in the air for next season, with the NBA draft yet to happen, rosters unsettled, the salary cap unknown and even the start date not yet decided. But what is clear as of now is that the Warriors expect to have their big three of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green -- plus Andrew Wiggins -- healthy and ready.

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So if the Warriors and Lakers are fully healthy next season, and both teams make modest improvements to their rosters (yes, that means that Giannis Antetokounmpo is not on the Warriors), then how would they stack up?

Sure, it is way too early to make an actual judgment, but for the sake of a fun hypothetical, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh played along.

"If Klay Thompson is fully healthy, as in he is pre-ACL injury healthy, and not just getting back on to the floor and able to play, I'm going to go with the Golden State Warriors," Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area.

 

"Because their big three, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are better than the big three of Anthony Davis, LeBron James and fill in the blank there."

According to Haberstroh, the Lakers' lack of a third star could be the deciding factor in the end between the two teams. This postseason, the Lakers third-leading scorer has been Kyle Kuzma at 10.5 points per game, a far distance back from LeBron's 26.9 and Davis's 28.2 points.

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But beyond that, Haberstroh believes the familiarity of the Warriors and their proven track record should play a big factor.

"In terms of the core, [the Warriors] fit better next to each other. We already know they won 73 games without Kevin Durant, so there is a track record in the regular season, obviously, they won a couple titles together in the postseason," Haberstroh explained. 

"If you are going to guarantee the health of Klay Thompson's knee, and Draymond Green in great shape and Stephen Curry's hand not bothering him, I'm going to go with the Golden State Warriors here."