Golden State are the defending NBA Champions and this model understands that. The Warriors have the best point differential by over a point, showing their utter dominance last season. No one was surprised when the Warriors steamrolled through Anthony Davis’ Pelicans, Marc Gasol’s Grizzlies, James Harden’s Rockets and LeBron James’ on their way to the Championship, with Steph Curry picking up an MVP award and Andre Iguodala a (contentious) Finals MVP along the way.
This season, the Warriors have brought back all band members apart from David Lee who was traded to the Celtics for Gerald Wallace’s contract which was then traded to Philadelphia for Jason Thompson. Whilst this move was clearly a salary dump for the Warriors (who have contracts for Bogut, Thompson, Curry, Green and Iguodala to pay), Thompson was quite an effective player in a less than ideal situation last season for the Kings. Playing alongside a rim protector in Bogut will allow Thompson’s foul-happy defense to be hidden, whilst on the offensive end, shooting from nearly every Warrior will allow Thompson to showcase his finishing with each hand from the post.
The Warriors had a lot go right for them last season, with nearly no injuries and a playoff run that included an injured backcourt opposition member in every round (making it nearly impossible to defend MVP Steph Curry). The counter argument to this is obviously that you can only play the team in front of you, and there is no reason to suggest any team put in front of the Dubs last season would have toppled them. These guys are the front runners now, and every night, on every floor, every team will be out to get them. As such, it is unlikely that the Warriors will end up with as good a record as last season, but it is not difficult to envision another run to the top seed in the West and potentially the Championship.
The Warriors predicted differential should come as no surprise and they will go into this season as favourites to repeat as champions. However, with OKC, San Antonio, Houston, Memphis and Houston all improving, the question this season will be:
Will standing pat this offseason hurt the Warriors?
Projected Record: 67-15
My Predicted Wins: 60-65
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|STANDING IN WEST||1|