The Golden State Warriors might have fallen just short of defending their NBA crown last season but Stephen Curry and his team-mates are heading into the new campaign looking more than ready to reclaim the title in 2016/17. Last year’s team might well have dominated the regular season only to lose 3-4 to Cleveland in a thrilling NBA Finals but there is an argument to be made that the roster of players Steve Kerr will have at his disposal this season will be even stronger. As well as hanging onto their key players, the Warriors have added some real quality to their ranks, none more so than four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant.
While the whole team is going to be important to Golden State’s hopes of going all the way this season, it will be this incredible offensive unit that is going to be key to the franchise’s chances this year. Boasting one of the greatest shooters to ever grace the court in Curry, when you add Kevin Durant to the unit, as well as Klay Thompson, it’s hard to see any team in the Pacific Division or the Western Conference being able to live with the Warriors. As was the case last season, it’s the Cavaliers that are expected to be the only team who look capable of stopping Golden State this year.
Currently priced at 4/5 with the early NBA Championship odds, the Warriors will again start the season being tipped by many to steamroll their way towards the Finals, but the pressure of that expectation could potentially be an issue for the franchise. While the addition of Durant is one of the most exciting in Golden State’s history, there is a question as to how the seven-time All Star will handle not being the main man in a team. He might have played alongside top players before but none at the level of Curry, who will be looking to make it three NBA MVP awards in as many years.
Despite being one of the best players in the league, Durant will be well aware that he will be playing second fiddle to Curry in almost every respect this season. The 28-year old is on course to establish himself as one of the game’s greatest ever players, and his form over the past two seasons has been something people will talk about for years to come. But having Durant to share some of the workload could help Curry perform even better this season – a frightening prospect for Golden State’s rivals this year.
That said, though, the possibilities are pretty darn exciting for Warriors fans if Durant and Curry do hit it off. Already one of the most dynamic and clinical offensive units in the league, the addition of Durant really does cement Golden State’s place as the most dangerous attacking teams in the NBA. And they are equally as impressive at the back, boasting two Defensive Player of the Year contenders in the ever-improving Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. An athletic roster, combining experience and youth, and one strong in all areas of the court, there is no denying that this team has all the tools to win their second championship in three seasons.