By: Yama Hazheer
The San Antonio Spurs confidently added a disgruntled LaMarcus Aldridge to their squad, the Oklahoma City Thunder are nearing full health, and the Dallas Mavericks have been loud in their pursuit of free agents until DeAndre Jordan single-handedly destroyed their momentum.
Despite the ruckus amongst the league, fans, and media, there is no question that the Warriors are still the team to beat.
The Warriors ended 2014-15 with the third most wins ever in a single NBA season (postseason included). Steve Kerr became the first rookie head coach to win an NBA title since Pat Riley. Steph Curry was the Most Valuable Player and Andre Iguodala lived up to every penny of his hefty contract with his admirable Finals MVP performance.
The Warriors were able to bring back the high scoring Mo Speights and the veteran Leandro Barbosa for next year and the team couldn’t be happier. Kevon Looney was also an interesting pick for the defending champs after the Boston Celtics selected RJ Hunter. Hip problems make the pick somewhat questionable, but that’s one of the benefits of winning an NBA title: you can take those risks.
Bob Myers now has a proven track record. He assembled one of the greatest NBA teams ever. He stayed true to his word and re-signed Draymond Green before other teams could even talk to him.
One of the biggest flaws Golden State had prior to last season was their lack of depth at the point guard position. Steve Blake, Jordan Crawford, and Toney Douglas were all failures. Myers went out to sign Shaun Livingston and he became a valuable asset to the champs.
The team was young, and Myers was able to help bring in some experience with Barbosa. His ties with Steve Kerr in Phoenix made the transaction sweeter. The Warriors also were weak in terms of bench scoring, Speights was brought in despite his shaky past, and brought an edge to the bench the Warriors haven’t had in years.
And when everyone wanted to destroy the Warriors’ management for firing Mark Jackson in favor of Kerr, in under a year he made the naysayers turn into the biggest believers. Kevin Love was rejected in favor of Klay Thompson. Although people still questioned the management, an NBA record 37 points in a quarter combined with stellar health all season and lockdown defense in the playoffs had doubters wrong once again.
Joe Lacob is already cutting into the luxury tax and sometimes, that’s just what you have to do in order to assemble the best team you possibly can. The Warriors were phenomenal. They were the best offensive and defensive team all season long and defeated their opponents by an average of double digits.
The Dubs never lost more than two games in a row, had only four home losses all year, and were led by a team of players who were willing to give up their own personal agendas for the sake of the team.
That’s what winning the title is all about.
Other teams are trying to do what they can to top the Warriors, not the other way around. The Warriors are on top of the basketball world until someone knocks them down. They have changed the game, as small ball will be a concept that we should expect to see a lot more of next season.
Larry (O’Brien) is the sweetest offseason addition and something we could potentially get used to seeing in the Bay Area if the Warriors continue to excel like they just did.