At 44-14, four All-Stars in their starting lineup and perhaps the best basketball player in the world not named LeBron James in Kevin Durant, are the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors vulnerable.
Hard to believe that such a question would dare be asked, let alone used in a blog headline such as this, but either the Warriors are on proverbial cruise control and are just disinterested, or has the rest of the NBA figured them out and are now somewhat vulnerable?
Again, just to preface this as an opinion, Golden State is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla that everyone from Boston, NBA Finals rival in Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Houston are trying to knock them off
The Celtics added Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Cavaliers added Isaiah Thomas—whom they would eventually trade to the Lakers, and add four new players in Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and George Hill, the Thunder added two All-Stars in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony while the Rockets would trade for Chris Paul, and yet Golden State is still the team to beat.
Or are they?
Despite having Steph Curry, the aforementioned 2017 NBA Finals MVP in Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, there is just SOMETHING about this year’s Warriors that seems off…or is it just a case of wishful thinking?
Is it a case of boredom, fatigue, having to bring their A-game every night vs. the whole league, or is it a case of being victims of their own success?
There could be a number of reason why Dubs may seem vulnerable, but may just be playing possum until the real season—the NBA playoffs—begin.
Since a close 109-105 win over the visiting Boston Celtics, Golden State has played at a .500 clip in going 4-4 over their last eight games. Again, this is a case of the high standards, lofty expectations and being a victim of one’s own success such as Golden State has raised the proverbial bar of hoops, but playing .500 going into the All-Star break is enough to make some fans notice.
The path for a champion is never easy, especially for Golden State coming out of the break.
With two tough home games against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City thunder, Golden State heads east on a three-game road trip to face new York,Washington and Atlanta before coming home to face the always-tough San Antonio Spurs.
After the Spurs game, Golden State has nine of their last 16 games on the road—12 of 21 overall—including tough two game/three night turnarounds against Phoenix and San Antonio March 17-19 and at Oklahoma City and Indiana, April 3-5.
If the Warriors can somehow come their brutal post All-Star game second half gauntlet playing the typical Dubs brand of ball that many have come to expect over the last four years, then expect to see them raising their sixth NBA title banner in the East Bay this coming June.