The Golden State Warriors are the premier team in the NBA. Appearing in the NBA Finals in three straight seasons and winning two of those series to claim the NBA Finals Trophy, a team led by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, there's not a team in the league that can stack up skill wise. In past years, the closest competitor was the Cleveland Cavaliers, and this summer that team saw major changes.
As early favorites to repeat as champion, some insiders feel that nothing will stop Golden State as long as they continue to keep their nucleus together. ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy said recently he believes the Golden State Warriors will "win forever if everything stays the same." He believes this coming NBA season is already over. Van Gundy has never been shy about voicing his opinion, but that's a pretty big statement to make—but is he right?
Below are the 5 Reasons The Golden State Warriors Won't Lose.
5. Keeping The Core
While teams like the OKC Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers are making huge changes trying to catch up, the same group of players seems to return year after year to the Warriors.
Even in a year that saw Stephen Curry get a supermax contract, players like Kevin Durant took a massive pay cut, and one year deal to stick with the team. This kind of loyalty and willingness to do what's needed to keep a team together is rare in today's NBA. It might not last forever, but for now, everyone is staying put.
4. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant
This combination of players is the best the NBA has to offer in terms of pure scoring. The Warriors have the ability with these two guys on the floor to easily outscore opponents every night. There aren't two players in the league more capable of putting up 40 points each if they simply feel like it.
The fact that either can do it, but both seem to work cohesively is also rare. Neither has an issue taking a back seat on any given night and if we learned anything this summer with the Kyrie Irving trade, most players want to shine and be the guy.
3. Offense and Defense
There is no denying that on offense, the Golden State Warriors are one of, if not, the most dynamic teams in the NBA. What makes them so special isn't just their offense, it's their abilities on the defensive end of the floor.
Before the team became as scary on offense as they are now, they were built on defense by former coach Mark Jackson. In many ways, they still play that style. They're one of the best teams at shooting three-pointers, they are also one of the best teams at defending the three.
If Golden State can outscore you at will and then stop you from playing your own game effectively, how can anyone defeat them?
2. Lack of Competition
The reality is, there just isn't any real competition for the Warriors this season. The oddsmakers in Vegas have Golden State as a -175 favorite to win again, and the next closest team is Cleveland at +425. No other team is close in terms of keeping pace, and only the San Antonio Spurs spent more time over the past three seasons with a lead against the Warriors versus playing from behind.
The biggest challenge for the Warriors is not becoming complacent. Having gone to the Finals in three consecutive seasons, it's a lot of basketball. They have to find a way to maintain their motivation.
1. Team Ball
Kobe Bryant once described it best when he said the team's ability to spread you out defensively and force you to be constantly aware is draining. It's hard to play that way for 48 minutes, and the Warriors force you to try and contain them throughout a game. The attack never ends.
"This is what makes them so hard to defend for 48 minutes," Bryant says. "Having to be on constant communication defensively while dealing with the conditioning and physicality of the game. Wears teams down." The Warriors team is young, they're skilled and they play together. It's the kind of game every NBA team wishes they could pull off but few can.