Golden State Warriors Playoff Preview; First Round vs. Houston Rockets
With the 2016 NBA playoffs now underway, let’s take a look at this year’s Golden State Warriors Playoff Preview.
The Golden State Warriors have steamrolled through the regular season. After winning the NBA championship last season, the Warriors had a chip on their shoulders to prove last season wasn’t a fluke. Beyond that, they managed to amass what was on paper the greatest season in NBA history. 73 wins and 9 losses is the mark they reached, following a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors had accusations of luck, fortune or the proper alignment of the moons, but what they’ve done since their title turns every bit of criticism and skepticism into fuel in order to loudly separate themselves from the rest of the pack — even the 67-win San Antonio Spurs.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody on earth, the Warriors wind up as the league’s top-rated offense in the 2015-2016 season, a step above their second-place finish a season ago. They were lifted by a mind-boggling, season-long hot streak for their superstar point guard, Steph Curry. He ends the season leading the league in points per game, hovering around 30.
Klay Thompson is having another stellar season, as well. Klay Thompson has undoubtedly been the second best player for the Warriors for the last few seasons. He’s typically pretty consistent and does more than his share as the second scoring option on the team.
With Curry and Thompson at the helm, Golden State’s offense is predicated around the three-ball. Whether it be the Curry launching up near half court jump shots midway into the shot clock, Klay running his man through multiple off-ball screens to free himself up for a shot from the corner, Draymond Green getting open via the pick & pop, or one of the other marksmen on the roster being left open due to inevitable double-teams; the Dubs will find a way to get shots up from beyond the arc, and they will knock them down.
Andre Iguodala will be a key factor if the Warriors want to repeat. He may come off the bench, but he’ll be spending his fair share of time guarding Harden in the first round. One thing this season proved about the Warriors, every man on the roster loves to play for one another. Even if one person has an off night, expect someone else to pick up the pace.
Challenges Await the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are primed to make another run at a title. They see the Rockets in round one, a dysfunctional team who rides on the coat tails of their own superstar. Round two will see them draw either the Portland Trail Blazers or Los Angeles Clippers. Either team will pose a more formidable challenge than the Rockets, and a Clippers matchup will likely provide one of the toughest possible tests for the Warriors in the playoffs.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs most likely await. Regardless of how that matchup shakes out, it will feature the two best teams in the league this year. The quest for 73 wins was conquered, but it doesn’t mean a thing if the end of this season doesn’t result in another NBA championship.
(Golden State Warriors Playoff Preview)