NBA: Golden State Warriors
We can’t start with anyone else except the Warriors, the past and, most probably, the future champion. Stating the obvious, it will be a case of history repeating itself. Warriors should be perfectly able to repeat Spurs’ achievement to recover nicely in psychological aspect and dethrone LBJ and Miami in 2014 after Ray Allen single-handedly took the title away from SAS in 2013.
GSW only got better and even more fearsome in the off-season, bringing Kevin Durant on board, one of the world’s Top 5 players. I can’t really understand all the tremor and negative feelings caused by this signing through the basketball world. Well, OKC fans are in their right to feel bad about KD leaving Oklahoma, but they are the only ones. Why should anybody else be unhappy and why should GSW managers feel awkward? Just because they have done really great job in keeping their salary cap in reasonable limits so be able to build a superior roster? No, it’s perfectly fine, that’s the game.
Sporting-wise, Durant is a great match for GSW (for any team actually ). He has proved he is unselfish enough, playing so many seasons shoulder to shoulder with shot-first PG like Westbrook. The perspective of 4 GSW All-Star players in Curry, Klay, Draymond and KD is very real indeed. Something has to be given away in the process of course, last season’s starting center Bogut and SF Harrison Barnes are no more Warriors. It’s obvious who will replace Barnes and Zaza Pachulia was brought along to fill the gap in the center. Zaza is not quite Bogut’s class but he’s very reliable and consistent, plus Draymond will help and control the paints too, as usual.
Veteran forward David West is just the icing on the cake, he also joined the team in his last attempt to win a ring. David is not likely to see many minutes on the rotation but his experience and leadership will be useful for the team.
To cut the long story short, GSW won’t have any real competition this season, aside of Spurs and Cavs, and even these two will enter a possible play-off series with GSW as underdogs.
Speaking bettingwise, there’s no value to be taken re GSW currently, with them being so obviously superior team. I played with the idea to take some of Euro soft books / exchanges early offerings (around 1.80 odds for GSW champions) and trade it back for a few percentage sure profit if they start the season strong, something like 12-2 or better. This is highly realistic scenario btw, but the markets liquidity is weak, at least for now, and not really worth it at this stage.
Projected record: 68-14 (just because I think Steve Kerr will take a note and preserve his starters in the last 10+ games of the regular season)
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