Sep. 26, 2016
Why the Warriors won't win 74 games
By Jay Blackwell.
On July 4th, 2016, the NBA as we know it changed forever.
The most prized free agent since LeBron James back in 2010, Kevin Durant, decided against reuniting with his partner in crime, Russell Westbrook, to play with the NBAs most beloved team, the Golden State Warriors.
They’re not so beloved anymore.
This team will be on everybody’s radar every single night and they‘re going to get every teams' best every single night, as we saw on opening night against the Spurs. Conventional wisdom will tell you that the Warriors with Durant will only be better and win more than their record-setting 73 wins last year.
This team will be better but they still won’t win 74 games.
For as good as these Warriors are they do have their flaws. It starts defensively where the Warriors showed against the Spurs the trouble they’re going to have all year switching because they’re severely undersized. Andrew Bogut was viewed for much of the past two years as the weak link of this star studded team but it’s safe to say the Warriors could use Bogut now.
The Warriors will struggle at protecting the rim, something Bogut did extremely well, and lack the energy off the boards that Ezeli provided. The Spurs on Monday night rebounded with ease and handily scored second chance points.
This bench is not a regular season bench.
That doesn’t mean it still isn’t a good bench but it’s a bench meant for the playoffs. Veterans like David West and Shaun Livingston provide the experience necessary for the Warriors to not miss a beat when their stars are off the floor but they’re also 36 and 31 respectively. It’s a bench geared towards the playoffs and the Warriors will have to rely on young talent like Ian Clark to provide the pop they need off the bench.
This team, despite not winning 74 games, will still be good and still are my championship pick. Look, we saw Tuesday night with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on the floor together it’s almost unfair. No team in the NBA will be able to comfortably switch while playing defense against the Warriors because unlike Harrison Barnes, Durant will make them pay.
Sure, the Warriors won’t win 74 but I’m sure Dubnation will be fine with a title instead.
Jay Blackwell hosts a Wednesday night sports show called The Sports Page for WWVU FM. Tune in online at u92.wvu.edu on Wednesday's from 7-10 p.m. for his refreshing take on the latest hot topics in sports.