Photo Credit: Sports Chat Place
When the Golden State Warriors lost their season opener at home by a score of 129-100 to the San Antonio Spurs, it seemed like everyone in the entire basketball world lost their minds. People wondered why they were ever considered title favorites in addition to why they sacrificed nearly their whole bench for small forward Kevin Durant when clearly in the first game of the season it did not look to play to their advantage.
Now, the Warriors are 4-1, and they look like they are just getting started. Despite the 29-point opening night blowout, they are now the NBA leaders in average points per game with 115.2. It appears as though they are gaining chemistry with their new-look team, which by the way, features the best point guard in in the NBA Stephen Curry, the best shooting guard in the NBA in Klay Thompson, and arguably the best small forward and power forward in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, respectively, as its starting five. Would the Spurs beat this team by 29 at home again if they were to face? Probably not. On a side note, we won’t know unless the teams meet in the Western Conference Playoffs since the two remaining meetings between the two teams this regular season are in San Antonio. Although it appears likely that they’ll meet in the Western Conference Championship this season, the same was the case last season and they did not, so we may not find out.
The Warriors followed up their loss to the Spurs, who are an extremely good basketball team, another reason why the initial panic was an overreaction, with two close road wins against two not-so-good teams in the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns. These two games served as sort of test games to help further develop the chemistry that the Warriors absolutely needed to develop as a team and to avoid another embarrassing loss. Since then, they have been unstoppable, and they look even better than they did last season, a major statement to the development of the team’s chemistry so early on in the season despite the opening loss.
The Warriors showed this chemistry development by destroying the Portland Trailblazers on the road by 23 points and following that up with a commanding home victory against Durant’s old team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. It is finally starting to show through why this team was and is considered a super team given how dominant a level they are playing on right now with their All-Star loaded roster and why they were and are favorites to win the 2017 NBA Finals.
Why anyone would discount the Warriors with the team that they have after one loss is a mystery. After all, they lost nine times all of last season, and that total was the fewest total in the 82-game regular season era. So why was everyone so alarmed by just one loss? The reason is because of how much depth they lost in order to acquire Kevin Durant as an upgrade to their starting power forward position, especially since in reality, the upgrade was minimal if you put Durant in former Warriors’ starting small forward Harrison Barnes’ exact role, which you can read about HERE in far more detail. Everyone was panicked that maybe it was not the right move to sign Durant and that the Warriors may have lost the chemistry that they had gained over the past few seasons with only a small chance to get it back now matter how good their roster looked on paper.
As we have seen since their opening game loss, this is not the case at all. The addition of Durant has actually helped out the Warriors given their recent dominant play, and it appears as though it will continue to pay huge dividends to the team down the road. The Warriors are still the best team in the NBA, and there is no doubt about it now that their star players are starting to gel and play to their sky-high potential while working together effectively each game.