Can anyone compete with Golden State?
OAKLAND – Are the Denver Nuggets really the second-best team in the Western Conference?
We all know the Warriors are the best team in the league, which obviously makes them the best team in the West – but is Denver truly their top competition in what is usually a highly-competitive conference?
Don’t me wrong – I like the Nuggets and am intrigued by what they’re doing to start this season. But if what we’re seeing is true – if the Nuggets are truly the second-best team in the Western Conference this season – then the Warriors simply don’t have a worthy adversary on their side of the bracket.
Yes, I know it’s early – I get that there are six months to go in the NBA regular season and that nothing in this league is certain or guaranteed (no matter what the national pundits tell you) but the way things are shaking out could not be more advantageous to Golden State.
As if this team needed the extra help.
Seriously, though, I’m flummoxed – who is going to push the Warriors in the West?
Remember the Houston Rockets? They were the team that had two games to beat the Warriors once to advance to the NBA Finals last May. Well, they don’t even look like a playoff team right now. They’ve dealt with injuries and suspensions, yes, but their offense is a mess, their defense has been so shambolic that poor Jeff Bzdelik had to come out of retirement, and they’re relying on Carmelo Anthony to be a plus player. That team didn’t just regress – they became actively bad. And while it probably won’t hold, I can’t take them seriously as a threat at the moment (and I don’t expect that to change).
Lebron’s Lakers? What can I Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Draymond Green celebrate after Curry made a basket before the start of their basketball game against the Timberwolves at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Friday.
tell you that hasn’t been yelled on ESPN for the last three weeks? Head coach Luke Walton seems to be on the hot seat, they’re playing Javale Mcgee 25 minutes per game (we all love Javale, but can you rely on Javale? There’s a difference…), and Lebron has fully embraced the laid-back California lifestyle and isn’t playing a lick of defense. But don’t worry, they have Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson….
The Lakers might make the playoffs, and any game or series with the Warriors will no doubt be fun – but let’s be serious, they’re not an actual title contender. They’re not even close.
Perhaps the Rockets will figure it out in the next few weeks. (Ok, the next few months…)
Maybe the Lakers will right a ship that was never really on-line. (I’m less optimistic about that one.)