The Golden State Warriors are currently 28-22 on the season and sit 0.5 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets for first place in the West.
In a year that we all assumed Golden State would dominate, they’re actually struggling to hold onto their spot as the top contender in the West as the Nuggets are right behind them. However, looking at odds on who will be #1 for this year’s championship, Golden State is definitely the team to beat. If you look at that very first chart, you’ll see that the Warriors have been one of the most consistent teams throughout the season. The Warriors are definitely the safest bet at this point of the game.
Now, they still have the most talented starting 5 in NBA history with an All-Star and future Hall of Famer in every position. They even have a Hall of Famer coming off the bench depending on how lenient the HOF voters are when grading Andre Iguodala’s career. Point is, the regular season is a big yawn to this team and they can very easily still win the title when it’s all said and done.
But which Western Conference team has the best chance to beat the Golden State Warriors?
Although the Warriors and Nuggets are sharing the No. 1 seed at the moment, when the postseason actually starts, I don’t suspect Denver to even make it out of the first round. Outside of Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets lack playmakers and consistent shooters. When the game slows down in the playoffs, Denver is going to struggle in the half court to put the ball in the bucket.
The team that is poised to give Golden State the most trouble is the Houston Rockets. We all saw what happened last postseason when Houston went up 3-2 before Chris Paul suffered that series swaying injury. The Rockets had them on the ropes by switching everything defensively and forcing Golden State to become an isolation team.
Somehow James Harden became an even more prolific scorer than he was last year when he won the MVP award. Golden State is ranked first in offensive rating but Houston directly behind them just 0.4 points less.
Our only hope is to stop the Warriors are the Rockets. Save us, Houston.
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