Opinion: Golden State Warriors will prevail in 2017 NBA Championship

By Sal Aversa | November 22, 2016 1:10pm

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Around this time last year, a fellow Beacon reporter wrote an article saying that the Golden State Warriors would NOT win the 2016 NBA Championship. In response, I wrote in a submission article because at that time, I was not yet working for The Beacon. In my piece, I said that Golden State would prevail.

Six months later, I was proven wrong.

That defeat hurt me in a few ways. First, I lost a gentleman’s bet with my friend on The Beacon. Second, I’m a diehard Warriors fan, and my team lost. And third, the Warriors gave up a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals to LeBron James and the the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This year, I will not be proven wrong. I have absolute confidence that the Golden State Warriors will be champions in 2017. And yes, I do believe they will beat LeBron this year.

In this article, I will list 10 reasons why the Golden State Warriors will win the championship and I would love feedback, disagreements and alternate opinions on my article. Please feel free to argue with me!

  1. With the signing of Kevin Durant, the Warriors now have two of the top three best players in the world on their roster (Durant and Stephen Curry). The other player being James.
  2. They have the best shooting team in NBA history. Curry, Durant, and Klay Thompson combined for 864 3-pointers last year. That was more 3-pointers than 26 teams had last year, total. Plus the Warriors have the best shooter of all time on their team, Stephen Curry, who has broken his own 3-point record two times now, shattering it last year with 402 threes.
  3. They have the best starting lineup in NBA history: Curry, the best three point shooter ever. Thompson,a streaky shooter but also a shutdown defender. Remember his 37 points in a quarter? Durant is a top three player in the world. Draymond Green is the energy behind the team and a 6-foot-7 triple-double machine. And finally, Zaza Pachulia: an underrated rebounder.
  4. They are still a very deep team. Although they lost key players from last year (Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Marreese Speights, Festus Ezeli, and Brandon Rush), they still kept the two biggest reserves on their team (Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston). Also, players like Ian Clark and their recent draft picks Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw are filling the roles of the players they lost.
  5. The new “super death” lineup. Last year, the Warriors won a record-breaking 73 games. In that season, the NBA saw the Warriors’ new lineup called the “death” lineup, that shows the establishment of the NBA’s new small-ball era. With that lineup, Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Barnes and Green, the Warriors’ lineup had a net rating of +44.4 (per Basketball Reference). Now this year, that lineup is now the Warriors’ “super death” lineup because Durant is obviously better than Barnes.
  6. The signing of Kevin Durant takes pressure off of Curry and Thompson. It was easy for teams to start double teaming Curry or Thompson when they went on their hot streaks. This year, in just the start of the season, less teams are doubling these players because then that leaves a wide-open Durant. And opposing teams have to be careful for the three-headed, 3-point monster that is Curry, Durant and Thompson.
  7. Defense! The Warriors aren’t just dangerous on the offensive end. They were the top defensive team last year and that won’t change this year. Draymond Green was voted onto the 2015-2016 All-Defensive First Team last year and was second in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year votings. Klay Thompson is an underrated defender. He is always guarding the best backcourt player on the floor, which takes pressure off of Curry on the defensive end. This year, there is some rumor that the Warriors are looking to trade Thompson, but I guarantee that won’t happen. The Warriors will not separate the splash brothers.
  8. 2015-2016 Coach of the Year, Steve Kerr. There are critics of him winning the award, myself included, who saying that Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts should have won. However, Kerr is still a very good coach. In his first few seasons as a head coach, Kerr has a record of 151-26, this year included. That’s a winning percentage of about 85 percent.
  9. Coaching is a huge reason for the Warriors’ success. Playing with lineups and substitutions can create havoc and confusion on a defense. The thing that makes the Warriors so dangerous is that their team includes 4 perennial All-Stars and one player who is making a case for the 6th Man of the Year Award. The thing about this team is that they can always have an All-Star or two on the court at all times. When opposing teams need to rest their stars and starters, the Warriors can combat that by leaving one in when the others rest. For example, they can leave Durant in the game when Curry needs a break, or visa versa.
  10. Finally, the Warriors will win the championship because of vengeance and because of the pressure. Everyone is expecting a big season from this super team. Everyone mocked the Warriors for blowing a 3-1 lead. They were the first team in NBA history to win a playoff series down 3-1 and then lose a playoff series when leading 3-1. They want revenge on James, who they will likely see in the finals again.

While the Warriors aren’t perfect and the NBA is unpredictable, the Warriors could be beaten by a team on any given night. However, I still believe they will win the 2016-2017 NBA Championship. This Warriors fan will run around his neighborhood screaming with joy come June, just like he did two years ago.

Contact sports reporter Sal Aversa at aversa17@up.edu or on Twitter @sal_aversa.
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