The NBA’s best of the best provided us with another exciting All-Star Weekend, the 71st annual event that fans of all franchises can get behind.
Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry hit 16 three-pointers - an All-Star record - securing 50 points for the winning Team Lebron. Curry and his team captain on the night Lebron James picked up the lion's share of the points with the Lakers man notching the game-winning shot with a turnaround jumper, making it a great night in Ohio for the two All-Stars from Akron.
Team Durant was ahead by a point at the end of the 3rd quarter, but the Bay Area’s golden-boy stole the show and led Team LeBron to victory. The question is, can he do the same thing with the Warriors?
The Warriors are good enough
Steve Kerr’s side made five straight NBA Finals from 2015-2019 and won three of them. Their roster still boasts the same power with Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, which explains why bet365 Australia has them at 11/2 to win the NBA championship this summer.
The Warriors have been bolstered with the hugely anticipated return of Thompson, who had been out of action since 2019, with his last appearance coming in the championship final loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The Golden State guard was sidelined during the 2020-21 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and spent the entire 2019-20 campaign healing a torn ACL. Klay’s return came in a convincing win over the Cavaliers in early January -- he put up 17 points while The Chase Centre faithful chanted his name. Thompson then dropped 33 points, and five rebounds in a 117-115 win over the Lakers in mid-February and is starting to look like his former dominant self.
The final piece to this deadly Warriors puzzle from the golden era is Draymond Green, and he is soon to be back in action - a player who means more than just stats to the team. An unrivaled in-game IQ and a powerful locker room leader, Green is widely regarded as the glue that holds the Warriors together.
Golden State has also improved around these stars with the emergence of one of the league's brightest 6th men in Jordan Poole. The 22-year-old played the first half of the season as the Warriors starting shooting guard, but with the timely return of Klay, Poole found form coming off the bench and has rapidly proven to be one of the best subs in the league, putting up numbers only bettered by Miami’s Tyler Herro.
When you calculate the addition of first-time All-Star Andrew Wiggins and a timely return for the 7 ft James Wiseman after a meniscus injury, no team in the league would want to face the Warriors come playoff time.
A team to avoid at all costs
Kerr’s men sit second in the Western Conference with a record of 42-15. That's also the second-best record in the league behind the defending Western Conference champions Phoenix Suns, who are at 46-10.
In recent years, the Western Conference has been more powerful than the East and has seen more depth in competitive teams. This isn’t the case this year, and that’s a huge advantage for the Warriors.
To bring it all together, they have one of the best head coaches in the league in Steve Kerr, Steph Curry, who is hoping to add his first MVP finals trophy along with a 4th championship ring, and Draymond Green, an early contender for defensive player of the year.
Not to mention the return to form of five-time All-Star Klay Thompson, two-way wing gem Andrew Wiggins, off-the-bench offensive spark plug Jordan Poole and the strength in depth of James Wiseman, Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, and Juan Toscano-Anderson.
It’s clear to see why the Golden State Warriors have great odds to win their 7th NBA Championship this season - it may well happen.