The Warriors are the heavy favorites to win the NBA championship. They are the class of the NBA and are poised to win another NBA Finals. They are even on track to beat the Bulls record of 72 wins in a season. Most people think the only team that can really stop the Warriors are themselves but here are the three teams with the best chance to dethrone the champs.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs are the favorite in the east mostly because LeBron has been to five straight finals. Last year’s NBA Finals were missing Kevin Love and then they lost Kyrie Irving after game one so we don’t know how that might have gone with a healthy Cleveland team. If they get to the Finals they have a shot to knock off the Warriors. It would be highly unlikely but having three players who have been all stars should allow them to compete in a long series with the Warriors. The Warriors have few threats but Cleveland is one of them as long as LeBron is there.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder- The games the Thunder and Warriors have had against each other this season have been edge of the seat exciting. The Thunder have two of the top 10 players in the NBA and some depth that could help them in a seven game series against the Warriors. This is a playoff series anyone would want to see because of how fun it is to watch these teams go to battle. Durant has been vocal lately and he really wants to win a championship. It would take a legendary series performance from Durant but he is surely capable. If he really wants to get that elusive championship he is going to have to take his game to a new level and go through the Warriors.
1.San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are the obvious choice of the team with the best chance to dethrone the defending champions. Gregg Popovich is one of the top three coaches of all time and is great at preparing his team for the NBA’s second season. He is willing to sit anyone to make sure his team is healthy and ready. It is crazy that a team can be 53-9 on the year and receive absolutely no publicity. They can still earn the number one seed over the Warriors. They are also on an eight game win streak and have not shown any signs of slowing down. If the Spurs and Warriors could play for the championship the world would rejoice, but maybe we will have to settle seeing them play in the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs are the biggest threat for a variety of reasons. For one they are just as good as shown by their record and it takes a Herculean effort to beat them. Secondly, they have more experience in the playoffs than any other team in the NBA and experience is just as valuable, if not more, than talent. Lastly, with that experience, they have chemistry that other teams simply don’t have. The core of the Spurs (Duncan, Ginobili and Parker) have five championships and with Kawhi Leonard continuously growing and expanding his game, along with the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge, I don’t see how they can lose a seven game series. This team is just as dangerous as Golden State and I hope they meet in the Western Conference Finals. Epic wouldn’t be enough to describe that matchup. Hopefully the Basketball Gods bless us with this dream series.