The Golden State Warriors overcame many obstacles to become the 2022 NBA champions. The Warriors are the favorite to repeat as champions.
Warriors’ Injury Record
After creating a dynasty to end the last decade, the Warriors salary cap and injuries caught up to them and they struggled for a couple of seasons.
Klay Thompson, the “Splash Brother” next to Steph Curry, missed close to two seasons, but made his return last season.
Klay Thompson did not return to the elite form that he was in during the Warriors initial run, especially on the defensive end, but he was still a solid contributor and a necessary piece to last year’s championship squad.
Now with more playing time under his belt, it is safe to assume that we will see a better version of Klay Thompson this season.
New Acquisitions and Roster Losses
The Warriors returned most of the players from last year’s championship squad. The Warriors lost Otto Porter Jr and Gary Payton II, but replaced them with JaMychal Green and Donte DiVincenzo.
While the Warriors will miss Payton’s incredible defensive ability, they are in a good position to overcome these losses and made adequate moves to replace the departing players.
So, it looks like the Warriors are all set to repeat and everything is fine and dandy in Warriorland.
Not so fast!!! Internal strife popped up during the team’s training camp which has cast a cloud upon this season. Reports of a training camp fight in which Draymond Green punched teammate Jordan Poole emerged.
Draymond Green is known as a hot head and his tension with Kevin Durant was one of the reasons that many speculated that Durant wanted to leave Golden State even though their partnership was fruitful.
Okay, that’s fine, training camp skirmishes happen. No big deal right? It was no big deal until the video came out and this was not an ordinary dust-up. Draymond Green absolutely levels Jordan Poole with a one-punch knockout that could have given Poole a concussion.
When the video was released everyone around the NBA was aware of the severity of the transgression by Green, and also put Poole in an embarrassing position.
How Will the Warriors Respond?
Will they be able to sweep this under the rug? Steph Curry has done an excellent job of leadership with his team and is considered one of the most selfless teammates in the history of the sport.
If Curry were able to keep the team together after this explosive video emerged, it would be another testament to his undervalued leadership.
Assuming that Curry pulls it off and that the team does become the cohesive unit that dominated the league last year, there are still other obstacles in the Warriors path to repeat. Other teams in the West have improved.
Who Could Beat the Warriors?
Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans will all be more formidable than last year’s versions.
Also in the East, the team that I think would have the best chance to beat the Warriors in an NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks, were hurt last season.
You can make an argument that if it were the Bucks and not the Celtics who the Warriors faced, the Warriors wouldn’t even have been the champions last year.
With all these obstacles, the defending champs are sitting at +575 to win the title. The Milwaukee Bucks are +675 and the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are +700 for reference in top-rated sportsbooks.
At this price, I think you can argue that they have made an attractive value option to add a piece of the Warriors to your season long portfolio.
I do believe in Curry’s leadership and this team has shown the ability to overcome adversity and inner turmoil in the past.
No Healthy Options
Although certain teams such as the Bucks and Clippers do present matchup problems for the Warriors, they have also had problems with injuries in the past and will not necessarily be in the Warriors path.
The grueling NBA 82-game season has turned the league into a war of attrition and no one has managed their ability to stay healthy during championship runs as well as the front office and the coaching staff of the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors went from one of the most likable to one of the most hated teams with their consistent success and a lot of people will hate that I’m going to write this now, but there is value on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship.
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