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Golden State Warriors: Opening night and competition

Photo courtesy of TNS

Photo courtesy of TNS

Philip Chin,
Contributor

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The NBA season is underway and it is off to a promising start for the Golden State Warriors, the defending NBA champions looking to defend that title with an 11-3 start.

The Warriors have signed new players, including Nick Young, Omar Casspi and a rookie drafted from the University of Oregon, Jordan Bell. Kevin Durant took a pay cut to allow the core team to remain intact: Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston among others leaving Head Coach Steve Kerr with a lot of new role players.

Opening night for the Warriors was bittersweet. A ceremony was held before the game where the team received their championship rings, watched their banner get raised in the rafters and treated their fans to a highlight reel of some of their most memorable moments on the court from the season that ended with a title.

However, during the following game against the Houston Rockets, the Warriors found themselves in a contest against an aggressive team. Spurred on by the recent addition of Chris Paul, the Rockets were able to secure a win against the Warriors by a single point 122-121.

Other teams in the NBA will try to dethrone the Warriors like the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have a “Big Three” that they think can get the job done. The Thunder signed NBA All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to go with reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook. With this revamped roster, the Thunder believe they can successfully dethrone the champs.

The San Antonio Spurs are another team that the Warriors have had trouble with in the past. The Spurs have several veteran players including Kawhi Leonard, a two-time winner of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. They are led by head coach Gregg Popovich, who is considered one of the greatest coaches in NBA history with over 1,000 wins under his belt.

Let’s not forget about the Boston Celtics, who are off to a league-best 13-2 start. During their off-season, they made some good trades and signed some great players, including of the best point guards in the league, Kyrie Irving and All-Star Gordon Hayward. The Celtics have been successful so far this season despite a gruesome season-ending leg injury suffered by Hayward in his first regular season game.

Last year, the Celtics defeated the Warriors on their home court and ended their 54-game home winning streak. If Golden State is going to find a way to win against Boston this year, they will have to be creative.

However, the biggest threat to the Warriors this year is, once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During their off-season, the Cavs signed Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and got Isaiah Thomas through a trade with the Celtics. Then there is Lebron James, who has been to the NBA Finals the past eight seasons and is considered by many one of the best players ever. Conventional wisdom says that the NBA Finals will be the same as last year, with the Warriors against the Cavs, but with a lot of teams making considerable improvements to their rosters, it’s anyone’s guess who will make it to the top.

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Golden State Warriors: Opening night and competition