With the 2019 NBA season just a little more than a month away, the back-to-back champions Golden State Warriors look heading to their fifth straight Finals appearance.
This, despite the big attempts of the opposition to improve on their respective rosters during the pre-season in the hope of stopping coach Steve Kerr’s Warriors from reaching their goal.
Great teams come great challenges, and with the Western Conference only getting stronger this offseason, the Warriors will continue to be the target of every team on each and every game day.
And no one knows that better than arguably the best player in the league — LeBron James, now with the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron, in an interview with The Render, mentioned what he believes are the top championship contenders for the coming season and, not surprisingly, the Bay Area franchise leads the list.
“There’s a lot of championship contenders, but there is only one champion and that is the Golden State Warriors” James said. “They’re the team that everybody is trying to catch”
“But you also have the Houston Rockets, who are really good, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors — there’s a lot of championship contending teams, but everybody knows that that trophy goes through Golden State.”
If James and the Warriors meet in the postseason for a fifth consecutive year, it’ll happen before the NBA Finals as James is now a member of the Lakers — meaning that the two teams will play each other four times per season.”
He was right.
At the close of the NBA community discussion on the individual player ratings on July 11, the Warriors topped all teams with Kevin Durant leading the way with a 97.
Back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry followed closely with a 95. Having two players in the starting lineup who rank better than a 95 is pretty unheard of, but so is qualifying for four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
NBA 2K19 (@NBA2K) ratings for the other Golden State #Warriors’ projected starting five — DeMarcus Cousins, 90’ Klay Thompson, 89; and Draymond Green, 87.
In the Eastern Conference, it’s difficult to imagine any starting lineup having better ratings than the Celtics, and we also learned their ratings.
Kyrie Irving leads them with a 93 rating, while their second-highest rated player is Gordon Hayward, who has an 88.