With three NBA Championship wins in the last four years, a team loaded with All-Stars in their prime, and a strong fan base all over the country, the Golden State Warriors are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the history of the sport. The team invented the term Super Team, a concept that is being seen across the NBA. Super Teams are teams with multiple All-Stars working for a ring and signing small contracts.
The Warriors increased their lineup this past year with the addition of All-Star forward/center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. Cousins is currently practicing with the team and expected to play within the next three or four weeks after being sidelined for the second half of last season following a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in January. His addition to the team this season could result in a fourth championship, however with many internal problems now starting to develop, it is unclear whether the team will hold up.
In their last nine contests, the Warriors are 3-6. With losses to under performing teams like the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as a one-point game with the struggling Sacramento Kings, it is clear that the Warriors need to find their spark again.
The problems that the team face include their inability to succeed without former MVP point guard Stephen Curry, as well as a bad relationship between forward/center Draymond Green and small forward Kevin Durant. A fight broke out after an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 12 in the locker room between the two all-stars. This fight, according to the players, has since been resolved, with Draymond being suspended for one game by the organization. Although in a statement by Green, he expressed that, although the relationship wasn’t damaged, it is likely that incidents like these will affect how the players interact with one another on the court.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr must figure out his team’s chemistry problems soon, as Durant and shooting guard Klay Thompson are both free agents at the end of the season. Both critical pieces to the Warriors success, a hostile locker room environment may cause one or both players to look to greener pastures in the off-season.
With Curry still sidelined due to a groin injury, along with Green out with a sprained toe, the team lost against the Toronto Raptors in overtime on Nov. 29. Facing off against a potential opponent in the Finals, the Warriors showed improved chemistry. Durant scored 51 points to bring the Warriors back late, keeping the team in contention until the game clock expired in overtime. Shooting guard Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors played incredibly well, getting the Raptors the win.
The Warriors’ next contest, against the Detroit Pistons, saw Curry return to the starting lineup. Although the team’s star was back, they still lost. The Pistons came out on top due to an outstanding performance by power forward Blake Griffin, who had 26 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Going into the season with their superteam roster, many thought that the Warriors would carve their way through the regular season before demolishing the Western Conference on their way to their fifth-straight Finals appearance. Once Cousins makes his return to the court, and Kerr finds a solution to his locker room problems between Green and Durant, it will be interesting to see if the Warriors can go on an unprecedented hot streak.