After all the snake comments and cupcake comparisons, Kevin Durant stayed on his path, and no matter what people say about him, it won’t change the fact that he is now an NBA champion. Not only did Durant win it all, but he made sure that he was the reason why, winning the 2017 NBA Finals MVP.
With what is being called the death lineup, consisting of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, Durant has wrecked havoc in the NBA. Some teams are throwing in the towel and losing on purpose in hopes of acquiring high draft picks, a young core, and just wait until the Warriors somehow get bad, which would be losing the nucleus because of financial problems.
For the teams that are trying to contend, the general managers and owners are doing whatever they can to get a “Big Four” to try to contend with the Golden State Warriors. No longer are the days of having a “Big Three.”
With that said, let’s take a look at three key matchups for the upcoming season, and how all the trades in the offseason will affect each matchup.
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans
It wasn’t too long ago that the Warriors and Pelicans faced each other in the first round of the 2015 Western Conference playoffs. Fast forward a couple of years and these teams are totally different.
For starters, the Warriors no longer have Harrison Barnes. They have Kevin Durant. The Pelicans still have the face of their franchise in Anthony Davis, but they don’t have Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson. Instead, they have “Boogie” Demarcus Cousins.
The Warriors always talk about great defense and how it can affect their offense in a good way. Well, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, and the rest of the big men better bring their strength and big boy pants because they are going to be facing two of the best big men in the game in Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins.
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Golden State Warriors very well know what happened in the first game of last year’s contest against the San Antonio Spurs, as they got manhandled, 129-100. The Spurs realize what could have happened in the Western Conference Finals last year if Kawhi Leonard didn’t get injured.
This November 2 matchup and all the other matchups against the Spurs will be fun to watch, with Steve Kerr coaching against his former coach and good friend, Gregg Popovich, and Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard trying to show who is the second best player in the world.
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
This matchup may be the best one, as most fans would like to see the Warriors either play the Thunder or the Cavaliers. Last year, after all the drama between Westbrook and Durant, and going to Oklahoma City where there were thousands of cupcakes and snakes, the games still had to be played as the Warriors showed that they were the superior team.
Kevin Durant’s move shaped the NBA for this upcoming season and that move included the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook has signed a five-year, 205 million extension with the Thunder, as General Manager Sam Presti has given Russell Westbrook some new layers to help him win a championship: Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
The Thunder had no chance to beat the Warriors last year, but with the new “Big Three” for Oklahoma City, this season series just got a lot more interesting and exciting for not just fans, but the players as well. If Steven Adams can average a double-double, then the Oklahoma City Thunder have just made themselves a contender to dethrone the Golden State Warriors.
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