For the first time this season, the Golden State Warriors played a game without their superstar, Stephen Curry, and it was not a pleasant sight.
Curry is currently sidelined with a bruised lower left leg. The Warriors lost their second game of the season last night to the Dallas Mavericks by a final score of 114-91. Not only did they lose though, they were dominated and didn’t even look like the same team that has gotten off to the best start in NBA history.
On Christmas Day, the Golden State Warriors will face arguably their toughest test so far this season when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went on a historic and unprecedented 24-0 start to the season, and even though they are no longer undefeated, they are still clearly the best team in the NBA, by record but also by the fact that they’ve easily beaten almost every team they’ve faced so far, with the exception of a few teams.
There is currently a debate going on in NBA culture about who is currently the best player in the NBA. The leading candidates for this honor, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, were both named Players of the Week for their respective conferences for the week of Monday, November 16th through Sunday, November 22nd.
The 2014-15 NBA season was the best season of Klay Thompson’s young career. He averaged 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 43.9 percent shooting from three-point range. He was named to his first NBA All-Star Game, and he started the All-Star Game alongside his Splash Brother, Stephen Curry. In addition, he had his record-breaking 37-point quarter, and he was a key contributor to the Golden State Warriors’ title run last year.
Many expected Thompson to be even better this season with more confidence and experience under his belt heading into his fifth NBA season. He hasn’t had a poor season so far by any means, but he hasn’t appeared to be quite as lethal as he was last season.
The Golden State Warriors finished the 2014-15 season as NBA champions. The Warriors owned the number one overall seed throughout most of the regular season, and they won a total of 83 games last season in the regular season and playoffs, which is the third highest win total in NBA history.
The Warriors have gone 8-0 to start the 2015-16 season, and they have dominated almost every single opponent that they’ve faced, as they have a league-leading +17.8 point differential so far this season. The Warriors look like they could repeat as NBA champions, but there are still a lot of games to be played and a lot of quality teams to overcome.
We’ve asked five of our writers to answer five questions about the Warriors and the 2015-16 NBA season. Here are the five questions and the responses from our writers.
So far this season, all the talk surrounding the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors has been about reigning MVP Stephen Curry. He was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for the first week of the season, after putting up averages of 39.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 33 minutes per game in the first three games of the season.
Curry has already made a statement for why he could win MVP again this season, and given the fact that he’s the best player on the team and arguably the best player in the league, he will always be the Warriors’ go-to scorer and their leader.
In terms of the offense, Klay Thompson is most likely the Warriors’ secondary scorer behind Curry, but is Thompson truly the Warriors’ x-factor? The Warriors are a team that can win games even when one or two key players are struggling, and the x-factor could even change night to night, depending on matchups and which player is on a hot streak at the time.
17.9 percent of the NBA’s general managers believe the Golden State Warriors will win the NBA title this season. NBA.com’s annual general managers’ survey has been around for 13 years now, and 17.9 percent is the lowest percentage a defending champion has received since the creation of this survey.
The term “lucky” has been thrown around a lot when discussing the Warriors’ magical run last season to their first title since 1975. Some fans and writers believe that the Warriors only won the title last season, because they were lucky enough to stay healthy and they were lucky enough to not face the San Antonio Spurs or, as suggested by Doc Rivers, the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs. Nice try, Doc.