Originally this post was supposed to cover the possibility of the Golden State Warriors running away with the Pacific Division in the Western Conference. However, after a single game I’m ready to pronounce the Dubs as championship contenders.
That’s right, folks. Might as pencil in the Warriors as your 2013-14 NBA champs, because after a 125-94 thrashing of the Los Angeles Lakers, any and every question mark surrounding this team has been answered with authority.
If you didn’t pick up on the symbolism of the Warriors demolishing the most storied franchise in the NBA to start off the season, then you obviously weren’t paying attention. It’s as if the organization said to its detractors, “We are here to usher in a new era of basketball; the Lakers are the past, the Warriors are the future.” And then Andre Iguodala rallied his teammates around their cause, declaring after the pre-game introductions, “Let’s get it.” And it was good.
Doubts about Klay Thompson’s role with Iguodala now joining him in the starting lineup? All he did was score a career-high 38 points while going 15-for-19 from the floor in three quarters.
Worried about David Lee and whether or not he’s necessary for another playoff run? Last year’s All-Star representative for Golden State finished the night with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists and his notorious defensive deficiencies didn’t seem to matter much, as Andrew Bogut patrolled the paint with renewed vigor.
I haven’t even mentioned Stephen Curry yet, because I don’t really need to. He scored 10 points with six assists, but he knew by the second quarter that more effort than that wasn’t really warranted. Very gracious, Steph. Classy move, indeed, not piling it on and all.
Even the bench unit, vastly inferior to last year’s on paper after losing key contributors in Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, maintained the 30-point lead in the fourth quarter. Jermaine O’Neal registered a plus-17 in 20 minutes on the floor, so don’t go thinking Sixth Man of the Year is out of reach just because he may or may not have knees. Toney Douglas threw in 13 points with four assists and Marreese Speights threw down an awesome dunk at one point and gobbled up eight rebounds, declaring at one point: “Birdman ain’t got sh*t on me!”
Add all this up and what do you have? The most fearsome offense in the league that is going to eviscerate teams on their best nights and merely run away in close contests on their worst nights–72-10? Pshhh. Jesus is Mark Jackson’s homeboy and seven is a biblical number, so based off of last night’s win, I’m going with an overall regular season record of 75-7 and that’s only because they’re going to rest the starters in the final five games. We’re talking historic greatness here.
What are the other two losses on the schedule? At San Antonio Nov. 8, because Gregg Popovich will spend all of his time from now until then game planning for the best offense this world has ever seen. And also at Miami on Jan. 2, because the party on New Year’s Eve after the Warriors thrash the Orlando Magic on Dec. 31 is going to be so fierce that they still will not have recovered two days after, and LeBron has the Warriors on his Kill List after getting beaten by them on his home floor last year. AND THAT’S IT. Any losses besides those will be massive upsets.
So don’t make any plans for June 2014, because you’ll want to be around the Bay Area when the Warriors put the finishing touches on the best season in NBA history. You heard it here first.