Golden State Warriors: Low Likelihood Of A Repeat Championship


Get ready, Golden State Warriors fans. After what seems like a year of agony, it is time to gear up and get ready for another action packed season. We are now less than a month from the opening of NBA training camps across the country. And the big question in the minds of many is — can the defending champions repeat?

The Warriors cruised through the regular season last year to a franchise record 67 wins, a 16-5 playoff record, and a Larry O’Brien championship trophy. So how will the Dubs follow up that unbelievable season? Brace yourselves Warriors fansl, it will be a very tough act to follow.

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After a very eventful offseason that saw just about every Western Conference playoff team improve, the number one thing on every Warrior fan’s mind is — can they do it again?

Based on history, the odds for another Warriors championship this season are not very high. The NBA has crowned a champion 65 times and of those 65 champions, only 21 of  them won the title again the following season. In other words, only about 32 percent of the time, a team is able to repeat.

However, the NBA has changed immensely over the past 65 years. The Boston Celtics won eight straight NBA titles from 1959-1966, something that will likely never happen again. If we look at the last 30 seasons, 11 of those champions were able to repeat. A better likelihood at 36% , but still not in the Warriors’ favor.

The Warriors aren’t just any other NBA champion though. In fact the Warriors had an all-time great season, statistically speaking. Aside from being tied for the sixth best record in NBA history, the Warriors put up staggering number on both sides of the court.

As Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes, the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors can at least be looked at as an honorable mention in the conversation for best NBA team ever.

"“But here’s the most compelling evidence: has a comprehensive stat called Elo rating, which factors in every game – win or loss – a team plays in the regular season and postseason while also taking into account win margins, strength of opponents, where the game was played and more. According to Elo rating, the Warriors were the third-best team in NBA/ABA history behind only the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls and 1995-96 Bulls. And the gap between Golden State’s Elo rating (1796) and those Chicago teams (1802 and 1815, respectively) wasn’t very large.So we’re talking about a Warriors team that has an argument as an all-time great squad, yet their title was discredited by many and few people are predicting that they’ll repeat as champions this year because other teams look good on paper.And the scariest thing about this Warriors team is that all signs point to them sustaining this level of success and, in fact, they may even be better in the 2015-16 season.”"

But could the Warriors possibly be even better this season? When you think about it, it’s not all that far fetched.

There is no arguing that the Western Conference will be the toughest that it has been in recent memory. Teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers all made key free agent acquisitions, while the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to get their stars healthy and ready to have a highly productive season.

While the Warriors’ record may not be as good as it was last year, their talent is likely to increase.

The Warriors’ talent level as a whole will most likely improve. It would be hard to imagine a situation where Stephen Curry or Draymond Green take a huge step backwards.

Jun 16, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward James Jones (1) during the third quarter in game six of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In fact there are about six or seven players on Golden State’s squad who are entering or are already in the prime of their career. Most of the guys on this roster will be better this year than they were last year. At least one would would hope.

The one thing that could prevent the Warriors from having a good title defending season is their health. While injuries are a natural part of the game, the Warriors were very fortunate last season to see virtually no injuries. That leaves some wondering if they can stay that healthy again.

While part of their health could probably be attributed to luck, a large part of it was a byproduct of the dominance they had over the rest of the league. A lot of nights, the starters would not play a single minute in the fourth quarter because they had already built up a 20 or 30 point lead.

If they can keep that up, another relatively healthy year may be on the horizon.

The Warriors are a very young team with a lot of key pieces that are likely to see improvement this season. A young core of Curry, Green and Klay Thompson can be one that competes for a title year in and year out. The conference that they are in is always going to be a grind, and health is always a question mark, but by the looks of it they have the talent to win multiple championships.

So can the Warriors do it again this year? A lot of people think not, and history sure isn’t in their favor. But one thing we’ve learned from watching this Warriors team over the past couple of seasons — they enjoy proving the doubters wrong.

Next: Warriors Sign Point Guard Juwan Staten