Can we doubt them?
A record 93% of the NBA general managers who responded to the organization’s annual survey agree that the Golden State Warriors will once again lift that coveted Larry O’Brien trophy by the season’s end next year.
According to NBA.com, no team in the 16-year history of the GM survey have been as favoured to win the championship as this year’s Warriors, and a review of the Dubs’ accomplishments last year will show why.
True, the team did not break or even tie their best record of 73 wins in the regular season, but they did record the best playoff run in history losing only once on their way to winning it all at home in Oakland.
The Warriors did it thanks to Finals, and probably playoffs, MVP Kevin Durant, who averaged 28.5 points with 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 55.6% from the field and 44.2% from deep in 15 games in the playoffs.
Durant is just 29 years old entering this season, still in the middle of his prime and playing with the backcourt tandem of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who averaged 26.8 and 16.4 points per game in the finals respectively.
The rest of the GMs who answered the survey and did not pick the Warriors picked the Cleveland Cavaliers, who still boast a lineup featuring LeBron James, widely regarded as the best player in the world.
The Cavs also boosted its lineup with the arrival of Dwyane Wade, who won two championships with James in 2012 and 2013 in Miami, and Derrick Rose, the former MVP who is looking for a fresh start after a disappointing stint with the New York Knicks.
James is also favoured to win his fifth regular season MVP award, with 50% of GMs selecting him as the player to lift the Maurice Podoloff award this season. Durant is selected by 29% of the GMs, while Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs is a far third favourite at 11%.