The talk around the NBA lately has been about LeBron James going to Los Angeles to join Magic Johnson and the Lakers. Why they signed free agents like Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo. What role players will make the most impact in the starting lineup. Which of the players in the young core they can package for Kawhi Leonard. How different the Lake Show now is than the Cleveland Cavs teams he played for. Questions surrounding the shooters. And so it goes on.
The Golden State Warriors had their share of attention after signing DeMarcus Cousins, mostly because he’s the fifth wheel that joins a band composed of four All-Stars, has won back-to-back championships and is looking to three-peat into an NBA dynasty for the future.
In the topic of LBJ joining the Western Conference, Steph Curry was asked his thoughts and he had something interest to say:
“I don’t know what they’re going to be as a team, because obviously it’s brand new and they don’t have their identity. There’s a lot that’s been made about the competition in the West and his eight straight Finals appearances and all that, but that just makes everybody raise the antenna up a little bit – including us. It’s going to be fun for fans, playing [more] in the regular season and who knows in the playoffs. So the West obviously got stronger with LeBron but you’ve still got to beat us.
So everybody says how we’re ruining the NBA – I love that phrasing; it’s the dumbest phrase ever. We are always trying to find a way to get better. If we were just happy with winning a championship and staying stagnant, we wouldn’t be doing ourselves justice.”
Confident words from a unanimous MVP and 3-time NBA champion.
Though the Warriors could be damn near impossible to beat with that new All-Star fatality lineup, the rest of the West is more evened out. Just put it this way: Houston Rockets got weaker, Oklahoma City may be a tad stronger, Lakers got a boost with Lebron James, the Utah Jazz are on the come up, Denver Nuggets can make a run, Anthony Davis can still lead the New Orleans Pelicans to the promise land, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can make the playoffs and you can’t forget Coach Popovich taking that San Antonio Spurs greatness to the postseason with a younger core than in past years. And that’s not even counting the Timberwolves, Clippers of Mavericks, who can be in the mix for the 8th seed in the West next season.
That Western Conference playoff seeding will be a dog fight this season, for real.
For now, Dub Nation is the team to beat and the rest of the teams in the West do not look like they have the firepower to compete with them. Especially if Boogie comes back and dominates for the postseason.
Curry is right. You still have to beat them.