Sports

Warriors Look to Repeat as Champs in 2018

 

Warriors pic

Warriors players receive their 2017 championship rings. Photo courtesy of NBA.com

After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers four games to one last June in the NBA Finals, the Warriors come into this NBA season attempting to win their third NBA title in the last four years.

If they can pull it off, the Warriors would become the first team since the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers to win three titles in four years or less according to NBA.com.

Over the offseason, the Warriors were able to re-sign all-stars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, along with bringing on new players such as Nick Young, to help in defending their championship.

The Warriors dominated the NBA last year. According to ESPN.com, they led the league in points per game with 115.9 and finished with the best record in the NBA at 67-15. And the Warriors are attempting to repeat that success this year.

However, winning the NBA title this year is going to be much easier said than done.

There are plenty of contenders in both the Eastern and Western Conference this year, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost to the Warriors in the finals last year, are once again led by four-time NBA MVP Lebron James.

According to basketball-reference.com, James, who is also a three-time NBA Champ, has averaged 27.1 points per game for his career, along with 7.3 rebounds and 7 assists.

“He’s the G.O.A.T.,” sophomore Bryce Milton said.

The Cavs, who went 51-31 last year per ESPN.com,  took down the Warriors in the Finals in 2016 and are looking to do it once again. The Cavs have faced the Warriors in each of the last three years.

In the offseason, the Cavaliers added some major depth to their roster by signing former all-stars Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose, who both are slated to come off the bench this year.

The Cavaliers also traded away their all-star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics after he requested a trade midway through the offseason. However, they did get all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a first-round pick in return for Irving.

Along with the Cavs, the Houston Rockets are another team who are looking to dethrone the Warriors.

The Rockets, who were third in the Western Conference last year, come into 2017 looking to build off of last year’s success.

They were able to make it to the second round of the playoffs last year but got plagued by injuries and fatigue late in the year and lost to the San Antonio Spurs four games to two.

But the Rockets are looking to get past the second round this year.

James Harden, their star shooting guard, was second in MVP voting behind only Russell Westbrook last year, averaging 29.1 points per game to go along with 11.2 assists per game per basketball-reference.com.

The Rockets were known for their offense last year and, according to ESPN.com, and they were second in the league in points scored with 115.3 points per game.

To go along with Harden, the Rockets added nine-time all-star Chris Paul to their roster in hopes of creating a deadly duo in the backcourt.  According to basketball-reference.com, Paul averaged 18.1 points and 9.2 assists last year with the Los Angeles Clippers.

After a huge offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder has the chance to become the 2018 NBA Champions. The Thunder already have the reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, who last year was the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double over the course of an entire NBA season.

The Thunder finished with a record of 47-35 last year per ESPN.com but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Houston Rockets.

They also shocked the NBA world this year by trading for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the offseason. Both players are former-all stars and have been selected to an All-NBA team in their career.

George, who had previously expressed interest in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, came over to OKC from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis reported ESPN.com.

Anthony is a native of Baltimore and a ten-time all-star who, according to basketball-reference.com, has averaged 24.8 points per game in his career.

However, the question still stands, can anyone stop the Warriors?

“The Warriors are gonna win it all again,” senior Kenny Lewis added.

Categories: Sports

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