Winning the Larry O'Brien Championship for many basketball players is a dream. A dream most have had since their formative year in college, a dream many had before they got drafted and over the years quite a number of individuals have gone on to fulfill this dream, hence having their names etched in glory like the likes of Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Steph Curry and a host of other superstars. Some even take this winning an extra mile further by exerting their dominance and creating a dynasty only a few can rival — the Chicago Bulls team of the ’90s led by Michael Jordan and the amazing Golden State Warriors team led by Point Guard Steph Curry are perfect examples of this dominance.
So much so is the dominance of the Steph-led Warriors side that it is hard to look past them to retain their highly coveted Larry O’Brien trophy.
But can the Warriors defend their title? Can they conquer the NBA as they have done in recent years?
A few factors though will be key if the Warriors will retain their NBA Crown:
In fine style they won the title last season, winning the playoffs four games to two against Boston Celtics and returning them to that statute they always had. And this season following the drafts and transfer, the Warriors have done for themselves good business, as they have got their roster revitalized with a near-perfect mix of youth and experience, coupled with the ballers for the big occasions — Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green. Though there is still talk of the issue of Kevin Durant’s departure.
For any doubts that may arise from the finals in the preseason and for the trade and drafts they had, the Warriors did make a statement as to whether the Warriors have got what it takes to defend their championship, as they started with a win, over the Lakers, a side tipped by many to go all the way this new season. And in fine style, the Warriors did recover from their loss to the Denver Nuggets, as they ran over the Sacramento Kings, who so far are still without a taste of victory this season.
Though still not enough convincing enough for many, Steve Kerr and his team know that if a few factors and event falls into place, there is no stopping their team.
Keeping the MVPs fit
This a big ask for the Warriors, as the last time they had the MVPs ruled out with a major injury, the Warriors had themselves in murky waters. Precisely they had themselves setting an unwanted record — league-worst 15 games. The subsequent season 2020-21 had Klay Thompson injured and again was out for all of the season, this time to a torn Achilles from a pickup game, and the Warriors lost two straight in the play-in tournament.
The Poole Party
The new role and form of the 23-years old Jordan Poole may just be the extra boost the warriors need to defend their crown. So far the youngster has shown he can fill in for stars like Klay Thompson and though Thompson finished as the Warriors' second-leading scorer last season, trailing only Curry. There may be a looming shift in the tides. This isn't to say Klay is going to take a big step backward. It's to not delay the inevitable.
For this season, Poole is set to Warriors' second-leading scorer. He was the Warriors' second-best offensive player in the duration of the regular season, and the same goes for the playoffs. With Poole getting the starts more often and veteran Damon Green firing on all cylinders, there’s no reason to bet against the Warriors as it will obviously be at your own risk. It sure didn't work last season.
If Steve Kerr’s side can effectively keep their MVPs fit and maximize the potential of Jordan Poole, it will take more than the ordinary for them not to defend their title again.