The NBA preseason is underway, and that means that the regular season is right around the corner. Last year’s defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, are already going to be down their coach as Steve Kerr is stepping aside for a period of time due to a back surgery. While this shouldn’t have a huge impact upon the players of the team, it may weaken morale. Kerr won five NBA Championships when he played in the NBA, three of which were with the Chicago Bulls.
The 2015-16 season has a lot of eyes on the Warriors, but there’s also a lot of attention being given to the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James. The Cavs went to the Finals last year, but lost in six games to a surprisingly tough Warriors team. However, LeBron James and his teammates, most notably Kevin Love, are hungry for another shot at a championship. James led the Miami Heat to a handful of wins when he played with them, but chose to end his career with his original team, the Cavs. He help lead the team to the Finals in 2007, but they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Part of James’ decision for leaving to go to Miami was that he couldn’t win a ring in Cleveland. Now that he’s back, this is a high priority.
There are other players that have been putting up better stats than James recently, and for your daily fantasy basketball teams, these are probably better choices. James is a great player, and he is very consistent, but age is starting to catch up with him. When it comes to forwards especially, there are better choices for scoring fantasy points. Some of these include Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis. Also, consider the fact that James has publicly hinted that he will not be playing as much this season as he has in the past. This likely means fewer shots, and thus fewer points per game. He led the NBA forwards in points per game last year with 25.3, but Davis was right behind him at this position, and if James plays less, this number will drop considerably. Draymond Green of Golden State had some decent numbers last year, and could be a sleeper pick for a starting forward.
The season will begin for Golden State with a home game on October 27th where they play the New Orleans Pelicans. Even though they are the returning champions, they are not the favorites for the 2016 championship title. That honor goes to the Cavs. Vegas has them listed at +250. Behind the Cavs are the San Antonio Spurs with a money line of +350. Only in the number three slot are the Warriors listed with +550 odds. A lot of this is that the Warriors don’t have the same star power that the Cavs and the Spurs have. Stephen Curry is a powerful guard, though, and there are other great players on the Warriors, even if they don’t have the same star appeal that a LeBron James or a Tim Duncan has. These players have been in the NBA for a long time and have established a reputation for themselves. The Warriors have a younger team and have a lot more potential going into the future. It might not exactly guarantee a 2016 Finals appearance, but it does say a lot for them a few years from now. They are definitely a team to watch over the next several years. Curry is only 27 years old, while James is about to turn 31. Tim Duncan of San Antonio is 39. These guys are still playing top ball, so if Curry stays healthy, that says a lot about what he’s capable of.