There’s no question the Western Conference was superior to the Eastern Conference last season, as evidenced by the NBA’s two best teams, the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, battling in a thrilling seven-game conference finals series.
The fight to win the West got even tougher this month when LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent. While the Lakers should be in the mix, they are unlikely to seriously challenge Golden State for a conference crown it has won four years in a row. Still, it’s hard to bet against James, who led the Cavs to the NBA Finals last season against tall odds.
In a recent Q&A with USA Today’s Sam Amick, Warriors guard Stephen Curry talked about how James’ decision impacts an already tough Western Conference.
“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,” Curry told Amick.
“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.”
Beating Curry and the Warriors has been difficult for James. The Warriors and Cavs met in the last four NBA Finals, with Cleveland’s only title coming in 2016, before Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State juggernaut
The Cavs lost the last two Finals to the Warriors in a total of just nine games, with Durant winning series MVP in both seasons.
James and the Warriors won’t meet in the Finals for a fifth straight campaign, but you can bet a Warriors vs. Lakers playoff series would have a championship series-like feel.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP