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NBA Season Preview: Warriors Still the Class of the League, Other Sports | BallHyped Sports Blogs
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NBA Season Preview: Warriors Still the Class of the League

Hyped by on October 19, 2017

What a crazy offseason we had in the NBA, but as crazy as it was the same old teams are projected to be the favorites in the recent NBA lines and spreads offered by sportsbooks.
The defending champion Warriors come into the season as one of the most heavily favored teams of all-time, projected to win 63 games behind superstars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.

Along with Steph and KD, the Warriors bring back the resigned Andre Iguadala, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, not to mention new comers Nick Young and Omri Casspi.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise that the Warriors were picked as the favorite for the 2017-2018 season by 93 percent of the GMs who took the annual NBA.com GM survey.

Then again, there were plenty of contenders that regrouped over the offseason, and, in all, eight players with a combined 45 All-Star appearances switched teams.

The Celtics were among the Eastern teams to re-tool this offseason, but suffered a scary blow in the season opener when Gordon Hayward fractured his tibia just minutes into the opener.

Despite the injury, the Celtics have some young talent in rookie Jason Tatum and second-year player Jaylen Brown, who join Kyrie Irving in Beantown.

But the Beast in the East remains the Cleveland Cavaliers, behind superstar LeBron James, who will re-unit with Dwyane Wade and get Derek Rose to mesh with. The trio will surely get on the same page with time, but the question with the Cavs’ aging stars will be their health for the duration of the season. While James has remained relatively healthy throughout his career, he has battled nagging injuries in the preseason and Wade and Rose aren’t getting any younger.

The other question marks for the Cavs are Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas, and if they can replace the offense they lost with the Irving trade to Boston. Again, only time will tell how Cleveland pulls it all together this season.

Out West, Houston is back putting heat on the Warriors, adding point guard Chris Paul to their already potent offense. He joins James Harden, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza and last year’s Most Improved Player in Eric Gordon, providing plenty of punch at the offensive end. But the Rockets and offensive-minded coach Mike D’Antoni still have to prove themselves on the defensive end of the floor if they’re going to get past Durant, Green and the Warriors.

San Antonio is also on the Warriors’ radar, but Tony Parker is out until November because of an injury. But if Parker can bounce back, and if Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay can stay healthy, the Spurs will likely be there in the postseason again. But if the Spurs are going to go anywhere, they need to remain healthy and for Aldridge to show up and play like he’s one of the top big men in the league.