NBA

The Warriors Have Tightened Their Grip — But it Won’t Hurt the NBA

This was the moment the 2018-19 season was thrown into shambles. With a healthy DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors starting lineup is the best in league history, no ifs ands or buts about it.

Lofty goals for Cousins

There are valid concerns about whether Cousins will ever get back to full health after suffering an achilles injury; one of the worst you can suffer as an athlete, let alone for a 6’10 big man. Rudy Gay came back from it and has been solid but Boogie is aiming to come back even better, ala Dominique Wilkins.

Those are lofty goals but you wouldn’t put it past someone as strong-willed as Boogie. If he does even come close to his former health then all 29 teams will be quivering. With reports trickling out that he aims to be back by training camp, that’s a worrying sign for everyone outside of Golden State.

The fact GM Bob Myers was able to secure Boogie’s services for the Mid-Level-Exception is laughable. Yes the market is tight but there are players earning more who aren’t even playing in the league right now.

Don’t blame Golden State

If you’re looking at blaming either the Warriors or Cousins’ camp then maybe you should divert that hate elsewhere. In fact, put it squarely on the Pelicans and all the other franchises who didn’t go after him.

The only other teams in the running outside of Golden State were Boston and Portland. It baffles me that the Lakers weren’t a contender for the All-Star center as I mentioned on an episode of The NBA Outlet.

Combining Boogie, LeBron and possibly Kawhi is a legit contender to the Warriors throne out West. It took a huge amount of luck for Golden State to even be in the running for DeMarcus. His health combined with a tightened salary cap are the key reasons they landed him. Funnily enough, fortuitously timed injuries have been a key factor in the Warriors building this behemoth.

A growing sense of inevitability

While some of the commentary surrounding the Boogie signing has been hyperbolic and rash there are some clear negatives about it. First, the sense of inevitability about how the 2018-19 season will pan out could easily be viewed as predictable and boring.

At the same time, dynasties are good for any sport. When looking back we always remember sustained greatness over teams winning a championship just here and there. Larry Bird’s Celtics, Magic’s Lakers and Jordan’s Bulls are examples of the most memorable runs in the game’s rich history.

Conversely, as lovers of sport we root for the underdog and the fairy tale. In the Warriors acquisition of Cousins, the likelihood of an underdog coming good and stealing a championship from this squad seems nigh on impossible. We know how this story is going to end and that takes away from the fun.

It seems the only way this Warriors team is defeated is through injuries or other out-of-this-world circumstances.

That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the journey along the way. An 82-game season plus playoffs gives plenty of opportunities to 29 other teams to take down the beast in the Bay. Every loss this team suffers will be savoured more than a free dinner at Five Guys. Just because we have an idea of how this season will end doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the ride. Here’s hoping there are a few bumps along the way.

This article was originally published here at OTG Basketball. For more from Nick and the team, follow them here.

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