4 Biggest Playoff Threats for The Warriors

Jonathan Butler, Columnist

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As the regular season is winding down, the Golden State Warriors are looking to make history as the first team since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, to win three straight NBA Championships. They have had an up and down season, but they are in position to have home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference Playoffs. Though, other big name teams will do everything in there power to take down this dynasty. Here are the 4 biggest threats for the Warriors.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder have had a successful year. They have clinched a playoff spot and currently fighting for good position in the playoffs. The Thunder are a great matchup against the Warriors because they have 2 MVP- Caliber players in Russell Westbrook and Paul George, they have an extremely long team so they can get into passing lanes and switch off of pick and rolls, and they have great bench depth. The Thunder do go through droughts on offense which is fatal against the Warriors but, if they play the Warriors in the playoffs, they will match their intensity, Westbrook and George will try and get the better of Curry and Durant, and the Thunder lead the league in steals which means they will turn the Warriors over and disrupt their offensive flow.

 

Milwaukee Bucks

 

The Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the NBA and clinched home-court advantage throughout the entire playoffs. The Bucks have the most unstoppable force in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks have surrounded Giannis with lethal shooters, which is one of the many reasons they lead the NBA in scoring. The Bucks are serious threats to the Warriors in a potential NBA Finals Showdown. They have plenty of “three and d” players that have length and play well with Giannis. Eric Bledsoe is a great defender and could cause Stephen Curry problems with his quick hands and physical defense. If the Bucks get past the gauntlet in the Eastern Conference, they will have the potential to beat the Warriors if these teams should meet in the NBA Finals.

 

Houston Rockets

 

We all watched the Houston Rockets take a 3-2 lead on the Golden State Warriors last season in the Western Conference Finals. Then Chris Paul was suddenly ruled out for the final two games. The Warriors won the next two games and escaped the series victors. Though this season is different, the Houston Rockets are healthy and are on a mission. With Chris Paul running the show and potential two-time MVP James Harden right along with him at the shooting guard position, the Rockets are looking for revenge. They proved last season that they have the ability on defense to shut down the Warriors. PJ Tucker is absolutely fearless on defense and will not back down from Durant. Clint Capela has consistently showed that he has the ability to switch and guard Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. With the Rockets currently sitting as the 3-Seed in the Western Conference, we could see a rematch in the Western Conference Finals.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

 

The Philadelphia 76ers have everything you need to take down the Warriors. They have elite defenders in Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons is a matchup problem for anybody on the Warriors with his Length, ball-handling and playmaking ability. Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler are great wing scorers who have the ability to stretch the Warriors defense out, opening up driving lanes. J.J. Redick is a top-10 shooter on Earth, The Warriors must have a body on him at all times. Then finally, Joel Embiid will give Demarcus Cousins fits all serious long, as his footwork, post game, and Mid-Range faceup game is better than any big man’s in the league. Then the Warriors have to gameplan against fearless shooters like Mike Scott and Jonathan Simmons, and crafty playmaker T.J. McConnell. The 76ers are the last team the Warriors want to see come out the Eastern Conference and if they meet in the NBA Finals, expect a seven game series.

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