The Warriors are the favorite to win the NBA title for the third year in a row and fourth time in five years, but every team out West knows it must go through James to get to the NBA Finals.
The 33-year-old superstar left the Cleveland Cavaliers to start a new chapter of his storied career with the Lakers, who also added Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley to their roster.
"I'm going to soak it all up", assured Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, one of the team's three key pending free agents this season along with Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.
Is it because the general manager who did not hire you said "to play the Warriors in their own game is a trap", when the general manager who did hire you brought you in with an eye toward mimicking that very style? That's been the history of the Golden State Warriors under Steve Kerr.
The Warriors will begin their championship run Tuesday when they open the season against the Thunder.
We take a look at the Western Conference in 2018-19. "There's teams that can, but you've got to do it, and you're going to have to do it four times". "But when we are focused and in tune with each other, understanding what we're trying to do to be successful, obviously we're tough".
The previous two have not gone well, with San Antonio and Houston ruining ring-ceremony night with stunning wins the last two years.
SPEAKING OF THE ROCKETS: They added a likely future Hall of Famer to a team that just won a league-high 65 games, but it's hard to know just how much Carmelo Anthony will help the Rockets - or if he will help at all. The Rockets had the Warriors against the ropes in last season's Western Conference finals, leading that series 3-2 yet falling after Paul was lost to a hamstring injury. We've got to win a (championship).
The Warriors are the best team and the Rockets had the best record, but the best player is now in L.A. "We've just got to figure out what that answer is".
Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto (with the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard) are the top candidates to take over as East champions.
As Brandon Ingram grew more accustomed to life in the National Basketball Association, he began to take off last season as he finished his sophomore campaign with an average of 16.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. And every game is so much fun because it's such an awesome atmosphere.
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