With one more win, the Golden State Warriors will be 73-9 and alone in the record books. Of course, the regular-season record won’t mean as much if the Warriors can’t win another NBA title, but no team appears capable of beating them in a seven-game series. Not even San Antonio, which went 1-3 against the Warriors this season.
That one win, by the way, came in San Antonio, by eight points, when Golden State was playing its third game in four nights. Andrew Bogut didn’t play, either.
So, is there a team that can beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Probably not.
“The Warriors, to me, their worst enemy would have to be themselves,” CSN Bay Area Warriors insider Monte Poole said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I don’t see a team that can stop them. As much as I respect LeBron and what he’s able to do and what he’s able to bring, I’m already seeing signs that LeBron can’t do what he did two or three years ago. He’s still great. He’s still great. But he carries such a burden in Cleveland that I don’t see the Cavs as a serious threat unless somebody else steps up and really sort of carries them through along with LeBron. If it’s up to him, I don’t see it happening.”
LeBron James, at 31, is still in his prime, but he’s an old 31 – much like Kobe Bryant is an old 37.
“People said, ‘Well, Kobe, when he comes back from this surgery, he’s going to (be fine),’” Poole said. “No, he’s not. He’s not going to be the same guy, and as the season unfolded this year, people saw that. This is a bad team and Kobe can’t fix this. This Kobe can’t. The Kobe of five, 10, 15 years ago, maybe, but not this guy. (He’s got) a lot of miles.”
Indeed, Bryant was drafted at 17, debuted at 18 and made the playoffs almost every year of his career – a run that included seven trips to the NBA Finals. That’s a lot of 100+ game seasons.
“After awhile, it adds up – and LeBron has gone through much the same thing,” Poole said. “He’s been to (five) straight Finals. Those are long seasons. When you look at the load that he carried for Miami and now in Cleveland, there’s a reason why they rest him. We think of him as indestructible. He’s still a special player, a special athlete – the best athlete in the league. But asking him to give you 20 more great games is asking too much. He’s going to needs some help.”
The East, at this point, figures to be a two-team race between Cleveland (57-24) and Toronto (54-26), but the Cavs should have enough to win that series.
“If Toronto had a closer, I think Toronto could beat Cleveland,” Poole said. “I don’t think Toronto has a closer, so I think it’ll be Cleveland (in the Finals). LeBron, you feared him a lot a couple years ago. But I don’t see him posing the same threat as I did then. I’m just saying the years have taken a toll. I’m not saying that he’s done – because he’s not – but he’s not able to do what he did even two or three years ago. That’s what the miles do to you.”