Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
Remember when the Warriors were 25-14? Remember when the rest of the league seemed unafraid of Golden State for the first time in years? Remember when people were talking about teams like the Raptors, the Bucks, and the Celtics possibly giving them a challenge in June? Those were good times. Parity seemed to have made a brief return to the NBA again. Those times are gone. The Warriors have exerted their control over the league once again.
Since being 25-14, Golden State has ripped off 10 consecutive victories, with five of those wins coming by a margin of at least 18 points. Steph Curry has been playing at an MVP level over the course of the win streak and much of the year. Durant has quietly had possibly his most complete season to date, averaging 6 assists per game. Klay Thompson seems to have shaken out of his early-season slump as his three-point percentage has jumped back up to 38% and his EFG% has risen to 54%. After uncharacteristically struggling defensively to start the year, Draymond Green has jumped back into the top 15 of Defensive Box Plus-Minus. All of these things make the Warriors nearly impossible to beat. Oh yeah, and DeMarcus Cousins is back.
It’s comical to think about really. A Golden State team who has reached the Finals each of the last four seasons, winning three of them, just added an All-NBA caliber player to its rotation at the position it lacked the most depth. The results are, as you’d expect, terrifying for the rest of the league. The new and improved “Death Lineup” consisting of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green, and Cousins has been utterly dominant in their brief time together so far. Per 100 possessions, this lineup is outscoring opponents by an average of 27 points. Since his return, DeMarcus Cousins has been averaging 23 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists per 36 minutes. Granted, he is also averaging 7.3 fouls per 36 minutes, so he does need to work on staying on the floor. However, as Cousins gets in better shape and more comfortable within the Warriors’ offense, Golden State will continue to reach new levels of dominance.