Can anyone stop Golden State in 2018-19?

DeMarcus Cousins signing for the Warriors makes them #1 in the NBA
The Warrior Girls should have plenty of opportunities to dance in the 2018-19 NBA season. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Warrior Girls should have plenty of opportunities to dance in the 2018-19 NBA season. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

NBA 2018-19 Season Preview & Betting Tips


The Golden State Warriors are deserved favourites to win the 2018-19 NBA Championship and make it three in a row. The arrival of DeMarcus Cousins makes the champions even stronger which is bad news for the rest of the competition.

Can anyone stop the Golden State Warriors?


The Warriors clinched their third title in four years after sweeping the Cavaliers 4-0 in the 2018 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant’s decision to move to Oakland in 2016 has made the franchise virtually unbeatable.

Durant joined NBA All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green who simply subdue their opponents with tenacious defending and unmatched scoring. If that wasn’t enough firepower, Golden State went and signed All-Star centre DeMarcus Cousins. 

The big man will return from a torn Achilles injury in January and work his way into the line-up in time for the NBA Finals. With coach Steve Kerr one of the best in the game, there is no reason to think the Warriors won’t win another NBA Championship and further confirm their dominance. 

The Golden State Warriors are clear favourites to win the 2018-19 NBA Championship ahead of the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. Anything is possible and players will continue to switch teams throughout the season, but the smart move is to stay with the Warriors dynasty winning three in a row and four of the last five.

Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors is one of the best in the business (Getty Images).

What about the Eastern Conference?


The Boston Celtics are in a great position to capitalise and dominate the Eastern Conference with Cleveland no longer a serious contender. Brad Stevens is one of the best coaches in the NBA and with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward fit, they can definitely go a long way. 

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have tremendous potential and I expect the Celtics to win the Eastern Conference with relative ease in the 2018-19 NBA season. 

The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors are the nearest challengers. Philly have two superstars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid but it might be a bit too soon to challenge the Celtics. 

Toronto captured Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green and no longer have to worry about James and the Cavaliers. However, I don't expect the Raptors to be able to stop Boston in a seven game series.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens earned plenty of admirers last season and can guide his team to the NBA Finals (Getty Images).

Can the Los Angeles Lakers mount a title challenge?


After months of speculation about his future, NBA superstar LeBron James finally moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers. James signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers but it might be too soon to be a genuine competitior.

The Lakers followed up by making agreements with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajan Rondo. They join some talented youngsters in Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram with more moves on the horizon.

James has played in eight straight NBA Finals with a 3-5 record, winning the NBA title with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 before returning to Cleveland where he won his third title in 2016. It will be fascinating to watch but this season will be too soon for the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers President of basketball operations Magic Johnson is trying to turn the Lakers into contenders (Getty Images).

What now for the Cleveland Cavaliers?


Owner Dan Gilbert has some big decisions to make after James’ departure. The team is full of veterans that showed an inability to provide James with enough assistance to challenge the Warriors.

With Kyrie Irving leaving last season and James now gone, their main asset is Kevin Love who has shown himself to be unreliable and injury prone. Gilbert may look to trade Love and get some young players in to develop for the future.

The Cavaliers cannot seriously compete at the highest level and it will take years to rebuild the franchise into a title contender. The Cavs dropped from 30/1 to win the title to 500/1 after James’ departure which tells you all you need to know.

Verdict


Boston should win the Eastern Conference and face the Golden State in the NBA Finals where I see the Warriors winning their third NBA Championship in a row. 

Stopping Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins will be virtually impossible. Stick with the Dubs in 2018-19.

2018-19 NBA Champions: Golden State Warriors @ 1.57
2018-19 NBA Eastern Conference Winner: Boston Celtics @ 2.00
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Matthew Marshall 16 October 2018
NBA

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