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NBA PM: Who Can Challenge the Warriors?

Which Western Conference teams have the best shot at taking down the defending champion Warriors?

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Updated 10 months ago on
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The defending champion Golden State Warriors are currently undefeated at 5-0 and they’re winning their games in convincing fashion (to say the least). Their average margin of victory through four games was 25 points, including their recent 50-point beat down of the Memphis Grizzlies.

As if this wasn’t impressive enough, all of Golden State’s victories have come against Western Conference teams that were in the playoffs last season: New Orleans (twice), Memphis, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers.

And pretty much every stat points to Golden State being unstoppable right now.

As of this filing, the Warriors are leading the NBA in points per game (119) as well offensive efficiency (115.2 points per 100 possessions, which is a full 6.2 points higher than any other team). On the defensive end, they’re holding teams to 88.5 points per 100 possessions.

The undefeated Warriors are also leading the NBA in point differential (+25), true shooting percentage (58.6 percent), effective field goal percentage (54.9 percent), field goal percentage (48.5 percent), three-pointers made (11.5), three-point percentage (41.4 percent), points per shot (1.33), opponent three-point percentage (25.6 percent), assist ratio (19.9 percent), assists (28.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.17).

In other words, this is a team that is dominating on both ends of the floor against good competition. And, yes, the sample size is small, but it’s still terrifying to see a team playing this well and making it look so easy. They pass the numbers test and the eye test.

Then, there’s the play of Stephen Curry, who has somehow found a way to improve on last season’s Most Valuable Player campaign. As of filing, Curry is averaging an NBA-best 37 points as well as 6.3 assists, five rebounds and 2.5 steals while shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 48.8 percent from three-point range.

Also, Curry’s 50.5 player efficiency rating easily ranks first in the NBA. In fact, no other player has a PER above 35.2 (and the all-time record for a season is 31.82, set by the legendary Michael Jordan). The craziest thing about Curry’s monster numbers is that he isn’t even playing full games. They’ve rested him during some of their blowouts, including the win against Memphis in which he had 30 points in 28 minutes. In other words, this is Curry not even giving his all and still humiliating the opposition.

With all of that in mind, Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy and CineSport’s Brian Clark wanted to discuss which Western Conference teams have the best shot at taking down the seemingly unbeatable Warriors.

Do the Oklahoma City Thunder have what it takes to dethrone them? Can the San Antonio Spurs stop them from repeating as champs? Kennedy and Clark discuss this in the video above.

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