Golden State Warriors: Carmelo Anthony on Thunder makes journey harder

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Carmelo Anthony
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Carmelo Anthony /

The Golden State Warriors’ path to the NBA Finals has just gotten a little more interesting as Carmelo Anthony has been dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Golden State Warriors’ path to the NBA Finals just got harder. After winning two of the last three championships, they’ve clearly become both the hunter and the hunted. Teams are gunning for them.

In 2016, the Warriors went head-to-head with the Oklahoma City in what became an instant classic of a Western Conference Finals series. Stephen Curry and his 73-9 Golden State team took on Kevin Durant’s Thunder. It was the star-studded matchup that makes the NBA so great.

The Thunder won three of the first four games. With a trip to the NBA Finals within reach, Curry and the Warriors stole it from them. They came back and won the series in seven games.

Golden State would go onto fall in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were stunned and sent to the offseason with a lot of questions. They had one answer for all of them: Kevin Durant.

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The Warriors signed Durant and they redeemed themselves the following June. They dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, as the superstar forward secured his first ring and Finals MVP. With four All-Stars in their prime, the conversation surrounding the team has become one of a dynasty.

The rest of the league, particularly the Western Conference, isn’t going to make it easy. The Warriors have made certain General Managers around the league bolder. They’re going for the home run.

Russell Westbrook churned out an incredible season last year, winning MVP in historic fashion. Ultimately, the Thunder didn’t have enough firepower. They now have a revamped roster.

Earlier in the summer, they made a move for All-Star Paul George. Now, they’ve increased their star power. They dealt Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick for Carmelo Anthony.

The Thunder have gotten better. Even if you’re like me and you’re not extremely high on Anthony, he’s still a great scorer and solid rebounder. Stars matter in the NBA.

The Golden State Warriors are still the favorite to win the West and, eventually, the Finals. The Thunder, who become a tougher obstacle post-George trade, are going all in. With Anthony, the offense could become very potent.

In order to beat Golden State, you need to have a team that can put up points and defend. Anthony has never been known as a defensive-stopper, but they employ Andre Roberson. They have a legitimate two-way star in George. Westbrook is an offensive machine. Steven Adams is an absolute beast.

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Golden State has four of the top six players in this matchup. They have the experience and chemistry. They know what it takes to win.

Their margin for error has gotten smaller with this Carmelo Anthony trade. Let the games begin.