Golden State Warriors: Over or Under 67.5 Regular Season Wins?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 17: An empoyee waves a Golden State Warriors flag as the Golden State Warriors celebrate winning the NBA Chamionship at Jewel Nightclub at the Aria Resort
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 17: An empoyee waves a Golden State Warriors flag as the Golden State Warriors celebrate winning the NBA Chamionship at Jewel Nightclub at the Aria Resort /

If it feels like Christmas morning, it’s not. It’s BETTER than that. Warriors basketball is back. And in the hours waiting until tip-off against the Rockets tonight, we’re going to find out whether the smart move is putting money on the Warriors to win either over or under 67.5  games.

Making a case for the Warriors winning under 67.5 games is pretty black and white. It has to be an injury. Or perhaps locking up 1st seed early in the season will cause Steve Kerr to rest players nearing the end.

Yes, the Pacific Division got a little tougher this offseason (except the Suns…sorry, Phoenix, but Devin Booker is still fun!). The Kings added some good, young talent, and don’t look like they’ll be the pushovers we’ve seen them be before. The Lakers, with the development of Brandon Ingram and drafting local product Lonzo Ball, have added more tools to their repertoire.

And even though they lost CP3 (possible chemistry issues rooted there anyway), the Clippers still have a bruising front-court. Patrick Beverly is also a tough-defender and no slouch replacement. So the teams that the Dubs see the most COULD present more trouble than they’re used to.

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Other Western Conference teams improved too, most obviously: the OKC Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Minnesota T-Wolves. Games like these will make for more intriguing matchups against the Dubs, and even though teams have publicly made moves just to compete with Golden State, teams also do have to play each other during the regular-season still, opening up the possibility of fatigue for them too.

As far as scheduling goes, a tough stretch in January sees the Warriors go on a road trip where they’ll meet Cleveland, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Houston a couple of times before finishing the month off with Boston. In the prime of the season, there is some worry that the Warriors can’t get up for every game on the level we’re used to seeing. And being reigning champions, the opposition is playing their biggest game of the year each night.

However, even if the Warriors come off to a slow start after their trip to China and lose a couple games coming out of the gate, the team that won 67 games last year, and 73 the year before somehow got even better.

The most notable of improvements will likely be Kevin Durant’s comfort level. The metaphorical monkey has been lifted off of Kevin’s back after winning Finals MVP. Summer has given KD additional time to become integrated with the Warriors system and the coaching staff. He can play more relaxed and get back to the efficient form we saw before last year’s injury.

Even though he averaged 25.3 PPG last season, it felt like a “down” year for Steph Curry. He will look to get back to 2015 form (especially with his 3-point percentage.) After shooting JUST 41.1% from beyond-the-arc, and making JUST 324 threes, expect Steph to feel more comfortable in his own right. He’ll get more used to having KD on the floor, and allowing himself to play some more off-ball offense.

Resigning Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston was a priority this offseason for Bob Myers, and he did that and more. Added depth on the bench with streaky shooter “Swaggy P” Nick Young (who could come in on rest days for Klay), Omri Casspi who can bring an offensive spark, and first-round draft pick Jordan Bell will allow starters more 4th quarter or full-game rests when necessary.

Patrick McCaw and Damian Jones are also being hyped up to take a big leap forward this season.  Kerr will love having even more rotations to toy with.

You can bet there will be some bad, unexpected losses at times this season, but these are still the Warriors. They limped into 67 wins last year, and are reloaded with even better weapons to make another run this year. Having to go through a tougher Western Conference will prove a fun challenge, but expect the Dubs to win in the range of 69-72 games this year.

I’m putting my money on the over.