USA TODAY projection: 65-17
This season, the Warriors look to defend their title — their first since 1975 — against an increasingly competitive Western Conference.
What’s different this season? They drafted UCLA’s Kevon Looney, who had enough talent to make him a lottery pick, but a hip injury had him drop to become a possible steal for the Warriors. They also added veteran power forward Jason Thompson to replace David Lee, giving them one of the best benches in basketball again.
How good can they be? After winning 83 total games — giving them the third-most wins in NBA history behind Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 and 1996-97 Chicago Bulls — is it possible to be better? Thinking sensibly, the answer is no. But with the Warriors, it’s clear just about anything is possible.
How far they have to go: The Western Conference will be deeper, with LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio and a healthy Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant tandem in Oklahoma City. The Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Memphis Grizzlies are making their case to be contenders in…