Despite the improvements made by several NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors remain as the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2018-19 NBA season. It’s hardly a surprise why most people think that way. After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, the Warriors didn’t only retain their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, but they also managed to upgrade their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the last free agency.
Though they are most likely heading into the NBA Playoffs 2019 with a starting lineup featuring five NBA All-Stars, there are some people think that the Warriors won’t have an easier path to their third consecutive NBA championship title. Add Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Markiee Morris to that list. In a recent interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Morris believes that even with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors are “a lot more beatable” right now that the past seasons.
“I can honestly say they did. (But) you look around the league, and guys are getting better, guys are adjusting to their game. The style of play they play, they basically changed the NBA, so sooner than later guys are going to start to catch up with the way they’re going and they’re going to have to change. I think that’s what’s happening. Teams are figuring out how to play them different, and they definitely are. Even with Cousins, I think they’re a lot more beatable than they were in the past.”
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 18, 2019
Markieff Morris cited two major reasons why he thinks that the Warriors no longer have the “air of invincibility.” First, Morris said most players in the league are doing their best to improve their performance to reach or surpass the level of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. Before the February NBA trade deadline, several title contenders also made a huge upgrade on their roster to have a better chance of dethroning the Warriors this season.
Another reason why Morris believes that the Warriors are unbeatable is that opposing teams are already starting to be more familiar with the small-ball strategy – the system that helped Golden State return to prominence in the past years. Aside from perfecting the small-ball strategy, opposing teams are also trying to find ways to counter it which could greatly help them when they face the Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
Markieff Morris’ comments’ may not hold that much weight, especially knowing that he made the statements two days before the Warriors dismantled the Thunder. However, most NBA fans are surely hoping to see a team that will give the Warriors a thrilling series in the NBA Playoffs 2019.