All Power Rankings are compiled from games between Jan. 27 – Feb. 3
1. Golden State Warriors (3-0)
It’s abundantly clear by now that the Warriors won’t beat themselves.
We openly wondered before the season began if this team – this dynasty in the making, perhaps – might suffer emotional lapses gleaned from the “disease of more.” Would Klay Thompson be content playing second fiddle to Steph Curry? Might Draymond Green, he of the massive pay raise and major increase in nationwide notoriety, want a bigger piece of the pie? What about Harrison Barnes’ refusal of a four-year deal worth $64 million?
Golden State was too good too soon, maybe, and it wasn’t crazy to believe that possibility would rear its ugly head in 2015-16. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, the Warriors have done everything to suggest they’re more willing to sacrifice for the greater good than ever before. For their league-best talent and wholly unique two-way scheming, Curry and company have something else that could be peerless: mental acuity, maturity, and strength.
How else to explain Green admitting that his over-passing in efforts to notch another triple-double almost single-handedly cost his team a victory against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers? That’s the stuff of champions, and every player and coach fortunate enough to work in the Bay is made of it.
Can Golden State be defeated? Sure. But it will take an absolutely herculean effort by the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, or some other squad that possesses the goods to actually outplay the defending title-winners in four out of seven games. The Warriors, obviously, are too focused on hoisting another Larry O’Brien Trophy to let anything on the periphery stand in the way of achieving their goal.