NBA Picks: Who Are The Biggest Threats To A Warriors Three-Peat?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:23 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 6:23 PM UTC

Few players can say they have won three championships in a row, but the Warriors are trying to join that group this season. While things could be going better, there is some small growing doubt that they can, in fact, be beaten. But by who?

<p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Can anyone beat the Warriors?&lt;/p&gt;— First Take (@FirstTake) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;January 25, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Houston Rockets (+600 West, +1200 Championship)</strong></h2><p>In the West, there is arguably one or two teams capable of beating the Warriors. Even though it was without DeMarcus Cousins last season, the Rockets were a few heartbeats away from knocking off the Dubs.</p><p>The problem for the Rockets is not scoring enough points to keep up with the Warriors. With James Harden leading a deadly roster of shooters, they have more than enough firepower on offense to compete, or even beat the Warriors.</p><p>The issue for the Rockets has and will always be defense against the Dubs. Chris Paul is starting to slowly decline on the defensive end and while Harden has improved his defense a lot this season, it could hinder his offense some trying to run around and chase Klay Thompson off screens for a prolonged series.</p><p>Clint Capela is the anchor of the whole thing and with him back and healthy, it definitely gives them a chance. The issue for them will be slowing down Kevin Durant. The Rockets’ three-guard offense means that someone very mismatched or undersized will have to guard the 6’10 Durant in any playoff series. This alone makes the Rockets a big underdog in any potential playoff series against Golden State. Although, they have beaten them three times this season, so there is a lot of potential here that <a href="" target="_blank">the sportsbooks</a> seem to be ignoring.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Milwaukee Bucks (+175 East, +800 Championship)</strong></h2><p>The Bucks did their part to try and improve their Eastern Conference championship odds by acquiring Nikola Mirotic at the deadline. Along with a talented starting lineup, Mirotic added a lot of depth and offense to what is a somewhat thin frontcourt. Now with Pau Gasol along for the ride as well, this team has a lot of flexibility on defense and offense. That’s the exact type of team that could give Golden State a run for their money.</p><p>Giannis Antetokounmpo would honestly be the best player on the floor, which is crazy to say, but it’s probably true in a matchup with the Dubs. Leaving out that the Warriors have the four or five players more talented than Milwaukee’s second-best, if Antetokounmpo is dominating on both ends of the court, it will open things up for Milwaukee’s still very talented roster,</p><p>While the Warriors may be the much better starting lineup, the Bucks can probably field a better second unit that Golden State top to bottom now. That alone could keep them in the game and potentially winning a series if the Greek Freak takes over on both ends.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Even after the East's mobilization for the title, can anyone beat the Warriors? &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Forbes SportsMoney (@ForbesSports) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 11, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Oklahoma City Thunder (+1200 West, +2800 Championship)</strong></h2><p>The dark horse in all of this is the Thunder. They haven’t been playing as well lately, but they are a better two-way team than the Rockets and can also keep up on offense. They would also present a ton of matchup issues for the Warriors on defense.</p><p>OKC’s defense looks broken for a while, but they picked it back up recently against the Jazz and that kind of effort could hold the Dubs down just enough to beat them. The Thunder are also 1-1 against the Dubs this season with the rubber match coming up soon.</p><p>In a potential playoff series, the Thunder would use their defense and combine it with a lightning-fast pace on offense. If they can force the Dubs to turn the ball over and then get easy fast break buckets, they are far from a 28/1 underdog to essentially beat Golden State.</p><p>The problem is right now they need to move up to at least the three seed and stay there. If they stick in the fourth seed, that means a West semi-finals matchup with the Warriors. The same can be said about the Rockets and their Western Conference chances.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Do </a></strong><strong><a href="" target="_blank">yout</a></strong><strong><a href="" target="_blank"> think some could beat the Warriors? Sound off in our NBA Forum</a></strong></p>
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