It’s rivalry week here at SB Nation!
The Golden State Warriors were the team of the decade between 2010 and 2019. The Dubs made the playoffs seven times, five NBA Finals, and won three championships. No NBA Team came close to accomplish this, but a few squads come to mind when I think of who has been the Warriors’ biggest rival over the past 10 years.
It seems like the obvious choice here is
LeBron James the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Dubs played the Cavs four-straight times in the NBA Finals, with Golden State winning three times. The two teams played 41 games from 2010-2019, with the Warriors winning 29 of the them. This wouldn’t have been much of a rivalry if Golden State would’ve finished the job in 2016.
One other team that comes to mind is the Houston Rockets. Rivalries are made in the playoffs, and the Warriors have played the Rockets four times in the postseason since 2010. Golden State beat Houston every single time, including a thrilling seven-game series in the 2018 Western Conference Finals. Without the injured Kevin Durant, the Dubs took out the Rockets in six games last year. Houston has played Golden State tight in the regular season over the past decade, beating the Warriors 18 out of 34 times. The regular season matchups between the Dubs and Rockets have had a heightened sense of anticipation over the last few years. The fans in both buildings are usually a little louder when the two teams meet, and there’s always an added layer of intensity.
From a historical perspective, there are natural geographical rivalries with the Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Sacramento hasn’t been good enough over the years to make the rivalry with Golden State an actual thing. The Kings haven’t played a playoff game since 2006.
The Warriors-Lakers rivalry comes with the natural San Francisco-L.A. hate. The Dodgers and Giants hate each other, and the 49ers and Rams have had a long-standing distain for each other.
One downside to the rivalry between the Dubs and Lakers is that the two teams haven’t been upper echelon squads at the same time. Golden State and L.A. have only made the playoffs in the same season four times since 1990.
That should change next year. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green ready to go for the 2020-21 season, Golden State should be at the top of the Western Conference along with the LeBron James/Anthony Davis led Lakers.
Who do you rank as the Warriors’ top-three rivals in the NBA?
On to some links:
LaMelo Ball has been making the news lately thanks to his dad saying he wouldn’t be a fit with Golden State. The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss does a deep dive on Ball’s path to being one of the top picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Which of the 10-day contract players on the Dubs will have a shot at making the team next season? The SF Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau shares his thoughts.
With the Warriors’ season officially over, some have been pushing for a mini-camp to get the players back on the court. Brian Witt of NBC Bay Area says the idea of having a second campus for the non-playoff teams is gaining steam.