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Warriors Weather the Thunder’s Storm Despite Addition of PG-13

Young Trece will add Star Power – but Golden State will continue to rule the West

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers

Paul George is now a member of the Western Conference. Although the grass probably seems greener now, George will find out just how different the level of competition is from East to West.

George was traded to Oklahoma City for – what Shannon Sharpe may refer to as – a “mop bucket and a squeegee”, with hopes of helping Russell Westbrook and the Thunder increase their chances in the West.

The Trading Chips

Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis weren’t exactly big time contributors for the Thunder team. Yes, Oladipo had his moments and Sabonis was only in his first season, but neither will have had an impact like PG-13.

Paul George had 229 more points than Oladipo and Sabonis combined.

George played in 75 regular season games. Oladipo and Sabonis – with a combined average of 74 games played – averaged 20.89 PPG through the 2017 season.  George averaged 23.66 PPG by himself.

It’s easy to see who won in this trade.

Close, but no Cigar

Although the addition of George will help, it won’t be enough to help OKC overcome Golden State in the Western Conference.

Below is a detailed look of George’s total production for the 2017 NBA regular season.

1a PG Average

Those are great numbers – but the majority of games were against the weaker Eastern Conference. George did, however, manage to have a winning record against Western Conference teams last season at 15-13.

But, he was brought into the fold to help dethrone the Warriors.

George vs Golden State

George is 1-5 against Golden State over the past three seasons. He was 0-2 against the Kevin Durant-led Warriors last season.

George did not play in the first meeting between the Pacers-Warriors last season. Golden State annihilated the George-less Pacers by 37 points, 120-83.

In the second meeting, George put up 21 points, 13 of which came from the charity stripe. He shot 4-12 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arc. Indiana was blown out 142-106. Without George, the Pacers lost by 37. With George, they lost by 36. Not much of a difference.

If George Gels, How Will Thunder Fare in the Western Conference?

The reigning regular season MVP Westbrook totaled 2,558 points on the season. He averaged (yes, a triple-double)  31.6 points per game. Add Enes Kanter’s 1,033 total points, Steven Adams’ 905 total points, and Andre Roberson’s 522 total points to that. Factor in the addition George’s 1,775 – that would mean the new look Thunder’s starting 5 could put up a total of close to 6,793 points.

1 wes

Furthermore, Westbrook and George – if they gel – look to average a combined 54% from beyond the arc if last season’s production carries over.

The Warriors – however – are on a whole other level. Their big 4 totaled 6,072 regular season points. Add Zaza Pachulia’s 426 total points, that puts Golden State at 6,498. 

Curry, Durant, Klay, and Draymond shot a combined 38% from the 3-point line.

But wait a minute? These numbers seem to favor OKC, don’t they?

On paper, it would seem so. However, the game isn’t played on paper. And – as mentioned above – George’s high scoring point totals came against weaker Eastern Conference opponents. Plus, Westbrook repeating the season he had last year is highly unlikely – especially if he’ll be forced to give up some shots to George.

1 gst

The Warriors bench is superior to the Thunder’s bench. The Warriors added Nick Young and his 791 point total from last season. Not to mention Iggy, Livingston, West, etc. They use the phrase “Strength in Numbers” for a reason.

Their bench has depth. To beat this Golden State team – not only are superstar player(s) a requirement – but also, productivity from the bench is a necessity. The addition of Raymond Felton to the Thunder bench isn’t going to tip the scales by any means.

Lastly, despite Westbrook’s amazing season – he averaged 27.25 PPG against the Warriors. That number is high – due to Westbrook scoring 47 in a 130-114 loss at home!

George will have a good season. Westbrook will continue to put his killer instinct on display night in and night out. The Thunder will finish somewhere in the middle of the pack by playoff time next season.

1 gsw

But Golden State will remain Kings of the West – and quite possibly Kings of the NBA.

At least until they can no longer afford their roster.

Stats referenced at nba.com
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Brandon Morales View All

Hello Sports Fan Entertainment Readers and Followers! My name is Brandon Morales and I - like a lot of you reading this - love sports. Sports consume me. For me, writing about sports is an art. The words used have to paint a picture for the reader. My goal is to put all my sports knowledge to use and SFE is the perfect platform.

Football is my favorite sport. I'm a fan of the Tennessee Titans - since the Houston Oilers days. I also am a fan of the Texas Longhorns - Hook 'Em Horns, baby! I'm also an NBA fan, and am loyal to the Purple and Gold. Lakeshow! I'm new to the Hockey world - as I watched Hockey closely for the first time this past summer. I'm a Nashville Predators fan and look forward to watching them compete for the Stanley Cup this upcoming season.

I also like MMA. Eventually, as SFE grows, I will write a lot about big fights, rising stars, fighters past their prime, etc. But that will be later down the road.

I covered High School Sports during my Junior/Senior year in High School after injuries to both my leg and back prevented me from playing sports. I became a published author for a local newspaper and couldn't believe I was getting paid to write about what I love.

Initially, I had planned to pursue a career in Journalism. I changed my mind, and instead earned my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from New Mexico State University. I began my career working with youth in a Juvenile Corrections facility and utilized my degree to work and help mentor at risk teens. An injury helped me rediscover my passion for writing about sports, and I am grateful to MJ for providing me with the opportunity to share some of my work with sports fans around the world.

Thank you to all readers of SFE and look forward to writing more and more!

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