2017-18 Basketball Windows Season
Good as Gold: Warriors win third title in four seasons
- Soarin’: Rockets win 65, Raptors 59
- Double Triple: Westbrook’s second straight season averaging a triple-double
The Golden State Warriors entered dynasty territory by winning its third NBA championship in the past four seasons (all four Finals against Cleveland), a feat not accomplished since the Los Angeles Lakers won their third straight title in 2002. Since 1966, only the Warriors, Lakers and Chicago Bulls have done so.
Neither the Warriors or Cavaliers was close to achieving the best regular-season record in their conferences. Both needed to come from behind three games to two and win a Game 7 in their conference finals against teams without their star point guards (Golden State prevailed over Houston without Chris Paul and Cleveland topped Boston without Kyrie Irving).
So, while the Finals looked as familiar as family, 2017-18 offers great replay potential. Cleveland’s 50 wins were just fourth best in the East, where Toronto, the surprise team of the season, won 59, Boston 55 and finally-emergent Philadelphia 52, all in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division. The Cavs were just two games better than Indiana in the Central Division. In the West, Houston’s 65 wins dominated, while Golden State won 58. But seven other teams won at least 47. Portland’s 49 wins topped the Northwest Division, where last-place Denver won 46.
LeBron James scored the most points in the regular season, but Houston’s James Harden led in scoring average (30.4), with James third at 27.5. James and Harden were No. 2-3 in assists per game, too. In a league where seven men topped 25 per game and 16 topped 22, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis put together a dominant season, second with 28.1 ppg and fifth with 11.1 rpg. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was seventh in scoring (25.4), first in assists (10.2) and 10th in rebounding (10.1) – averaging a triple double for the second straight season.
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