As LeBron James would be happy to tell you, building a superteam is the relatively easy part. Turning that assemblage of stars into a true championship team takes work. If the Golden State Warriors weren't aware of that harsh NBA reality before Tuesday night, reality smacked them in the face with a blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Like superteams of the past, however, there's no leeway for these Warriors. Anything short of a championship would be a disaster. Like it or not, that's the world Kevin Durant & Co. built for themselves.
With the season officially under way, the clock is ticking for Golden State to come up with solutions. Until then, any of these problems could flare up and derail Golden State's quest for supremacy.
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
Their shooting betrays them in the clutch
Stop celebrating, Steph. You and the rest of the Warriors are knockdown shooters for the first 43 minutes of games, and you're usually pretty awesome in the clutch, too. When you go cold, however, you give up easy buckets in transition because you stop trying on defense.
Draymond Green destroys the team from within
One game down, one technical foul for Green. We all know that his fire drives this team, and his on-court versatility unleashed the Warriors' small-ball revolution on the rest of the NBA. Without him, this team falls apart. At the same time, I have to wonder whether his over-the-top competitive spirit could be Golden State's downfall.
APMarcio Jose Sanchez
Kevin Durant ruins the offense
Golden State's offense is defined by two things: Flow and absurd 3-pointers that no other team has the audacity to take. KD should acclimate to the latter pretty quickly. Against the Spurs on Tuesday night, he unfortunately eschewed the former. Too often, Durant stood at the block after catching the ball ... and stood there ... and stood there. That kind of thing is okay on a few possessions, but if it hijacks the offense, both KD and the Warriors are in trouble.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
They can't outrebound anyone
In the biggest moments of last year's Finals, Golden State gave up an endless parade of offensive rebounds to the Cavs. Then the Warriors turned around and got rid of their best rebounder. Kevin Durant is solid on the boards, but this team is going to struggle to prevent second chances. And when they go small, the problem only gets worse.
They miss Luke Walton (and more)
Steve Kerr remains one of the best head coaches in the business, and assistant Ron Adams is a defensive guru. You have to wonder how much the Warriors miss guys like Luke Walton and Alvin Gentry, though. They maintained the team's sense of humor, which will be crucial during the growing pains of this season.
The defense is absolutely atrocious
The Warriors have a nice collection of individual defenders who are trying to figure out how to play together — and with a collection of big men who can't protect the rim. As Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe said on FS1's "Undisputed" Wednesday morning, Golden State has a defense problem.
The bench is worse than the defense
It's a good thing Kerr knows how to stagger his stars in the rotation, because Golden State's reserves will need all the help they can get from the starters. On the plus side, if the Warriors can run up 30-point leads in the third quarter, the lack of depth might not matter.
Andre Iguodala keeps fading away
The "Death Lineup" is only as strong as its weakest link. Harrison Barnes can attest to that. While everyone is focused on the "Big Four," Iguodala's continued decline is a massive red flag. If he's a shadow of his former self, the rest of the league has reason to hope.
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY SportsLance Iversen
One injury ruins everything
By the grace of the basketball gods, the Warriors will be healthy this season. Should one of their stars suffer a catastrophic injury, though, all title bets are off. Golden State reduced to a "Big Three" would still be a Finals contender, but the aforementioned lack of depth means they wouldn't win a championship.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez
LeBron James continues to own the NBA
... like he did on Tuesday night, sending a message to the Warriors. This is his league — until he decides he's done with it.