Why Stephen A. Smith believes 2021-22 Warriors can win NBA title

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Why Stephen A. believes Warriors can win NBA title this year originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors are off to a phenomenal start, beating both the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers in back-to-back games. 

Two playoff teams from a year ago. 

Reinforced by a deeper bench, with the return of Klay Thompson right around the corner, the Warriors are starting to look like a playoff team once again. Something they haven't been in two seasons. 

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith doesn't just believe Golden State is playoff-bound, he believes they have a chance to win their fourth NBA title in eight seasons. 

"If Klay Thompson comes back healthy ... The Warriors might win it all," Smith said on-air during ESPN's "First Take" on Friday. "I really mean it, I'm not playing with anybody."

"Let me tell you something right now. Maybe one day, Steve Kerr will admit that after going to five straight NBA Finals and winning three championships, that he'd probably be retired if he wasn't coaching Steph Curry. Because Steph Curry is the kind of person who will stretch your career. You don't mind going to work."

He makes an interesting point. Without Curry, the Warriors would likely be in full rebuild mode, which might have prompted Kerr to sail off into the sunset with the eight championships he won as both a player (five) and coach (three). 

As long as Curry is on the team, Golden State will have a shot at the postseason. It's only been two games so far, it's very early. So why does Stephen A. believe the Warriors are title contenders already? 

"Steph Curry is the greatest shooter God ever created," Stephen A. said. "I don't care what anybody says, there has never, ever, ever been a dude off the dribble, standing still, from the key, from wings, from the corner -- 20, 30, 40 and sometimes 50 feet. This brother is unbelievable, OK?

"When I think about him and I think about Klay coming back, who is one of the top five shooters in the history of basketball, then we think about the rest of this crew. I'm looking at Jordan Poole ... Andrew Wiggins, he's no slouch, he has shown up thus far. I'm thinking about [James] Wiseman coming back, I'm thinking about the pickup of Otto Porter Jr. who coaches have been telling me, they've been raving about Otto Porter."

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The supporting cast that Smith mentions (Poole, Wiggins, Wiseman, Porter Jr.) are expected to make the Warriors a much deeper, more consistent team than they were a year ago. 

Stephen A. has been high on the Warriors all offseason. On Aug. 12, the ESPN commentator declared Golden State a final-four team this season. 

"I'm just looking at this roster right now ... the Warriors may win it all," Smith added. "They may win it all this year."

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