Let me short version this.
Five teams have a possibility of winning the NBA Title.
Think of the Hawks and Cavs as the third tier; solidly the best teams in the East. It's very likely one wins the conference.
Think of the Clips and Spurs as the second tier; either would be favored in the East; whichever survives their first round matchup becomes clearly the second best team in the tournament.
From 1974-77 the Golden St. Warriors won their only NBA Title since leaving Philadelphia and lost in the western finals and semis. It's the best stretch in Bay Area Basketball history.
I just missed it. I was 4 when GSW won the NBA Championship; my first Warriors team was 77-78, and while there have been fun stretches (Run TMC, Sleepy Floyd scoring a thousand points in a playoff game against the Lakers, Baron Davis and the We Believe team that beat the Mavs in the playoffs) most Warriors teams have been bad (27 seasons of my years of Warrior fandom have had negative simple rating system scores; SRS is point differential and strength of schedule, I use it for all of my historical comparison lists; it's the best available historical metric) and the decision making has been godawful.
We dealt Robert Parish and the draft pick that turned into Kevin Mchale for Joe Barry Carroll.
We picked Purvis Short over Larry Bird.
We picked Russell Cross over Clyde Drexler.
We drafted Chris Washburn.
We dealt the pick that turned into Gary Payton for Alton Lister.
We dealt Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens
We took Joe Smith #1 overall.
We dealt Penny Hardaway and three number ones for Chris Webber and then dealt Chris Webber for Tom Gugliotta.
We picked Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant.
We picked Adonal Foyle over Tracy McGrady.
We picked Brandan Wright over Joakim Noah.
We picked Ekpe Udoh over Greg Monroe.
I've been doing this blog a long time. Here's me 5 years ago.
Take Greg Monroe. Do not take Udoh. Do not take Udoh. Do not take Udoh. Monroe is a sweet passing big man; he's Andrew Bogut; when we mistakenly sell low on Biedrins at least we'll have Monroe to fall back on. Udoh is a 23 year old junior. Do not take Udoh.
But guess what.
The Golden St Warriors, in 2015, are the best team in basketball by a sizeable degree.
Here's my list of every NBA Champion ranked by SRS.
5 of those champions had an SRS over 10. Kareem and Oscar with the Bucks. Wilt and West with the Lakers. 3 Jordan teams. That's the whole list.
The Warriors SRS this year is 10.01. This is the best team in franchise history by an unbelievable margin; this is the best team in the NBA by a sizeable margin - if the Warriors win the NBA Title they will be one of the very best basketball teams ever assembled.
The Warriors are slight favorites, right now, +220, to win the NBA Title. As crazy, as ahistorical as it is to say - you should run to make that investment.
Here's my brackets.
Atlanta over Brooklyn in 4
Cleveland over Boston in 5
Chicago over Milwaukee in 6
Toronto over Washington in 6
Atlanta over Toronto in 6
Cleveland over Chicago in 7
Atlanta over Cleveland in 7 (I'll be rooting for the Cavs, more fun that way).
Golden St. over New Orleans in 4
Memphis over Portland in 7
Houston over Dallas in 7
San Antonio over LA Clips in 7
Golden St. over Memphis in 5
San Antonio over Houston in 6
Golden St. over San Antonio in 6
Golden St. over Atlanta in 6