Draymond Green is expecting the NBA's Western Conference to be hotly contested this season but he does not envy opposition players and coaches who must face the Golden State Warriors.
The 28-year-old, who was drafted by Golden State in 2012, has been a key member of the Warriors' dominant side in recent years, with the team winning three of the last four championships.
The new season gets under way on Tuesday, with Green and his team-mates facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the forward is expecting a tough year in a star-studded Western Conference, including LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I think the entire Western Conference is going to be tough," Green said.
"Obviously the [Houston] Rockets will be really good again - they took us to Game 7 last year. With the Lakers adding LeBron, they're going to be tough. I think Utah [Jazz] will continue to get better. Portland [Trail Blazers] are always tough with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
"Phoenix [Suns] got better, adding Trevor Ariza and it's yet to be seen but pretty high hopes for DeAndre Ayton, and re-signing Devin Booker is important for them.
IT’S OFFICIALLY GAME DAY pic.twitter.com/fr5xum9RjQ— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 16, 2018
"San Antonio [Spurs] added DeMar DeRozan and still have everything in place, except for Kawhi Leonard - you know, coach Pop [Gregg Popovich], LaMarcus Aldridge, they're going to be tough. OKC are going to be tough.
"I think there are going to be a lot of tough teams. Night in, night out, you have to bring it in the Western Conference or you could possibly struggle quite a bit. There won't be any surprises."
But the Warriors have improved, too, bringing in DeMarcus Cousins, and Green is not entirely sure how an opponent in the West would go about stopping Golden State.
"I think teams have tried everything, defensively, and we've had a pretty nice amount of success," Green added. "Hopefully we can maintain that.
"In terms of a defensive plan, I'm just thankful that it's not on me to come up with that. We'll leave that to those opposing coaches and those opposing players, see if they can figure it out.
"In the meantime, we will continue to try to get better and try to make it tougher for them to figure out."
|Mourinho loves being a manager ´more than ever´|
|Khawaja unconcerned by poor start to India series|
|WATCH: Dellavedova dives into media table to rescue possession|
|Christmas form could transform Man United´s season - Rashford|
|Urgent changes needed at Manchester United – Ferdinand|
|Ishant confident as Kohli carries India into day three|
|Modric takes aim at Simeone for ´constantly undermining Real Madrid´|
|Kevin Durant provides playoffs warning to inconsistent Warriors|
|A-League Review: Janjetovic off as Wanderers suffer derby defeat|
|VanVleet turnover the ´turning point´ in Raptors loss|
|Shanahan on Mahomes no-look pass: ´I do it all the time´|
|De Bruyne and Aguero return to City bench, Sterling left out of starting XI|
|Kohli and Rahane combine to thwart Australia in Perth|
|Modric cool on Madrid future beyond current deal|
|´Fatigued´ Embiid has a lot on his shoulders - Brown|
|Crespo agrees to take charge at Banfield|
|Westbrook on Murray scuffle: He was in my way|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Van Dijk the rock on which Klopp can build a title triumph|
|Marcelo ´never´ considered Madrid exit amid Juventus links|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Resurgent Rashford now a leader for Mourinho|
|Injury-plagued Nuggets beat Thunder to hold Western Conference lead|
|Southee takes five as Sri Lanka recover in Wellington|
|Kings troll Curry by playing clips of moon landing|
|Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles|
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
|Ligue 1 survival bid a marathon not a sprint for Monaco, as club appoints distance runner|
|Vertonghen eyeing Spurs future beyond 2020|
|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|
|Spalletti does not fear another mid-season crisis at Inter|
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|
|Beckham Jr. out of Titans clash|
|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
|Pederson coy over Wentz back injury|
|Liverpool ´not really likely´ to be active in January window, reveals Klopp|
|Always on the move and unpredictable - Pavard reveals surprising choice over toughest opponent|
|We need to get back to respect - Lampard alarmed by hate in football|
|Giles returns to England to replace Strauss as director|
|Hansen has no issue with Milner-Skudder Toulon switch|
|Juventus to rest Ronaldo after Torino showdown|
|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|
|´Klopp denies an answer!´ - Liverpool boss dismisses questions about ´world-class´ Pogba|
|Returning Nowitzki ´so tired´ after making NBA history|
|Aguero and De Bruyne in contention for Manchester City v Everton|
|Simeone has no plans to cash in on Costa|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez´s greatest nights|
|Fabregas: Chelsea being unfairly scapegoated over racism allegations|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp focuses on defensive solutions for United clash|
|Hope cannot inspire Windies as Bangladesh cruise to series win|
|Benitez picks up Premier League Manager of the Month award|
|Chavez, Marquez and Canelo - Mexico´s greatest multi-weight world champions|
|Bale set to miss Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano|
|Robben out until January as Bayern look to avoid serious injury|