The Golden State Warriors, who won a record 73 games last season, then signed Kevin Durant in the offseason, will be favored in every game this season.

“There’s a lot I need to learn about the game of basketball,” Durant said after the Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers by 45 points in their second preseason game. “I’m not as smart as I thought I was about the game. It’s played a different way here than I was used to playing. It’s not a knock on Oklahoma City. It’s not a knock on my past teammates or that organization. … I mean it’s different here. It’s fun here.”

1. It is a knock on Oklahoma City.

2. He’s right.

The Warriors — who open the season tonight against the San Antonio Spurs — do play the game a different way. They play with pace and space and transition 3-pointers. They had the league’s best offense1 last season and made a record 1,007 3-pointers, led by Stephen Curry’s record 402 3-pointers. They play a new beautiful game — and now they play it with Kevin Durant.

The Warriors play chess. The rest of the league plays checkers.

The Thunder, which had the league’s second-best offense,2 averaged 53 wins over the past seven seasons, because Durant and Russell Westbrook were just that good. They took turns dominating on each possession. They didn’t play together. They just happened to be on the same team.

The Warriors signed Durant two weeks after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Durant — a 7-foot small forward who won four scoring titles in five seasons — makes the Warriors an unprecedented super team, with four All-NBA players in their prime. Durant, Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be 26 to 28 years old this season. That’s what separates them from the 72 Lakers, 1980s Lakers, 86 Celtics, 1990s Bulls, 08 Celtics and 12 Heat. Those teams had a Big Three. The Warriors have a Fab Four.

Durant also gives the Warriors three of the best all-around shooters in the league.

Adding 2-point shooting percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage is a good measure of an all-around shooter. Curry is the league’s best, Durant second and Thompson fifth.

Stephen Curry, Warriors 57 45 91 193
Kevin Durant, Thunder 57 39 90 186
J.J. Redick, Clippers 48 48 89 185
Kawhi Leonard, Spurs 53 44 87 184
Klay Thompson, Warriors 51 43 87 181
Darren Collison, Kings 52 40 86 178
Chris Paul, Clippers 50 37 90 177
Khris Middleton, Bucks 47 40 89 176
Evan Fournier, Magic 51 40 84 175
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks 48 37 89 174

Curry’s 193 total shooting percentage is second all-time behind Steve Nash,3 who shot 194 in 2006-07. Durant’s 186 is one of the top 20 seasons of all time.

“I was just like a kid, like, in a candy shop,” Durant said of watching the Warriors in the NBA Finals and the possibility of playing with them. “I’d get wide open 3s. I could just run up and down the court, get wide open layups.”

Curry, Durant and Thompson and the rest of the Warriors will get even more wide open shots this season.

• • •

The Warriors won 73 games last season, but their margin of victory and offensive and defensive ratings say they were really a 65-win team. ESPN’s real plus-minus projections predict 66.8 wins, FiveThirtyEight predicts 68 and the Las Vegas over / under odds have them at 66.5.

Those predictions are safe bets. But 73 wins or more wouldn’t surprise me.

The rest of the league (with my predictions):

1. Warriors Depth | Kevin Durant 67
2. Spurs Tim Duncan | Pau Gasol 56
3. Clippers Jeff Green | Raymond Felton 50
4. Thunder Leaving | Staying 46
5. Jazz Potential | Expectations 45
6. Rockets Defense | Mike D’Antoni 44
7. Trail Blazers Change | Stability 43
8. Timberwolves KG | KAT 42
9. Grizzlies Dave Joerger | Dave Fizdale 40
10. Mavericks Chandler Parsons | Harrison Barnes 38
11. Pelicans Injuries | More injuries 37
12. Nuggets Experience | Youth 36
13. Kings Rajon Rondo | Ty Lawson 35
14. Suns Brandon Knight | Devin Booker 28
15. Lakers Kobe Bryant | Brandon Ingram 23
1. Cavaliers (Unrequited) love | (Kevin) Love 54
2. Celtics Rebuilding | Contending 51
3. Raptors Peak | Regression 49
4. Pacers George Hill | Jeff Teague 45
5. Hawks Al Horford | Dwight Howard 44
6. Pistons Reggie Jackson4 | Ish Smith 43
7. Hornets All-Star Game | HB2 42
8. Wizards Injured Beal | Max deal 41
9. Bulls Bad shooting | Worse shooting 39
10. Heat Playoffs | Lottery 38
11. Magic Victor Oladipo | Serge Ibaka 36
12. Knicks Summer of Melo | Fall of Rose 35
13. Bucks Khris Middleton5 | Matthew Dellavedova 34
14. Nets Sanity | Linsanity 27
15. 76ers The process | The future 22
  1. 114.5 offensive rating
  2. 113.1 offensive rating
  3. Nash has four of the top five total shooting percentage seasons of all time.
  4. Jackson is out for at least a month.
  5. Middleton is out for most of the season.
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