As far as I know, in American English, we can see singular team names as either plural or singular. So, "Golden State are the best team in the NBA" and "Golden State is the best team in the NBA" are interchangeable sentences in American English. Also these are interchangeable: "Golden State has the best players in the league" and "Golden State have the best players in the league" Am I right? In my experience, Americans can say these in either way.
So, what about the cases when we use the team names which are plural? Can we use "is" or "has" after them? For example are
- "Lakers have a better team this year"
- "Lakers has a better this team this year"
Or are these interchangeable?
- "Cavaliers are his favorite in the league"
- "Cavaliers is his favorite in the league"
My opinion: I think after plural team names, it is better to use "are" or "have", but if we use "has" or "is", it doesn't sound very weird. I have been watching the NBA for a quite long time, and I feel like Americans can use "is" or "has" after plural team names as well. I am not sure though.