Time to give the Warriors their props: Pantorno
With the chance to complete a perfect postseason coming up Friday night, the Golden State Warriors deserve all the accolades coming their way.
We’ve seen superteams before in the NBA. We’ve seen a few All-Stars play together, even a couple Hall of Famers.
There have been dominant postseason runs, too. The 2001 Los Angeles Lakers went 15-1 while the 1991 Chicago Bulls went 15-2.
Those 72-win Bulls of the 1995-96 season lost three whole games on their way to a fourth title.
Think about the names that went into those teams: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal. Those are some of the greatest teams and players of all time.
And here comes the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors to simply blow the doors off everyone and everything.
Friday night will present the Warriors with an opportunity to pull off the rarest of NBA feats, an opportunity to go 16-0 in an entire postseason.
That would be four straight sweeps if they can beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena as they previously breezed past the Portland Trail Blazers, the Utah Jazz and a Kawhi Leonard-less San Antonio Spurs.
I’m convinced that if Leonard was healthy, that series would have gone at least six games. But we can thank Zaza Pachulia for eliminating any sort of parity we could have experienced in the NBA playoffs.
It’s probably not right for me to use the term “breezed” when talking about the Warriors’ path to the Finals. A more appropriate word is something like “annihilated” or “destroyed” or “embarrassed” the competition.
Through their first 13 wins, only three of them were by less than 10 points. By comparison, they have won games by 20 or more points four times.
That’s just silly … and also somewhat expected.
Look at this roster. Is there one in NBA history that it can be compared to?
The Warriors feature two MVP award winners (Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry), four Olympic gold medalists (Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Durant), a 2017 defensive player of the year award finalist (Green), three players averaging over 20 points per game this season (Durant, Curry, Thompson) and the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history (you can figure that one out yourself).
You list that kind of resume for a team and it might be more surprising that they actually lost a game at all when it matters most, even if they are playing against playoff-caliber teams and the greatest player in the world in LeBron James.
Do I think this kind of dominance is good for the game? Absolutely not.
It’s hard to get into the season and the playoffs when you know, in October, what is going to happen in June.
There’s very little drama, absolutely no parity and, at times, sheer boredom. That doesn’t do much for the neutral fan that isn’t invested in either team.
This in no way is an indictment of the Warriors. They should be commended for building a team like this in the salary cap era.
Curry is making $12.1 million this year. A two-time MVP winner, the first unanimous victor in NBA history, made less money this year than 79 of his peers.
It allowed the team to sign Durant to a $54.2 million deal over the next two seasons and round out this powerhouse.
Get on Durant all you want about swapping allegiances from Oklahoma City to Golden State, he saw a chance to win a ring or two and he took it. If you were in his shoes, a lot of you would have done the same exact thing.
It’s OK to be bitter. It’s OK to be angry that the NBA has become as predictable as an episode of "Scooby Doo."
But at the end of the day, you have to take a second to sit back and enjoy what you are seeing from the Warriors because this is a team that you will tell your children and grandchildren about.