15-0. Outscoring their opponents by 16 points on average each game. Making the Cleveland Cavaliers look foolish and exhausting the best player in the league in Lebron James.
The Golden State Warriors have made this year’s NBA playoffs boring to watch, particularly the Western conference.
For the first time in my life, I voluntarily chose to not watch an NBA Finals game and chose to catch a movie instead. Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman is a phenomenal movie, but in the past I have ditched school, bailed on friends and even stood up a homecoming date to watch sporting events.
Now, before Warriors fans get mad reading this, I am not blaming Kevin Durant or any one in the Warriors organization. Nor am I blaming James for pairing up with Dwayne Wade, nor am I blaming the ’08 Celtics. No, the Warriors dominance is every other NBA team’s fault.
Yes, EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE NBA.
Guess what, the core to this Warriors ‘Super team’ with the exception of Kevin Durant, was not put together by blockbuster free agent signings or trades. Just old school drafting the right players and letting them develop.
Look at the Warriors core three players and where they were drafted: Steph Curry (7th overall in the 2009 draft), Klay Thompson (11th overall in the 2011 draft) and Draymond Green (35th overall in the 2012 draft).
That is all it took. Two lottery picks, one being in the top 10, and an early second round pick that has formed one of the greatest trios in NBA history.
It makes you wonder about teams like the 76ers, Timberwolves, Kings or the Magic and what have they been doing because they have tanked and had plenty of lottery picks the past six to seven years but have yet to see a winning season, let alone reach the playoffs.
The rest of this dominant Warriors team: Andre Igoudala, acquired through a sign and trade deal with the Denver Nuggets in 2013 in which the Warriors gave up three role players and two first round picks; Shaun Livingston, after a freak knee injury and bouncing around 10 different teams in six years, signed with the Warriors in 2014 for cheap; David West, JaVale McGee, & Zaza Pachulia, all who signed this past offseason as cheaper replacements to Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights; Ian Clark and James McAdoo, undrafted free agents who signed with the Warriors in 2015; Matt Barnes, a veteran who they brought on halfway through this season; and Kevin Durant, signed as a free agent this past summer that made this Warriors team what it is today.
Three drafted players that became super stars, a defensive specialist that is near the end of his prime, an injury prone player that few were willing to take a chance on, four veterans who have bounced around from team to team, two players who were signed off the street and one superstar joining in free agency, that’s it. How has no one else been able to duplicate this success?
Durant has taken a lot of criticism for leaving Oklahoma City and joining Golden State. Their has even been comparisons of Durant’s departure to the formation of previous super teams like in Miami or Boston. But Wade was the only member of the Heat before James and Bosh arrived. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were the only members of the Celtics before Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arrived.
The Warriors already had their core players before Durant’s arrival. In fact, they just went to back-to-back finals before Durant arrived.
So before you continue to blame Durant, the Warriors, or James for the trend of super teams, blame the team your a fan of for not drafting better and preventing this.
Five teams passed up on Steph Curry, nine teams passed up on Klay Thompson, and 22 teams passed on Draymon Green, three of which passed on him twice.
Imagine an alternate universe where the Timberwolves don’t draft Ricky Rubio or Jonny Flynn but draft Curry instead. Or a universe where the Cavaliers draft Draymond Green rather than Dion Waters or Tyler Zeller.
Is the Warriors new ‘super team’ bad for the NBA? Sure, it might be (unless you are a Warriors fan). But before you criticize Durant, Lebron or any individual player for this, blame every other NBA front office for not seeing the potential of these players on the Golden State ‘super team.’