Can anyone dethrone Golden State?

It is becoming more and more rare for a professional sports team to have a dynasty these days. Just winning back to back championships is rare enough. Free agency splits many teams apart. There is more parity in professional sports now than ever before. Which makes what Golden State is currently doing in the NBA even more remarkable. The Warriors are building a dynasty that is unlike any that we have recently seen. The other night, they won their 3rd championship in 4 years and you can bet that many more are on the way. If you are an avid Golden State fan, you are feeling pretty good right now about your squad. Who is going to knock them off?

If there was going to be a year when the Warriors were vulnerable, it was this year. I had some serious doubts whether they could win this year’s title. Flash back to late March, early April when they only won 7 out of 17 games and limped to the playoffs. Did anyone belief in them back then? Or during the Houston series when they trailed in both game 6 and 7 by double digits at halftime. A mark of a great team is the ability to handle injuries and adversary and the Warriors did just that this season. It was not their best overall season by far in this 4 year stretch by they battled and won when it counted.

The core players of Golden State are just reaching their prime. That is the scary part of this team. They could easily win 3 more championships in a row. The only thing that may derail this awesome team is injuries, but they are so deep in talent that it might take a lot more than just injuries to stop this team.

I see a couple of teams who might just have the ability to dethrone Golden State right now. It can be argued that Houston could have knocked them off if Chris Paul did not get hurt this year. Another team that may give them fits in a potential championship series next year is Boston. Imagine if Boston comes back healthy with all of their players next year? And lets not forget the LeBron factor in the off-season. If LeBron is really serious about winning a championship next year, he will look at signing with Houston in the off-season. If that happened, I believe Houston would be strong favorites to win the title next year. But in all reality, the only team that seems to be able to dethrone Golden State is the Golden State Warriors themselves. They are one of the best teams that I have ever seen, not only in the NBA, but in any professional sport.

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Golden State, the best team ever?

In the aftermath of Golden State’s NBA finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, some sports pundits were quick to declare the Warriors as the greatest NBA team of all time. After all, they dominated the playoffs with the best record ever and had another incredible regular season with 67 wins. But are they better than the great Boston Celtics teams of the 80’s or the Michael Jordan teams of the mid 90’s? Such questions make for interesting discussions of sports talk radio, but in my mind, comparing teams from different eras is almost impossible to do. One could argue that the NBA is more watered down in this day and age. How many top quality teams really had a legitimate shot at winning the title this year? The lack of parity in the league has certainly helped the Warriors, however, lets not diminish what a dominate and great team they are. They could easily beat any team that has ever played in a 7 game series.

Very few teams have ever been made up of 4 all-star players in the starting lineup. As a lifetime NBA observer, I have never seen a more unguardable team in the league. The only team that can really stop the Warriors are the Warriors themselves. Not only are they an extremely potent team on the offensive side of the floor, their defense is extremely solid as well. Many people fail to give them credit for being an extremely good defensive team. Draymond Green might be the best overall defensive player in the league and Klay Thompson is one of the best defensive guards in the league. Kevin Durant is a very underrated defender as well. It is one thing to have a team of all-stars who can score the ball, but Golden State has several good 2 way players and that is what makes them the elite team that they are.

Do the Warriors have any weaknesses? I often wonder how they would fare against some of the past champions with good centers. Do they have the size to go up against the old Celtic’s teams of the 80’s or the Lakers with Abdul Jabbar. But on the flip side, those teams probably would not have the athleticism to compete against the Warriors.

Regardless, this debate will continue and in my opinion, they are without a doubt one of the teams ever. Are they the best ever? Time will only tell. A great team is also a team of dynasty and I still need to see the Warriors win a couple more championships before they are the greatest team ever. With their core players being so young, that possibility is extremely likely.

A new fan of the Golden State Warriors

It happened sometime last season.  I cannot specifically tell you the date, but I fell in love with the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. Yes, I jumped on their bandwagon which seems to be growing everyday. In fact, I found myself shopping for Warriors apparel the other day on the internet. I know the officials of our local NBA team here in Twin Cites, the Minnesota Timberwolves, will be a little jealous if they read this, but the Warriors represent a much-needed breath of fresh air in the NBA. In fact, they might be the new trendy popular team in pro sports these days. How could you not like them? Now fans of the sport have a great alternative to the over-hyped circus known as LeBron James and company. In other words, whoever, LeBron plays for.

As a player and fan of the game, I just love their small ball, uptempo style of play and the fact that many of their guys are actually very good shooters, a seemingly lost art in the game these days. Most young players these days are far too enamoured with making fancy crossover dribbles to the basket and dunking on people so they can be on ESPN sports center plays of the day. Shooting is a part of the game that many players spend far too little time on. A team of good shooters is very hard to defend and beat.

In addition, Golden State has one of the best passing teams in the league. It is so enjoyable watching them move the ball around as opposed to many NBA teams which run nothing but individual isolation plays. The Warriors are great at sharing the ball and furthermore, they are among the top defensive teams in the league. Guys on their team can not only shoot, but defend as well. How shocking is that in today’s game?!!

One of the newer top marque players in the league is Steph Curry and he fast becoming, not only my favorite NBA player, but favorite professional athlete. Here is a guy who is not necessarily the fastest, biggest or strongest player, but a guy who dominates with his skill. He is also one of the hardest working and humble guys in the league. A very likable guy.

In this day and age of great individualism in the NBA, it is very refreshing to see a team play the game the right way like the Golden State Warriors. It is no accident that they won the NBA championship last year and started this year 24-0. They play the game the right way and what basketball junkie could not appreciate that? The Warriors have fans all over the country including this new fan from the great state of Minnesota.