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Greatest Golden State Warriors of All-Time

The NBA has proven that basketball is a team game.  The most reliable teams that seldom miss out the playoffs display flawless teamwork. The Golden State Warriors have remained consistently good at showing exemplary teamwork over the previous three seasons. It has had impeccable players, especially last season, which saw them set an all NBA record of 73 wins.

However, it became clear through the Finals that even a history of excellence and teamwork can sometimes succumb to phenomenal individual performances from star players on a mission.  LeBron James of the Cavaliers single-handedly snubbed the championship from this Warriors team with an aggressive and superb display of wit, genius, and stamina. One of the reasons the Golden State Warriors have been able to stay on top of the basketball world over the years is because it has also enjoyed the services of such superb individual players as well. Below is a breakdown of some of the greatest Golden State Warriors of all time.

6. Tim Hardaway

This guy is famous for two things:

  • His sweet handles
  • His phenomenal crossovers

This point guard could and did repeatedly decimate the defenses of any opponent team and put the ball in the hoop. He averaged an impressive 19.8 points for the games he played for the Warriors over a period of six seasons. Part of his individual brilliance was the influence he had on his teammates. He was a distributor who got guys involved on the offensive side of the floor. He had an average of 9.3 assists per game for his Warriors career.

5. Mitch Richmond

One of the best picks that Golden State ever made was in the 1998 draft when they took in this guy with their fifth overall pick. He went on to play three seasons for the team and averaged an excellent 22.7 points per contest. Mitch Richmond certainly earned his spot at the hall of fame during his stay at Bay Area with his sensational shooting, but he also pulled an average 5.5 rebounds and shot 84% from the charity stripe. How about that?

4. Chris Mullin

He played for the Warriors for 13 seasons. 13 years is a long time for an NBA player.  Lucky for the Warriors, Chris Mullin was not just anyone. He was a guy who could put up 20+ points for the team every time he stepped on the court. He could shoot lights out from long range, and was an excellent passer of the basketball. He remains to be one of the best players ever to wear the Warriors’ uniform.

3. Stephen Curry

Curry is the only player on this list that is still on the roster.  He has incredible handles; his dribbling is off the charts, and his shooting has changed the game. He scored an average of 30.1 points per game during the 2014-2015 season and led Golden State to an NBA title. He’s also a big reason Vegas has the team favored to win it all again in 2017.  Stephen Curry is simply a player that Bay Area will miss when he retires.

2. Rick Barry

Three phrases can describe his eight seasons at Bay Area:

  • 25.6 points and 5.1 assist average
  • 89.6 percent accuracy on free throws
  • Sensational and indispensable

1. Wilt Chamberlain

He played six seasons for the Warriors, and no words can explain why he is the best of the best. He just has the edge over everyone else on this list.

5 Ways the Warriors Have Gotten Worse This Season

The Golden State Warriors made the free agent signing of the summer by nabbing Kevin Durant, but is it possible that adding another Hall-of-Famer to the roster would make them worse?  Just look at the Lakers about 15 years ago when they added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to their core of Shaquille O’Neill and Kobe Bryant.  Let’s take a look at five ways the Warriors might not be as good as they were the last two years.

#1: Stephen Curry Is No Longer The MVP

Stephen Curry will spend quite a lot of time deferring to KD even though Curry is the MVP, the top point guard in the league, and the best shooter in history. The Lakers had trouble moving the ball around to their four hall of famers.  Thus, Kobe Bryant didn’t see the ball enough times.  The Warriors are doing the same with Stephen Curry. Durant may be great, but he is in the way.

#2: Defense Is Stalling

Draymon Green is the reigning defensive player of the year, but he is now leading a team that will be weaker on that side of the floor. Durant is not an elite defender, and his presence on the court limits what Green can do. Green must be allowed to marshal the court on defense in a way that the Pistons of the 80s once did.  Plus, teams who struggle to stop opponents are too susceptible to their shots falling to win on a nightly basis.

#3: Klay Thompson Has No Room To Play

Klay is the Scottie Pippen to Curry’s Jordan, and he is capable of scoring 50 points in a game when Stephen is having an off night.  Klay would be a superstar on any other team. He will turn out to be one of the greatest shooters in history, but he is stifled on a team that must allow Durant to score. Durant is taking shots from a man who is more than capable of playing his position, and the ball simply cannot make it around to each of them often enough.

#4: Luke Walton Is Not On The Bench

Luke Walton was the top assistant in the league but not he’s with the Lakers as their head coach. He helped bridge the gap between Steve Kerr and the young players. He is a man of wisdom like his father Bill, and he knows how to win. The loss of Walton is felt every day as the Warrior do not have another strong voice on the bench. He may not be viewed as a necessity, but he will be missed when the team plays poorly.

#5: The Team Is Strained Over Salary

Spending money ruins relationships in the NBA, and Kevin Durant’s contract is a problem in the Golden State locker room. No one has spoken out about the money Durant makes, but it is impossible to pay everyone when there are four potential hall of famers on the same roster. Durant expects to be paid later in his career, and Curry is paid as the MVP should be. Klay Thompson expects to have his due, and Draymon Green will expect his own payday before long. The team has money, but players are humans. Humans become insecure, and insecurity may rip the team apart.

The Warriors may win a title after figuring out how to play as a group, but recent history shows that having superstars all on the same team may turn out badly. Kevin Durant needs the ball, but Stephen Curry needs the ball, too. The two men must find a way to play together if they wish to win games. There is no chance of winning 73, but they may learn a new system that honors each of them in kind.

3 Teams the Warriors Have to Watch Out for This Season

The 2016-17 Golden State Warriors are built to be potentially one of the greatest NBA teams ever yet they are not invincible. The talent is there but one or two injuries can change things in the blink of an eye. Of note, the Warriors won’t have the depth they had enjoyed last season with the departures of Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, and Festus Ezeli.

Beating The Reserves

Defeating the Warriors will not happen by trying to outscore their stars including Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant. Instead, one must focus on maximizing the advantage to be had when competing against the reserves.  The Warriors will also have to depend upon playing small ball without a legit center to fill the lane. Team like the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Clippers will need to take advantage they will enjoy competing against the Warrior bench that contains rookies and fringe players.

No Big Guys

The Warriors will probably be outrebounded by the Cavaliers, Spurs, and Clippers.  At least, they will have to be if they are going to be beaten.  All of the above teams have the personnel and each has demonstrated their effectiveness in doing so in prior match ups. The Cavaliers young center Tristan Thompson did well in last year’s finals in limiting the Warriors to one shot per possession and keeping Curry’s penetration to a minimum.

Former Miami Heat Chris Andersen is available to back up Thompson and can provide 15 to 20 minutes in relief to limit the Warriors second chance possessions. The Spurs brought in LaMarcus Aldridge a year ago, and he has proven a worthy asset to limit the Warriors chances at points in the paint. The Spurs utilize their bigs to defend Curry to slow down his ability to shoot the three and drive the lane. The Cavaliers successfully mirrored the strategy in the finals when they shifted forward Kevin Love to body Curry. The Clippers have the ultimate weapon at the center position in DeAndre Jordan, as he consistently is one of the league’s best at limiting second chance points, historically leads the league in rebounding, and field goal percentage. The one drawback is the team has to take him out in the later stages of the game for fear of having to see him at the charity stripe where he struggles mightily.

Limit Transition

The Warriors thrive in getting the ball out on transition after a missed shot. Yet, one can take advantage of the emotional Warriors in the same manner. Curry and Green driving the lane and missing a shot can give an opponent an opening to run and score on the other end of the floor. If the break is not there, use a structured offense as the Spurs often exhibit to not settle for a rushed shot.

Importantly, one must make the Warriors work on the defensive end. Curry and Durant are human and tire like any professional basketball player. If they are working hard on the defensive end, their legs will not have as much spring to fire up shots on the offensive end. The Cavaliers, Spurs, and Clippers can utilize off ball screens to beat down the Warrior guards which can pull Durant out to assist thereby opening the lane for James, Aldridge, and Griffin to get their points. Either way these three teams must play the perfect game and hope that the Warriors make multiple mistakes. The Warriors are the favorite to win the title in 2017 due to the Durant acquisition which will put all others on catch up mode.

NBA Picks & Season Predictions

With all the free agents left it’s going to be difficult to predict the upcoming season, but since I have a fond love of basketball I will do my best.

If Kevin Durant had stayed with the Oklahoma City Thunder they would have been able to make it far in the playoffs. Him and Westbrook had a true dynamic together and they just needed a little bit of help to become unstoppable.  Now that he’s left Oklahoma City is in the middle of the pack.

The Golden State Warriors may have lost the championship and may have lost some of their free agents but expect them to be hungrier than ever.  They added Durant to an already stacked starting roster and they seem to have the best chance to hoist the championship trophy at the end of the season.  It’s no surprise that they are the favorites to win it all again.  The site had them as the team with the highest projected win total at 66.  This is going to be a tough team to beat, especially come playoff time when it’s more about stars than depth.

I think the Cavs may have their hands tied if LeBron ever decides to leave, but I think he’ll finish his career out in Cleveland.  Either way he’s going to be there this season.  While he’s probably slightly passed his peak, Kyrie Irvinig is budding into a superstar in his own right, plus he has Kevin Love to help shoulder some of the load.

The Celtics I think are going to be a little bit of a surprise and I expect great things from this team. They did pick up a solid draft pick, but most importantly they added Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks.  He’s one of those guys who did a little bit of everything, making every team he played for better.  They will be going to the playoffs for sure, but just how far will they go? I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the conference finals.

The Toronto Raptors might have a shot of making it pretty far, and if the Raptors can keep stars DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry healthy then I think they have a chance of clinching the east.  Lowry gives them a nice point guard and experience in the backcourt.

One of my favorite sleeper teams in the west is the Los Angeles Clippers. When I say sleeper I mean that I think this team is going to go really far this season. I like what the team is doing. They have a great looking roster with Chris Paul, JJ Redick, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin.  The key for this team is health.  If they keep their core on the floor then it’s going to be a great season.

The San Antonio Spurs will make it to the postseason but how far will they go in the playoffs it depends on some other teams in the western conference. I think they will be one of the last teams standing in the west.

I think with Andre Drummond the Detroit Pistons may be a solid underdog team that no one wants to play.  I think it’s possible for them to go to the conference finals.  I like this team.  They’re confident, they are growing together, and Stan Van Gundy is an excellent coach. It’s going to be a good season.

While the Miami Heat have a good shot of making it to the playoffs, I’d be surprised if they get to the second round.  This team has some young stars, but after losing the Big Three it’s time to blow up and rebuild the roster.

I believe the Orlando Magic may actually make the playoffs in the 7th or 8th seed. They won’t trade their chances away like they usually do.

I’m going to go with the Portland Trailblazers to make it to the playoffs and I think they may even improve more than last year.

I know one thing.  If Hield wins the Rookie of the Year and Anthony Davis stays healthy the New Orleans Pelicans could be a team that surprises this year.

Those are a couple of my predictions for how this year might turn out.  I do know I’m excited to see what happens and can’t wait for opening night!

NBA Rookie of the Year Picks

The NBA season is looking like it’s going to be a great one in 2016-17. There is so much new talent that is coming into the league and many fans are excited to see these up and coming players. I know I can’t wait to see what they can do.  There is also talk of who the Rookie of the Year will be.  We’ve already predicted the playoff teams, so today we took a look at the list of rookies and here are our predictions on the favorites to win the award.

There is a favorite for this award already. Ben Simmons was drafted from LSU by the Philadelphia 76ers and he was the first overall pick in this season’s draft. He was a top choice due to his talent. According to the odds and statistical analysis Simmons has a 33% chance of winning this award and there is also a 66% chance that the award will go to someone else in the league. While he has a pretty good chance of winning the odds are still against Simmons.

There are some other players that those that follow the NBA are excited about seeing. Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield did well in college and this will also be their first year playing in the NBA. Hield was selected sixth but he has the second best odds of winning this award. While they are good Simmons is still favored.

There are some other top contenders for this award as well. They include Brandon Ingram and Denzel Valentine. Ingram was drafted by the Las Angeles Lakers and Valentine was taken by Chicago. Some say that Ingram has potential to become Rookie of the Year. While he does have a smaller frame he has the skills. Still some people worried that due to his smaller size he will get pushed around by the bigger players on the court.

Those are the top five favorites with a chance to win, but there are some other players that are long shots who have a chance. Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick and Dragan Bender was the fourth pick. Both of these players have a one in twenty chance of winning the Rookie of the Year Award.  That seems like possibly some value due to how high they were chosen.

With all of this talent coming into the NBA there are a number of contenders that can end up being Rookie of the Year. There is a lot of talent. Even though there is a favorite at this time anything can happen and these new players can take this award home in their first NBA season.

NBA Draft Recap

I would like start off by congratulating all 60 picks in this years NBA draft.  I’m going to discuss the potential future these young men have in the league.  Today I would like to narrow the scope and focus on the top 10 picks.

The number one draft pick this year was LSU’s Ben Simmons.  His future with Philadelphia certainly looks bright. Allen Iverson said it himself in an interview with ESPN.  He’ll be in Ben Simmons corner for anything he needs this season. May not seem like much but to have a Hall of Famer extend a helping hand seems to me like a bright future.  With his talent it’s no surprise that he’s the favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

Second pick Brandon Ingram from Duke should have plenty of room to grow as a player.  He has a lot of talent, but needs to add some strength. According to USA Today. the Lakers say if his Duke basketball evolution translates to professional ball then he’s found the right team. I personally think that with Kobe retiring there are some big shoes to fill in LA.  But that means this rookie will have plenty of opportunity.

After being drafted third by the Brooklyn Nets, Jaylen Brown was then later traded to the Boston Celtics.  I think he’ll see plenty of time in the rotation early on in the season. As long as Jaylen’s physical growth matches his motivation he will blend right in with the Boston franchise.

Big man Dragan Bender was the youngest player drafted at 18.  He was taken fourth overall and was the top international player. There is no doubt this guy has talent, but the Suns believe Bender will mature quickly as well.

As I approach the midway point on the top 10 NBA draft picks we hit our first point guard pick. Kris Dunn of Providence was taken fifth.   He should be able to learn from Ricky Rubio and alongn with Andrew Wiggins become a duo for first year coach Tom Thibodeau. They have a real shot at making the playoffs. Thibodeau says Dunn’s defensive efforts are something he wants to build on. Even with Rubio’s future being put into question across the media I think the addition of another point guard will help motivate him to work hard.

Sixth draft pick Buddy Hield entered the draft as the top college basketball player of 2016. The Pelicans hope that Hield brings a scoring threat to compliment Anthony Davis in the paint this upcoming season. The Pelicans don’t know early on if they are going to hold onto Hield so I hope he gives New Orleans a reason to keep him around.

Being picked by the Knicks seventh in the draft but later traded to Denver, Jamal Murray brings a boost to the Nuggets perimeter game.  Murray was coming off of a season at Kentucky where he hit 113 three-point shots.  That should give an indicator as to his potential in Denver.

The Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, and Milwaukee Bucks finished off the top ten picks with forward Marquese Chriss, center Jakob Poeltl, and center Thon Maker. All of these guys should be good players at the professional level, but I don’t think any of them will have an immediate impact on the teams they are going to.

NBA Free Agent Predictions

The upcoming NBA season will see some changes in the lineup of every team. There are a number of players that are going to become free agents. Of course a lot of people are making predictions on which teams these players will sign with.  Once they do sign you can check out the CBS Sports free agent tracker to find who went where and for how much.  Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular players left to sign and give our thoughts as to where they might end up.

Deron Williams is set to be a free agent. He was making over five million dollars on his last contract. Currently he does not have offers from other teams but there is still plenty of time before the season is set to start.

Rajon Rondo is said to be on the market as a free agent. Rajon was making over 9 million dollars according to his last contract. Currently he does not have an offer but there are said to be many teams that are looking at him.  I think if he goes to a decent team he can really get them over the hump.

There are some players that are expected to see a change in their salaries. Dehantay Jones from the Cleveland Cavaliers was making around eight hundred thousand dollars. He did not see much playing time so was not making hardly anything. He is currently a free agent but has received offers for over a million dollars.

Jason Terry is another player that is a free agent. He was making just under a million dollars last season. He is currently still looking and at his age is looking at only one or two more years to collect a league paycheck.

Kevin Durant is an unrestricted free agent who is in his prime.  This is the guy that every team is after. He averaged 28 point per game with Oklahoma City and is currently making around 21 million per season.  If he stays with the Thunder they are a contender, if not then they will struggle to make the playoffs.

Many cannot believe this but LeBron James is on the market as a free agent.  However, there is next to no chance he leaves Cleveland. He just signs short term deals so he can cash in on the new television money that is coming into the league and increasing the salary caps.  Currently James is making around 23 million dollars per season. If there was no cap then he would make a ton more than that.

Hassan Whiteside is now a free agent. He scored around 14 points per games and can block just about any shot. He is making just under 1 million dollars a year playing for Miami and is looking to increase his playing time and the amount of money that he earns during the season.

These are just some of the free agents that will be in the NBA for the upcoming season. Free agents are often looking for additional playing time as well as more money to play the game. These free agents see to be on the right track to making more money and making their name known in the game of professional basketball.