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The Golden State Warriors (1971-), Western Conference, Pacific Division - 2015-2016's Record the NBA's All-Time Best at 73-9

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On 5/21/2015 at 2:51 PM, DaveO said:

My only observation was that Klay Thompson was a 2 guard somewhat living off of Curry's incredible year....while Wall was easily the single star that drove the Wiz this past season.

 

Except for one day in January. :)

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Except for one day in January. :)

Ahhh.....True.

In all honesty his great play helped to make Curry more effective just as Curry made Thompson more effective this year.  And I'm a homer, so my perspective is a weeeeeeeeee bit biased.   ;)

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"What's At Stake For Golden State Warriors In 2015 NBA Draft?" by Tim MacLean on bleacherreport.com

I'd be curious to know if people think Golden State has the best backcourt in the NBA with Stephen (pronounced "Stefan," btw) Curry and Klay Thompson (Washington would obviously be included in this bar-room conversation with John Wall and Bradley Beal).

While this is published on NBA's official website, it's still just one person's opinion - people might want to ponder the question before looking at this list although I will offer a hint: both the Wizards and the Warriors are in the Top 3.

"The List: Top NBA Backcourts" by Joe Boozell on nba.com

--

Golden State fans and Oakland residents: if you're seeing this from Twitter, click here to join us and argue (it's quick, private, free, and you only need to reply to one confirmation email). Just to let you know who we are, we're actually the #1 regional *restaurant* website in the United States, and we may well be starting a forum dedicated to San Francisco and Oakland (for now, we have these threads about Bay Area Dining: San Francisco, Pacific Coast Highway, Napa and Sonoma, Central California). If you're into restaurants, this is THE website for you, and we'd love to have your opinions, not only on the mighty Golden State Warriors, but also about the great Bay Area dining scene - I'm making it a point to travel to San Francisco several times a year (two months ago, I was at The Slanted Door, Zuni Cafe, Boulevard, R&G Lounge, Oenotri in Napa, and Bouchon in Yountville and btw, we're not focused only on top restaurants; we do it all (our Washington, DC Forum is the most comprehensive single-city forum in the entire world, and yes, that includes Yelp because we have our own Dining Guide that I personally curate)), and we very much look forward to seeing you here on donrockwell.com where you'll be welcomed as family: we just celebrated our 10th anniversary, and on our 20th, we hope to be your favorite website in San Francisco and Oakland. Cheers! Rocks PS - Write me personally if you join (donrockwell@dcdining.com), and I'll expedite your membership.

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Ugh, this level of choke hurts to witness, but a choke it was.

"The Warriors Lose, Michael Jordan's Record is Safe (Maybe), and Why the NBA is Loving the Chase" by Mitch Lawrence on forbes.com

Are the Spurs going to give up a 41-0 home record this coming Sunday to allow the Warriors to have 73 wins?

You tell me.

"What About That Other Team Going for an Amazing NBA Record?" by Sam Gardner on foxsports.com

My how things have changed in under a year. I'm developing a theory on how to guard Curry which I might present for peer review.

 

So here it is: You deny the Splash Brothers the 3 at all costs, and make them drive.

I want to do a study on a correlation between the number of 3-pointers made, and the margin of victory - they're *killing* people from outside the arc, so the solution *must* involve guarding them long, and letting them drive - they don't drive much better than other great players, and this will take away the sure-thing. You put your best defender - Gary Payton, Muggsy Bogues, etc. - on them, and make them move towards the basket. Every other strategy has failed.

The Warriors haven't changed basketball permanently; they've messed with it, and the rest of the league hasn't caught up with them. But I believe they will in the next year or two.

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Ugh, this level of choke hurts to witness, but a choke it was.

"The Warriors Lose, Michael Jordan's Record is Safe (Maybe), and Why the NBA is Loving the Chase" by Mitch Lawrence on forbes.com

Are the Spurs going to give up a 41-0 home record this coming Sunday to allow the Warriors to have 73 wins?

You tell me.

"What About That Other Team Going for an Amazing NBA Record?" by Sam Gardner on foxsports.com

So here it is: You deny the Splash Brothers the 3 at all costs, and make them drive.

I want to do a study on a correlation between the number of 3-pointers made, and the margin of victory - they're *killing* people from outside the arc, so the solution *must* involve guarding them long, and letting them drive - they don't drive much better than other great players, and this will take away the sure-thing. You put your best defender - Gary Payton, Muggsy Bogues, etc. - on them, and make them move towards the basket. Every other strategy has failed.

The Warriors haven't changed basketball permanently; they've messed with it, and the rest of the league hasn't caught up with them. But I believe they will in the next year or two.

Tough timing on the theory.  The night before San Antonio gave that theory the "ole" college try"..   They got blown out.  Curry scored 29.  At the end of the third qtr the game was close to being over.    Curry drove a lot.  He shot more shots from in close, and got a lot of assists and was very accurate.

Of recent though, Utah had a good shot at Golden State.  They tried that theory with their tall lineup  and tall guys going out to harass Curry.  Worked pretty well but Golden State won.  Boston also recently gave it the old college try on trying to deny the splash brothers shots.   They did it with speedier with little guys.   They won...beating Golden State at GS's home court.  Big win.   The Celtics did it with shorter guys tailing Curry everywhere he went.

You ALWAYS want to deny shooters.  ALWAYS.   Its tough to implement.  Curry is good on multiple levels not only with shooting but with dribbling so he is undoubtedly tough, tougher, and toughest to defend.  A lot is in implementation and a lot is in how the two teams act, react, and recognize what is happening.

By the way, Golden State won 67 last year regular season, won the championship and won 70 so far this year.   As a team they are simply playing phenominal.   They are doing a great job of recognizing that teams are trying their hardest to smother Curry...but Golden State is overwhelmingly overcoming all that as a team.   Give a lot of credit to Green.  He is showing Larry Bird like basketball IQ.  Doing it in different parts of the game...but he is a key part of both Golden State's success and is a big help to Curry.

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Tough timing on the theory.  The night before San Antonio gave that theory the "ole" college try"..   They got blown out.  Curry scored 29.  At the end of the third qtr the game was close to being over.    Curry drove a lot.  He shot more shots from in close, and got a lot of assists and was very accurate.   

San Antonio's fortunes are going to fall with Duncan, and one game does not a theory break - teams are going to *have* to smother these two shooters deep. The Warriors aren't big enough inside to protect these two when driving - that's my hypothesis and I'm stickin' with it! "Small Ball" is going to fall apart inside of twenty feet, and they're going to need a third shooter to kick it out to. As much as I *love* the Warriors, I think they're something of a several-season phenomenon, and the era of the Mighty Center will return once again. The 3-point arc has changed the NBA every bit as much as lowering the pitcher's mound changed MLB (I would argue that Bob Gibson was the equivalent of Stephen Curry, albeit in reverse), and the Warriors were the first team to react to the rule change in a systemic fashion - it's incredible that nobody else did before this, because it's an absolute no-brainer. *Fifty percent* more points per bucket, and nobody's covering you? Hel-LO?!

If I were Tim Duncan, I'd take a one-year contract for the highest amount of money possible. Then he could be a Duncan dough-nut. Bwaaaa-hahahahaha.

And secretly I pray that he retires a career Spur.

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So here it is: You deny the Splash Brothers the 3 at all costs, and make them drive.

I want to do a study on a correlation between the number of 3-pointers made, and the margin of victory - they're *killing* people from outside the arc, so the solution *must* involve guarding them long, and letting them drive - they don't drive much better than other great players, and this will take away the sure-thing. You put your best defender - Gary Payton, Muggsy Bogues, etc. - on them, and make them move towards the basket. Every other strategy has failed.

The Warriors haven't changed basketball permanently; they've messed with it, and the rest of the league hasn't caught up with them. But I believe they will in the next year or two.

Don:  I was surprised to see you offer a "solution".  After all this is Curry's third straight year of basically being indefensible.  There are 29 opposing head coaches and probably about 145 assistant coaches all trying to come up with schemes and plans.  None have realistically worked on a consistent basis over the last 3 years.  Sometimes though the Splash Brothers have off days.

It could be the defense du jour...or it could be off days.

BUT...one of my colleagues and friends came up with a great idea.  I'm convinced it would work.  Its been done before.  Let's just call it the Tanya Harding defense.  Actually its certainly not a new idea.  If implemented correctly it would stymie Curry, his running mate Thompson, and could be used equally effective against LeBron James, Michael Jordan or anyone.

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Don:  I was surprised to see you offer a "solution".  After all this is Curry's third straight year of basically being indefensible.  There are 29 opposing head coaches and probably about 145 assistant coaches all trying to come up with schemes and plans.  None have realistically worked on a consistent basis over the last 3 years.  Sometimes though the Splash Brothers have off days.

It could be the defense du jour...or it could be off days.

BUT...one of my colleagues and friends came up with a great idea.  I'm convinced it would work.  Its been done before.  Let's just call it the Tanya Harding defense.  Actually its certainly not a new idea.  If implemented correctly it would stymie Curry, his running mate Thompson, and could be used equally effective against LeBron James, Michael Jordan or anyone.

Dave, let's straighten a couple of things out: Less than one year ago, I was the one who proposed Stephen Curry as the next possible Hall of Fame-level player in response to your question here, in which you didn't even mention him. I think you've become so enamored with him in the past year that you forget that he wasn't even on your radar just one short year ago.

I have not "offered a solution"; I have proposed a *component* of a *possible* solution. And it isn't the coaches or head coaches trying to figure out how to stop him; it's people neither you nor I know about, being paid fortunes trying to figure out how to counteract Curry, the Warriors, and the "small ball" trend - either counteract it, or incorporate it - these are basketball minds much greater than yours or mine, and they quite possibly consist of people who neither of us have ever heard of.

The one game I decided to watch Curry-and-nothing-but-Curry, he was being positively mauled by hatchet-man Matthew Dellavadova *off the ball*, and the strategy worked. So yes, you could call that the "Tonya Harding" defense if you wish; but it must be done furtively so you don't get caught.

If Curry is as revolutionary as the media is making him out to be, and the Warriors are such an unstoppable force, then they shouldn't have any problem winning, say, 7 or 8 of the next 10 championships. Maybe he'll be like Bill Russell who won 11 championships in a 13-year career. We'll see what happens. As for now, we're watching the breakout season of the latest media-darling who has never before averaged over 24 points per game - which hardly constitutes being "indefensible," and who isn't even averaging 30 points per game this season - Michael Jordan averaged over 30 points per game over the course of his entire 15-year career. In the last 60 seasons, the NBA Scoring Champion averaged over 30 points per game 40 times, so even though Curry is leading the league in scoring this season, he's in the bottom third of "typical" NBA Scoring Leaders in terms of points.

Someone finally did the math and realized that shooting 45% from 3-point land is equivalent to shooting 67.5% from 2-point land - that, and you're more likely to have a player back on defense, since the shooter often has a 30+ foot head start if they miss.

"The Golden State Warriors Have Revolutionized Basketball" by Ben Cohen on wsj.com

It does not surprise me that the Wall Street Journal has written the best article I've yet seen on this phenomenon, describing the 3-point-line as a "market inefficiency," because that's exactly what it has always been.

The irony of this post is that there's hardly more of a Stephen Curry fan than I am. I want you to remember I said that the NBA *will* figure out a way to contain Curry and the Warriors sometime in the next several seasons. If Kevin Durant somehow goes to Golden State? All bets are off. They could become the greatest team in NBA history, or they could become worse than they are now.

And here's another hypothesis for you to pick apart: I think it's possible that the next phase in the NBA will be one of swarming defenses - there might be no such thing as an even remotely out-of-shape NBA player, not that there are very many now, and that could mean shorter careers - which poses yet another problem.

Also, the NBA might even respond by putting the arc further away from the basket, the way the NCAA banned goaltending and the NBA widened the key because of George Mikan, or the way the NBA banned crossing the free-throw plane because of Wilt Chamberlain *dunking them*, or the way the NCAA disallowed dunking in general because of Lew Alcindor, who dunked more basketballs than a 70-year-old policeman has dunked doughnuts. It's happened before, and it could happen again.

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I, for one, want to say *Congratulations* to the Golden State Warriors for setting an all-time NBA record for wins with 73, with their 124-104 defeat of the Memphis Grizzlies last night.

I love Golden State, and almost flew out to Oakland to see one of their games a few weeks ago. I couldn't pick a team - with the *possible* exception of the San Antonio Spurs with a healthy Tim Duncan, that I would have rather seen break the Chicago Bulls' previous record of 72-10.

Congratulations to everyone involved with this fantastic season, and for bringing the sheer *joy* back into playing professional basketball.

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DonRocks, on 01 Apr 2016 - 11:56 PM, said:

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My how things have changed in under a year. I'm developing a theory on how to guard Curry which I might present for peer review.

 

So here it is: You deny the Splash Brothers the 3 at all costs, and make them drive.

 

Okay:   Here is one "peer review"

1.  Golden State(GS) has killed teams this year.  The best winning record ever in the NBA. On top of that they are winning by a lot.  Their " plus minus"   or their aggregate of total points in victory is extremely high.   (So too is San Antonio's this year).

2.  GS is killing teams with 3 point shots and the two guys most responsible are Curry and Thompson, the Splash Brothers.  Not only do these two guys have more 3 pters made than any twosome ever, the team has put out an enormous volume of 3 pters and they are shooting at an aggregate team high of 3pt pct...with the splash brothers being most responsible, not only in volume but they lead the team in pct made.  These two guys are killing teams.

3.  Here is the rub.  Check out the stats on the Basketball reference page site for Curry  You can check them out for Thompson also.   Scroll down to the "Shooting"  Subsection.  These are amazingingly detailed statistical packages.  On the shooting section scroll across and they have statistics on shots from distance: 0-3 ft, 3-10, and so on to 3 pointers.  Pretty amazing detail.

Both Curry and Thompson are hitting close in shots; layups, dunks and driving floaters from very in close at crazy high rates:  Around 69%.   UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

These guys are effectively (but only marginally) more effective from in close than far out.   Here is the other thing.  They are better at the close in shots than virtually all guards.

I checked these close in distance figures for Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Harden, Toronto's point guard, Lowry and Tony Parker.  (Parker is an interesting one because that was his absolute strongest forte coming into the league...he was phenomenal at getting in close and scoring...almost unnaturally gifted at that.  Parker later developed better passing and outside shooting skills.)

The Splash Brothers are at the top of the heap for scoring percentages in close compared to most point guards.

4.  Now you have a problem.  It makes PERFECT sense to push these two off the 3 pt line.  They are KILLING teams.  But these two are KILLING teams when they drive to the basket.  I watch Curry.  (less so Thompson).  Curry is such a gifted scorer...and not just with 3's.  When he is driving he has that same ability as Parker showed...to score from in close..even with lots of defensive arms and hands up in the air, from guys way taller.  Curry is great at avoiding the blocks, regardless of angle and moves and deftly putting the ball in the bucket.

Its been noted in the sports press that Curry has seriously improved at this skill over the years.  His stats show it.

5.  So DAMN.  If you push them off the 3 pt line...as I agree you should try and do...then they drive and score.  Ugh.  Pick a poison.  Neither has worked this year.

6.  Okay...push them off the 3 pt line and ALSO stuff defenders in close...so they can't get That close to the basket.  UH OH.  The rest of the Warriors are usually around the 3 pt line and frankly they have other good 3 pt. shooters...and if you stuff defenders near the rim...some other GS players are WIDE open.

7.  So this year...none of this has worked.

8, A team could employ the Mathew Dellavedova defense you referred to earlier; try and maul the Splash Brothers.  I suspect GS would send video the league and the refs to expose that.  Secondly when faced with one of those guys I suspect GS would have brawnier subs come in, set picks and apply elbows to Dellavedova's face.  That would stop that type of defense.  Tactics of that sort were often used in the 80's and 90's to limit overly ambitious defenders.

9.  At this point I suppose its better to have a non splash brother shoot than a splash brother...so you push them off the 3 pt line and stuff the interior.  You are still left with uncovered GS Warriors.   This year...it simply hasn't worked for anyone.

Upthread I referenced 3 games;  the recent game against San Antonio with the ragged first half and the second half where Curry took over.  In that game they did push Curry off the 3 pt line.  He ended up scoring 29 or 30, shot well.  I don't think he missed a single shot when driving to the basket.  Against Utah, earlier the game was tied at regulation with GS winning in OT.  Curry shot well again...and in that game, Utah has mobile Bigs who are good shot blockers. They tried something similar to San Antonio bringing up the bigs.  Curry got his shots and long shots...but the game stayed close.   In a recent Boston game...the Celtics had guards swarming Curry.  He still scored and shot well.  The Celts won the game.  In that one the Celts were drawing fouls on GS and GS wasn't drawing fouls on Boston.

I suspect that defenses that work will depend on the players on the team and their make up.  Big shot blockers or quicker smaller guys.  Its tough either way right now.

Anyway its a good theory.  But it didn't work this year....and if Curry and Thompson continue to convert at the basket at such a high rate it will not be one easy to implement IMHO.

Besides all that stuff above, GS led the league in assists.  Their "shorter team" is very adept at passing.  I personally love watching passing teams and these guys are great to watch.  BTW:  Two seasons San Antonio put on one of the great demonstrations of killer basketball in the finals.  They whipped Miami 4 games to 1 in the finals.  San Antonio won 4 games by sizable amounts and lost one very close game.  San Antonio ABSOLUTELY killed Miami with their passing.  The ball was always way ahead of a defender.

So I'd like to see a series with GS versus San Antonio with both teams passing the ball like crazy.  I'd find that entertaining and exciting.

Will GS maintain a great record for years as you possibly suggest?  I have no idea.  Will swarming defenses become the norm??   No idea again...but lets face it...I'd say a minority of ball players are willing to give up their energy on offense for exerting themselves on the defensive side.  (think James Harden) (he plays "matador" defense)

GS has a great mix of players, especially the non centers.  Its not that easy to put that kind of mix together.  Look at this year's Wizards.

Anyway Playoffs are starting.  The competition will be intense.

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GS has a great mix of players, especially the non centers.  Its not that easy to put that kind of mix together.  Look at this year's Wizards.  

This was an excellent post, and this line is why I said Kevin Durant *might* hurt them - they seem to have such outstanding chemistry, and having Durant would change that - you don't necessarily want to introduce change into a working system (I'm talking about Engineering; not Basketball, but it might be a similar principle).

Golden State seems to have quietly been spending the past several years furtively building this mix - it may take the rest of the league quite awhile to dismantle it - they only really just caught onto it this season. Now they know the problem exists, but what to do about it?

One thing I'm pretty sure of: In high school, players are no longer practicing dunks like they used to; they're practicing 3-point shots, and that means there will be some great shooters developing over the next five years or so. Twenty years ago, they'd pretend the clock was running out, and they were Michael Jordan; now, they're pretending the clock is running out, and they're Stephen Curry, One interesting question that remains unanswered: Does Curry have a unique talent, or can it be duplicated? I guess we're going to find out, but I just don't see how that many people can shoot 3-pointers sideways, off of one leg.

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Here is a potential chink in their armor.  There are virtually no great center/scorers in the league.  Cousins at Sacramento is the best now.  He is a center beast but he is horribly inconsistent, and currently emotionally so.  No guarantees on him.  Last years first draft choice from Kentucky might be on the way.  Time will tell.  The ex Duke Center at Philadelphia has scoring center skills, but that team is terrible.  Long ways to go there.  Anthony Davis might be the "guy".  He seems to be mixing his play between center and the outside.  Only other guy who could develop there is Drummond at Detroit, simply because he is huge and talented...but if he'll develop is completely unknown.

If a great offensive center or more than one develop....that will change a lot.  At this point I doubt Green, the #2 stud on GS can cover someone who is both massively bigger and taller AND talented as a scorer.   Just a guess...but that is where the league is weak...and it allows Green to hold down the center position at only 6 6 or so and add all that mobility and passing that helps GS be so great.

The above is just an idea...but there are no great scoring centers...unlike most periods of the NBA.  Its about time for one or two to develop.

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8, A team could employ the Mathew Dellavedova defense you referred to earlier; try and maul the Splash Brothers.  I suspect GS would send video the league and the refs to expose that.  Secondly when faced with one of those guys I suspect GS would have brawnier subs come in, set picks and apply elbows to Dellavedova's face.  That would stop that type of defense.  Tactics of that sort were often used in the 80's and 90's to limit overly ambitious defenders.

I would maul them with someone considerably bigger and stronger than Dellavedova... Nene comes to mind locally. Steph Curry should never shoot a shot in the lane where he doesn't wind up flat on his back.

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I would maul them with someone considerably bigger and stronger than Dellavedova... Nene comes to mind locally. Steph Curry should never shoot a shot in the lane where he doesn't wind up flat on his back. 

Well said. Clearly the home team are big believers in this and would implement this strategy if and when necessary.  There is precedent for this from the home team Bullets/Wiz.  Back in '75 in the NBA finals the local Bullets tried to maul the opposite team's star.

Didn't work....go about 3:00 + minutes into this video.  The home team Bullet "mauler" gets ejected...and the other teams star kicks our butts.

But heck:  I'd do the same thing you recommend.  ;) (maybe Riordan should have given a more serious mauling.)  and btw: in keeping with the foodie nature of this forum, Riordan ran a heckuva nice neighborhood/sports bar/hangout down on the docks in Annapolis for a long time.

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Didn't work....go about 3:00 + minutes into this video.  The home team Bullet "mauler" gets ejected...and the other teams star kicks our butts.

It was Warriors coach Al Attles that got ejected, not Mike Riordan. Rick Barry (whom I never fully appreciated when I was a teenager) was getting ready to go after Riordan, and Attles ran onto the floor to protect him, thereby getting ejected himself.

An interesting note is that Wes Unseld was the toughest player in the NBA, and he was right next to all the mauling.

As much as I don't like to say this, mauling has always worked in the Big 4 North American sports, from Conrad Dobler, to Sal Maglie, to Dennis Rodman, to Billy Smith, and it's not always the mauling itself; it's the fear of being mauled - that's why a pitcher will go inside early.

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Attlles and Riordan got ejected.  Didn't matter.  Barry killed Riordan all series.  Got pissed off after the shove and killed the Bullets some more with someone other than Riordan covering him.  Complete upset sweep by San Fran.   I watched that one from afar.  Bullets were favored.  Writers were saying they'd kill the Warriors.  Writers were "promoting" Riordan covering Barry.

That just irritated Barry, who was a formidable superstar.  He made mincemeat of the Bullets, shooting or passing off.  He was the unstoppable Curry of his day.

(Bullets should have mauled him in the first minute of the first game) ;)

(btw:  might have posted this before.  my cousin (and other teammates) played and covered Rick Barry in high school.  My cuz held him to either under 40 or under 50. )

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On 4/15/2016 at 0:09 PM, DaveO said:

My cuz held him to either under 40 or under 50. 

In which half? :)

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Well, Curry is injured and out two weeks:   that is at least two weeks.  If the Warriors manage to make it through Houston and the next round or two in the playoffs without Curry, that will certainly speak to the quality of the team.  Injuries.  It does change everything.  

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Injuries.  It does change everything.  

Everything except the MVP award.

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Hopefully Curry will be able to go when they think. The Chris Paul injury should help the Warriors make it through to the Western finals even without him. I don't see the Paul-less Clippers or the overachieving Blazers (who are basically a 2 man team) beating the Warriors even without Curry. The Thunder or the Spurs on the other hand...

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25 minutes ago, farmer john said:

Hopefully Curry will be able to go when they think. The Chris Paul injury should help the Warriors make it through to the Western finals even without him. I don't see the Paul-less Clippers or the overachieving Blazers (who are basically a 2 man team) beating the Warriors even without Curry. The Thunder or the Spurs on the other hand...

I hope Curry, for Curry's sake, recovers today. But from a fan's perspective, a Curry-less Warriors team going up against San Antonio, and perhaps Cleveland, would be fascinating. 

You have to wonder what's going through LeBron James' mind right now: Does he want to win a title at all costs, or does he want to beat the best? And will this be Tim Duncan's final season?

Even if Curry comes back, he won't be back at 100% - that "little darting move" he makes to shake off defenders at the 3-point line may be 20%, 30% slower than it was two weeks ago, and that can make a big difference, especially as you get worn down going deeper-and-deeper into the playoffs.

This reminds me of RGIII in a haunting way - he was the most popular person in Washington, DC; two years later, the fickle fans (and media) chopped him to pieces - all because he got injured when they shouldn't have even had him in the game. I hope he comes back and beats the snot out of the Redskins, but his might be a career-ending injury.

With a healthy Curry, I didn't really consider any other team having a chance to win this year. I want him to come back, not just for his sake, but because the Warriors are far-and-away the best team this season, and deserve the title, but life has a way of shitting on you when you least expect it to.

Has it been determined whether or not there was perspiration on the floor where Curry slipped? That looked like a wet-floor injury to me.

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They were saying wet floor on the radio earlier today. 

in my opinion a Curry-less Warriors team has no chance at all against the Spurs. I am among the folks who think the Spurs have a chance against the Warriors even with Curry. I would favor the Warriors heavily but it won't be a foregone conclusion. Tony Parker is currently playing as well as he has in at least the last 2 seasons.

As for Lebron- he is smart enough to know they are unlikely to beat the Warriors if the Warriors are at peak efficiency. He is also smart enough not to come out and say it.

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Just before Curry slipped, Houston's big white power forward hit the ground right in front of Curry.  I suspect it was his sweat that made the floor slippery.  

Injuries change everything.  Last year Cleveland essentially went into the finals with two of their big 3 down and Lebron had to carry the whole show.  Cripes, Houston are Pro's.  They could win this series.  I doubt it, but the Warriors without the MVP ....well he won't win MVP without having meant an incredible LOT.  

Clippers.  OMG.  Paul is out.  Griffen is seriously hurt.  That is their offense.  Portland could beat this team.  Endless endless unknowns.  

Meanwhile Curry's replacement starter, Shaun Livingston is an interesting player.  He was supposedly a unique talent coming out of high school...a tall point guard with distributor skills a la Magic.  He showed flashes in his first post high school years, but clearly needed a good bit of maturity.  Then he suffered a brutal knee injury and after recovering spent years trying to get back to some level of quality, including playing reserve for the Wizards.  He looks good now.  He is showing mature basketball skills.

And now for a confession.  I've hardly watched this first round.  I resolved to limit my watching to one player's team...(as I've spent too many decades watching way too many games.)   The player and team I've been watching is Jae Crowder and his team Boston.   I caught Crowder when he played in college...I thought he was the fiercest multi skilled (but no outstanding skills) player in college at the time with a willingness to go all out.  On top of his fierce play and on top of his head is are killer dreds.  

Between all out play, and dynamite dreds;  the total effect is one I've been watching for a few years.  After a few rough years in Dallas Crowder was traded to Boston and has become the starting small forward on Boston's surprising "superstar" less team.  All teamwork, no star.   Crowder has become a better shooter, scorer, outside shot.  He still defends, rebounds, runs the floor, plays tough defense, sets picks, etc etc etc.  And he looks cool and fierce doing so.    

How is he doing in the Boston/Atlanta series??    HORRIFIC.  He can't shoot for shit.  In the first 3 games his shooting percentage was under 20%.  He went 4 for 11 in the 4th game and is now shooting less than 25%....but more than 20%.  He also spent part of the time guarding Atlanta's Millsap who only scored 45 in game 4.  Uggggghhhhh.

...and he didn't play in extra time when Boston won.  
 

Accordingly with choosing somebody I thought would be a surprise star in the playoffs....and who is performing at less than Kobe Bryant quality circa 2015-16 I'm not picking any winners in these playoffs. :D 

 

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I have watched a fair amount although I do tend to fall asleep in the chair pretty quickly now that farm season is upon me. Golden State is good enough defensively to get to the western finals without Curry but no farther. I cannot believe how bad Miami has looked on the road after looking like they could challenge the Cavs at home. Spurs- OKC is going to be a really good series.

I hope the Celtics manage to knock out the Hawks solely because I think there is a decent chance of the Wiz making a run at Al Horford and would like him disenchanted with the ATL.

I like that Lebron is playing in the post a bit and think that bodes well for the Cavs...imo he should play high post most of the time and lay off the 3 point shooting and dribbling. Just because he can do those things doesn't mean it's best for the team.

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