Just One More

By Stefan Anderson

The Golden State Warriors have lost the “heart and soul” of their roster , Draymond Green, after he was suspended  for surpassing his allotted flagrant points during his altercation with Cleveland Cavs star Lebron James. The Warriors are on the cusp of closing out the Cavs in the game five of the 2016 NBA Finals, will they be able to win without Green?

Of course the altercation could have been avoided if James did not step over Green to get back into the play. Green could have also reacted in a different way by not jabbing James where the sun doesn’t shine. Players from each side stated that the whole situation was wrong. Andrew Bogut of the Warriors added “They did what they had to do and they got one of our guys out.” Cavs forward Kevin Love even stated “You don’t see it too much, but yeah, I think it is looked at as a form of disrespect”

But neither debate nor statements can bring Green back for a closeout game on Monday evening. What Green brings defensively as auxiliary defender from three to the five spot can’t be replaced. His playmaking skills to run the Warriors offense can’t be replaced either.

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(via Zach Lowe and John Schuhmann)

As stats have shown, Golden State is not the same team without Green. But the Dubs have a capable defender that will force James to continue to work hard offensively in 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.

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(via John Schuhmann)

As far as replacing Green’s minutes, Iguodala will obviously start in place for Green at the 4 spot; Livingston can come in and play the point-forward spot for offensive end in extended minutes to jump start the Warriors offense. Green’s suspension does force center Festus Ezeli and Mo Speights to play more with the staggering health of starting center Andrew Bogut.

The move to include more big men plays into Cleveland’s hands, but also creates more chaos defensively as Kevin Love and Channing Frye will have to switch out or trap Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as they come off of high screen and rolls.  Golden State is now given the option for  3 on 2’s or the Splash Brothers will continue to exploit the Cavs bigs off the dribble as they did in game four when they exploded for 17 three-point field goals.

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The Warriors resiliency will be on display once again, but if there is any team with a roster to find an array of guys it will be the Dubs. For example, in Game 4 when former Cleveland fan favorite Anderson Vareajo came in provide great minutes including a game changing possession in which the center grabbed three offensive rebounds in a possession that lasted nearly two minutes long. Warriors coaching staff even found seven valuable minutes for James Michael McAdoo, who was in a suit just two games ago.

If Golden State has proven one thing this whole season is that they thrive in chaos, in fact, they have to be the most motivated team I’ve seen in years. The way they continue to find ways to motivate themselves to be great has been astonishing and Monday evenings win will encapsulate the great season they have had with the final statement, winning the 2016 NBA finals.

“It’s another challenge for us, but we’re going to embrace it and we’re going to accomplish it.” said Klay Thompson. The Warriors will be playing with another chip on their shoulder with their heart and soul not being able to join them. “We’re going to go out there and do it as a team and win for him,” added the Warriors guard.

 

Chasing History

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By Stefan Anderson

When you win 65 games and cap it off with the NBA Championship, you would consider that to be a great season.  For the Golden State Warriors, they have set the bar so high, that they not only have the rest of league competing for their spot but they have fight with themselves and history to remain on top.

“People say they’re going to go, 72-10, I don’t care they can go 81-1. We did it first.”said Dennis Rodman in a interview about the 14-0 Warriors.

With the steady comparisons between the 2015-16 Warriors and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls that finished 72-10 but the comparisons came because we have not seen a team as dominant as the 95-96 Bulls roster.

As crazy it may seem, it is very for the possible for the Warriors to compete with the 72 -wins Bulls.

Golden State could contest 72-10 and possibly go past it, if they continue their formula of last season of protecting their home floor, when they only lost twice at the Oracle Arena.

Also they will have to stay as dominant as the Bulls were on in 1995-96. Chicago was able to remain on top by winning in great spurts that included two ten-plus win streaks and one that went for 18 straight. The Bulls were able win at least five games in a row before losing a game and only lost two consecutive game once during the 95-96 season.

The Warriors will have to clean up their 28–13 road record from last season where they fell to inferior teams like the Lakers, Nets, Jazz and Suns while striving for the Bulls record.

But with their unstoppable style of basketball, Golden State has a good chance. The Warriors move the ball constantly at their 4th ranked pace at 99.3 , which seven points faster than the 95-96 Bulls, even more than their league leading pace last season.

To defeat Golden State you nearly to have a perfect and keep it from prevent the contest from becoming a shootout as well. The Dubs are shooting over 40 percent from the field and behind the arc, while still holding teams to under 100 points a game while scoring nearly 115 per game.  Teams that have come close like Brooklyn, Toronto, Chicago and the Clippers, all had chances but the Warriors consistent efforts and style can erase leads quickly and expand them ever further as their +14.5 point differential shows.

Many think that they way for defeat Golden State is to take away Stephen Curry and his My Player like shooting off the dribble. But the Warriors can play without the moving with the ball in the reigning MVP’s hands. “Chef Curry” has completed 62 percent of his 71 shots from three when he is assisted.

The Warriors have many different ways of winning.  The emergence of Draymond Green makes Golden State scary with his ability to guard any player on the floor and remain effective on both sides is special. Green’s efficiency makes the Warriors so hard to beat as he is 7th in win shares and 8th in assist per game.

Golden State have shown how great they can be and have the opportunity to have the best start to a season at 15-0 on Sunday versus the Lakers and will have the world watching as they compete with history and their great season in 2014-15.