When a team has success at any level, opponents will often step back and try to figure out why – in part because, well, it would be foolhardy not to.
But is there anything that NBA teams can take from the Warriors (56-6), who might go down as the greatest, most dominant team in NBA history?
“Everybody tries to do what the champion does – in all sports,” former NBA champion and All-Star Steve Smith said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “But it also comes down to what you have on your team. You got to coach your style, play your style, with the guys you have. You’re not going to be able to duplicate what the Warriors are doing right now. They’ve done a good job of acquiring these type of players. They have versatility – not only on the offensive end, but I think even more on the defensive end. People talk about Steph Curry’s points, but he’s rebounding the basketball and getting steals. Draymond Green is 6-7 and playing center. Andre Iguodala is a power forward. He’s 6-7. So I think (they have a lot of) versatility defensively, and nobody’s been able to take advantage of what they do on the offensive end.”
Curry, who scored 41 points and drilled seven threes in a 119-113 win over Orlando on Monday, also had 13 rebounds and four steals.
And yet, haters gonna hate. Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other former NBA greats have poked holes in the Warriors’ potentially historic success, essentially saying they wouldn’t be this good in previous eras.
Is that fair?
“Well, I think first of all, those guys like Oscar and Kareem, you listen because they’re legends,” Smith said. “They paved the way for all of us. I think also a lot of times we take sound bytes from those guys. Just listening to those guys, they were basically saying defenses have changed. A lot of rules have changed (that have allowed the Warriors) to be successful. I didn’t get easy layups when we played. It was a hard foul. So it’s changed. A guy got hot, you double-team, you triple-team, you devise a plan. So I think they were more talking about the style. But I also think everybody has their opinion. That’s why we’re in media. A guy who’s done it at that level, whether you agree or not agree, you listen to Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”