The NBA has changed a great deal over the last 10 or 15 years. That change is undeniable, and it’s why a guard-heavy, jump-shooting team like Golden State has dominated the league for three consecutive seasons.
So if you’re constructing a team to combat the Warriors, there’s no denying what you need.
“In all honesty, I’d start with guard play,” former Warriors executive Larry Riley said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “We believed for quite a while in the organization that I was in and different places where I coached that if you have good guards, you’re going to have a chance to win games and you’re not going to look bad.”
Note that Riley said good guards. Not solid guards. Not okay guards. But good guards.
“Mediocrity at the guard position, that’s not what we’re talking about,” Riley said. “But I would start right there. The first thing I would do is try to come up with a couple of good guards, and then I would start adding to it, and there’s no question I would add shooters every chance that I had. It would be ideal if you could find a player that can rebound and stretch the floor and make shots. It’s really the way the game has gone right now.”
Strong guards, a strech-4, maybe two – that’s how you beat Golden State.
“The last piece I would add, frankly, would be a center,” Riley said. “You’re in a position where you could play several minutes without a center in the game as it’s structured today.”