Building a Team That Could Beat the Warriors

Via The Ringer: The greatest regular-season team of all time just swapped out Harrison Barnes for Kevin Freaking Durant. It’s fair to say the Warriors now have two of the three best players in the NBA, which raises this question: Is it even possible to construct a team that can go toe-to-toe with the Dubs’ Super Death Lineup? Our staff took a crack at it. So that this isn’t complete anarchy, we placed a restriction: You have to pick your five-man rotation on a $15 budget.

Yesterday over on Simmons’ website, The Ringer, the staff came up with the idea to try and build a team (within a realistic budget) that could compete with the extinction level event that will be next season’s Warriors. You can see the entire player price list here so you can try and put together a team of your own. My first gut instinct lineup looked like this:

PG: John Wall $4
SG: Andrew Wiggins $3
F: Gordon Hayward $2
F: Paul George $4
C: Porzingis $2

My main thinking was that this team had enough length, size, and quickness at all positions on the floor to where they could switch pretty much everything on defense. Much like the Cavs did to the Warriors in the Finals. Obviously Porzingis winding up on Steph or Klay would be an issue but at the end of the day if they drive past him and get a 2 that’s better than them getting a good look at 3. The Cavs found a way to get the job done with Kevin Love playing the Porzingis role in this situation and while Love certainly has better lateral quickness then Kristaps I don’t think it’s a leaps and bounds difference. Plus Porzingis has a good 5 inches on Love and at least that much in length. What I’m saying is he’s at least a tough guy to shoot over.

So obviously wanting an informed opinion on whether or not my lineup would be effective in reality, I hopped on Twitter and shot it over to noted NBA gambler Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) who had been critiquing people’s different lineups throughout the night. And the answer on how Mr. Jersey’s team would do was:

bob.JPG

Yikes, RIP Mr. Jersey. Haralabob not pulling any punches there. But even with the professional opinion of a guy who got extremely rich betting NBA games and who obviously knows his shit I still wanted to know exactly how my lineup would fare in a game. That’s when I found whatifsports, which allowed me to create the Warriors super team and my own lineup and pit them against each other in a simulation. I set out to play a 7 game series and here’s how it went.

rosters.JPG

Game 1: Super Team 90 @ Warriors 102
game 1.JPG
Durant and Klay Thompson had 25 points each and the Warriors cruised to an opening game victory.

Game 2: Super Team 83 @ Warriors 93
Game 2.JPG
Game 2 of this series wound up being a low scoring affair but KD led the Warriors to a victory by scoring 20 points and gobbling 17 rebounds. My Super Team rolled a super turd on to the court and shot 37% as a team while chucking thirty-five 3’s.

Game 3: Warriors 102 @ Super Team 94
game 3.JPG
My Super Team was back on home court for game 3 but it did not help our cause. The Warriors had Steph, Klay, and KD all score 20 or more points and Steph had a great all around game adding 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Down 3-0 in the series and things are not looking good.

Game 4: Warriors 99 @ Super Team 104
game 4.JPG
Facing elimination in game 4 my Super Team sacked up and got themselves a win. We were led by 26 points from Paul George, 16 rebounds from Porzingis, and 13 assists from John Wall. Klay had a good game for the Warriors but having 21 turnovers came back to bite them in what was a close finish.

Game 5: Super Team 98 @ Warriors 80
game 5.JPG
Oh my, oh my. Don’t call it a comeback baby! The Super Team smacked the Warriors on their home court in game 5 to make the series 3-2. Again turnovers were the biggest factor in this game with the Warriors coughing the ball up 22 times. Also, KD for some reason only took 5 shots, missed them all, and only played 16 minutes. That isn’t going to happen to often. Doesn’t seem like the Super Team really deserved this win to be honest.

Game 6: Warriors 119 @ Super Team 88
game 6.JPG
Coming off an embarrassing loss at home the Warriors came out in game 6 and absolutely took it to my Super Team to win the series on the road. KD, Steph, and Klay all scored 20+ while the Warriors as a team shot 57% from 3pt range. They also only had 11 turnovers in this game while amassing 27 assists. This game here is what ever team in the NBA is going to be terrified of next season. The games where all of these guys are hot, the ball is whirring around the perimeter, and they are scoring 30+ a quarter are going to cause a lot of opposing coaches to lose a lot of sleep.

So there you have it. In the end Haralabob was right and my roster really couldn’t compete with next year’s Warriors. Put together a team of your own and then jump on whatifsports to see how they would fare. Let me know if you can find a lineup that can beat the Warriors in a 7 game series.

-Mr. Jersey
@blog30tweets
@De_Italiano

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