Former Philadelphia 76ers and current NBA analyst Charles Barkley does not see the Golden State Warriors dethroning the Cleveland Cavaliers despite the addition of Kevin Durant on their team. Will the Warriors prove him wrong in the upcoming season?
Charles Barkley is one of the few people who did not like the idea of Kevin Durant joining the 73-win Golden State Warriors. In the recent playoffs, Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder almost defeated the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Now that he joined their West rivals, no one can stop them from dominating the upcoming season.
However, Barkley said that the Warriors can’t win with their small-ball strategy, adding that “jump-shooting teams can’t win”.
“Man, let me tell y’all something,” Barkley said. “I know it’s hard for y’all to let it roll off your tongue and say, ‘Charles was right.’ When I told you they couldn’t play that little small ball and win a championship if everybody they played was healthy, they’d wear down, and they did. I told you Cleveland was going to beat them, and they did. … They have the same issues: Can that type of play hold up? The one year they won, they got lucky. Everyone they played was hurt.”
“I just believe in playing basketball the same way,” he added, echoing what he’s said before about the Dubs. “The game’s going to come down to defense and rebounding. And easy baskets down low, that’s just my philosophy. If they win, maybe next time they can go get LeBron, then they can win that way, and y’all can still think that analytics [expletive] works.”
At some point, what Charles Barkley is saying makes sense. When the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in 2015, two of their key players, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, were down due to injuries. However, the recent NBA Finals where the Cavaliers won their first NBA championship title proved that a healthy Cavs’ ‘Big Three’ was a huge problem for the Warriors.
In some of the games, the Warriors do not usually rely on their starters but also to their bench. However, they needed to make lots of sacrifices this offseason in order to make enough salary cap room for Kevin Durant. Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, and Marreese Speights were forced to join other NBA teams.
Despite the improvements in some NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still expected to face in the 2017 NBA Finals. This will prove if Charles Barkley’s prediction is right for the second time around.
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