The Golden State Warriors are NBA champs for the second time in three years after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the 2017 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant was Finals MVP and scored over 30 points in every game of the Finals.
- DJ Allen (@DJAllen23)
- Alec Walt (@AlecWalt)
- Felix John-Baptiste (@Twosmooth2)
- Martin Soaries (@Marsoaries)
1. How convinced are you that we just witnessed the beginning of a Warriors dynasty?
Allen: Honestly, I thought we saw the beginning of a dynasty over the past two seasons but with the signing of Kevin Durant, I think it just elevated it a notch. I do believe the Warriors will be deep in the playoffs for years to come, granted they remain healthy and all stay together.
Walt: We just witnessed the start of a dynasty. The Golden State Warriors broke the regular season wins record and signed Kevin Durant an offseason later. The Warriors already have two NBA Championships and are in a position to win more.
John-Baptiste: Yes and no. No for two reasons. The first being that the original iteration of the Warriors had dynasty potential without KD. Secondly, I’m looking at the cap room this summer and when Klay and Draymond’s contracts are up soon. However, this version of the Dubs can easily rip off another 2 finals appearances. LETHAL!
Soaries: I’m pretty convinced given they just beat the best team by far in the East soundly in five games. I definitely expect this to put a lot more pressure on other stars to consider their situations, but it won’t be an overnight fix to put a team together than can counter what’s in Golden State now. They could just be getting started.
2. State your stance on the whole super team conversation and how you feel about Durant winning his first ring with this team.
Allen: I’m happy for Durant. He’s one of the best players in this league and its great to see him win a championship. I’m not opposed to the super team thing because I think it’s great for basketball and great for the NBA. We got to witness beautiful basketball and it’s going to be fun to see what other players and teams try to put together to combat the Warriors firepower.
Walt: I am happy for Kevin Durant. Last offseason he told the world he was going to sign with the team that gave him the best opportunity to win a championship. He chose the Warriors and won a championship. The rising NBA salary cap allows for super teams to form. If teams can manage the cap, I have no problem with these teams forming.
John-Baptiste: I’m 50/50 on this Durant thing. I’m glad he got what he chased. But deep down I will never give him full credit for joining a 73-win monster with 2 running Finals appearances. How can he “take them over the top”? Because their previous opponent was mere minutes better than them? C’mon man. That’s front running. On the other hand, for every super team, there’s an opposing superteam. And that’s how it should be. Fight fire with fire.
Soaries: We can’t constantly criticize players about their desire to win and then get upset when they put themselves in the best position to do so. In that regard, LeBron James himself did the same exact thing in 2011. And just like LeBron, Durant still had to earn this. He still had to go out and take it — from LeBron, no less. It might have looked like it was easy at times, but he still had to outperform the best player in the world in the biggest moments on the biggest stage in order to win this title.
All that said, if the two best players in the world are both on super teams, let’s get some more super teams so the regular season doesn’t become amazingly irrelevant.
3. What’s next for LeBron and the Cavs?
Allen: What’s next for the Cavaliers is to find a superstar. Golden State is going to be around for a while so now they have to find another piece to try and take down the juggernaut of Golden State.
Walt: What’s next for the Cavaliers is to find a second versatile forward to play alongside LeBron James. Kevin Love was nonexistent in Game 5, so shopping him for that second star forward puts the Cavaliers in a great position to dethrone the Warriors. The Warriors dominant pick and roll crushed the Cavaliers. If they can play a more position-less game, the 2018 NBA Finals will go seven games.
John-Baptiste: One huge move. Bring in another All-Star caliber player who can create offense. We’ve seen time and time again that when LeBron goes to the bench it’s the Kyrie ISO show. If the Cavs can get another playmaker it tremendously increases their odds. With three playmakers on the floor, the defense will continue to guess which direction the offense is attacking from (Re: Golden State Warriors).
Soaries: Do your best to make tweaks without compromising the fact that you’re still a very good basketball team. Adding another star seems to be the popular answer, but that’s not fully feasible. I’m not sure if trading Kevin Love will finally become a legitimate thing for the Cavs now, but I think you can make more subtle additions to help you against Golden State. In fact, you might need to see if you can trade Tristan Thompson. Get some younger guards and wings who can keep up, defend, and make plays off the dribble. LeBron’s outcry for another playmaker all season was warranted.
4. From a basketball perspective, what did you take away from the 2017 NBA Finals?
Allen: I took away the very obvious thing of this team is very good and I’m curious to see how long it will last. The guys have made it seem like they want to stick around and even Kevin Durant himself said he’s willing to take less money which gives the Warriors to re-sign their role players. They’ve put themselves in a very great position and I’m very curious to see what they make of it.
Walt: I took away no one in the NBA is close to the Cavaliers and Warriors. The NBA playoffs, including some Finals games, wasn’t even exciting. The Warriors only lost one game in the playoffs while the Cavaliers only lost one game before the finals. These super teams are the formula to win championships now.
John-Baptiste: 1st: Warriors. 2nd: Cavaliers. 3rd: The Field. We’re getting into the territory where teams may need to wait out contracts or hope teams age out of competition. These two teams are so far superior in their respective conferences that you can bet your money this trilogy will turn into a saga next season.
Soaries: The league has been driven into an insane level of offensive emphasis. One of these teams scored at least 110 points in every game of the Finals. The Warriors are a great team because they play both sides of the ball, but don’t get it twisted, this Finals took the notion of high-powered offense to new heights in the NBA. If you can’t match the playmaking of Golden State’s core four, you’re just not able to compete.
5. Are the Warriors the best team you’ve ever seen?
Allen: I believe they might be the best team I’ve ever seen in my 25 years of age. The firepower of Curry and Durant combined with Klay Thompson and the versatility of Draymond Green is powerful. And then they have guys that come off the bench who know their roles and play them well. Steve Kerr has implemented a superb system that makes them hard to defend and highlights their talents greatly. They have three of the best shooters in the NBA… I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like it before.
Walt: This Warriors team is the best team I have ever seen. I have never seen a better offensive duo than Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. When they play alongside Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, they have the versatility and firepower to beat any team. Golden State is the formula on how to win championships. Other general managers need to take notes.
John-Baptiste: Historic offense. Elite defense. 4 future Hall-of-Famers. 3 of the top 10 shooters of all time. Perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. 2 former MVPs. The greatest assembly of ball-handling playmakers and shooting I’ve ever witnessed anywhere. Amazing. Best team of all time in my opinion.
Soaries: Circling back to the last question, I’ve definitely never seen a core four with this kind of firepower before.