The Warriors continue to amaze the basketball world this season. First, they started their campaign in record-breaking fashion by winning their first 24 games; a record originally set at 15 by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
Then, the quest for 73 wins in a regular season was accomplished after a 125-104 route versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, they're back at it, setting a record for the largest point differential in the first two games of an NBA Finals series, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by a combined 48 points.
All this hype has continued to draw comparisons between this team and the legendary 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Listed below are five reasons this Warriors team could beat that Bulls team from 20 years ago.
1. The 3-point game
As if this reason wasn't obvious enough, the Golden State Warriors currently have the best shooter of all-time on their roster complimented by arguably the second-best shooter in the league in Klay Thompson. It's a little known fact that Thompson now has the third most 3-pointers made in a single season this year with 276 (the full list can be found here).
He, however, has been overlooked by the shooting-phenom that is Stephen Curry. In contrast, the 95-96 Bulls only took 20 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, which was 1 foot and 9 inches shorter than the current length it sits at now which is 23 feet. With this being the case, the Warriors would simply generate more points than the Bulls, which is one contributing factor to attest to the fact that in a seven-game series, the Warriors would come out on top.
2. Steph Curry
Not only is his shooting ability magical, but Steph sees the court like no one else in the game, which adds to his great passing ability. Constantly, he is either finding open teammates or creating an open spot on the floor to get off that quick shot of his.
His dribbling is also far superior to anyone currently in the league, and his defense is vastly underrated. Curry also can shoot further beyond the arc at a consistent rate more than anyone in the game. To (attempt to) succesfully guard Curry, the Bulls would have to play air-tight defense against him as soon as he crosses half court. Just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder.
3. Michael Jordan
Now let's look at the leader of the '96 Bulls. In this series, it's not radical to think that Curry could come out the victor because of a variety of factors.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that Curry>Jordan. Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all-time at the moment; until Curry can come along and add six championships to his resume, there shouldn't even be a conversation about that.
However, it may be easier to shut down Jordan than it is Curry (see Jordan Rules, Detroit Pistons of the '80s). Additionally, Steve Kerr knows Jordan and Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense well and is aware of its downfalls. With this being the case, Kerr could easily put his team in position to shut down Chicago's O.
In Game 1 of this year's NBA Finals, the Warriors' two best players (Curry and Thompson) only put up 20 points, but the Dubs still pulled out the victory. This was thanks to bench players like Shaun Livingston, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, and Marreese Speights, who combined for 45 points compared to the Cavaliers' 10.
The 95-96 Bulls were a team made up of seven players essentially (Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, Longley, Kerr, Harper); maybe eight if you want to throw in Bill Wennington. The Warriors use all of their 15-man roster with the exception of a few players. The depth would wear the Bulls out and exhaust their primary players.
5. Nothing we've ever seen
The NBA is a different league now than it was a year ago, let alone 20 years ago. Players are more skilled and the teams have more talented players all around. That in itself is tough enough to cope with.
The Warriors also had a constant target on their back being the defending champions while going for a record-breaking season. The Warriors were getting their opponents' best night-in and night-out.
On top of this, they broke record after record dominating their opponents, more-so than the Bulls did 20 years ago. The Warriors are helping change the game of professional basketball and are staying on top of the basketball world because of it.
Plus if it really came down to it, I have the Warriors in 6.
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