There are few organizations that come together as one and leave you admiring their selfless devotion to a greater good. Voltron, the Wu-Tang Clan, Iditarod dogs and the Beatles come to mind. Let’s add the 2016 Golden State Warriors to that list.
Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals proved a core, no matter how rich in star power, is no match for a body of work. The Warriors have a plan, and it’s attack in a pack. Whether it’s rebounding, endless defensive switching, cutting to the lane, playing inside-out, it’s done as one entity.
Where the Warriors succeed is the same place the Cavs fail. Golden State doesn’t adhere to the “hot hand” theory, where if you have a star who is off, feed him the ball until he gets hot. If he’s hot, keep feeding him the ball. Essentially, if he’s a star, he’s either about to get hot or will continue to be hot. The end result is 1-3 players take most of the shots, for better or for worse.
Instead, the Warriors are in a constant state of confidence each player deserves a shot, regardless of heat checks or paychecks. As a group, Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, Andre Iguadola, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes might not reach 10 points collectively if they’re on the Cavs. On the Warriors, each can and did score in double digits in Game 1.
Has there been a team as deep and deeply committed to playing as a whole than the 2016 Golden State Warriors? Perhaps the 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers or 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs could out-strength in numbers these Warriors. Yet if this NBA Finals ends up with a banner in the soon-to-be vacated Roar-acle Arena, all signs point to the Warriors owning this crown.