The Golden State Warriors have properly established themselves as deep team, and possibly one of the contenders heading into the 2013-2014 season.
With the acquisitions of Andre Iguodala, Toney Douglas, Jermaine O’Neal, and Marreese Speights, the Warriors have safety coming off the bench, and one of the best starting lineups in all of the NBA.
They may not be comparable to the Miami Heat quite yet, but if they do make the playoffs, they have a good shot at getting to the Finals.
There’s nowhere to go but up at this point for the Warriors. The losses of Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack hurt, but the Warriors are a resilient team with a great coach and an All-Star lineup. They know what they’re doing in terms of winning basketball games.
So how do they match up with the NBA’s best?
1. Stephen Curry vs Mario Chalmers:
Well. This is a tough decision (Obviously I’m kidding about that).
The Heat have had success, not because Chalmers has been a great facilitator, but because they have the ball in Lebron James’ hand most of the time. He controls the offense, forcing Chalmers to play a position similar to that of a two-guard. He’s a great shooter and can handle when he needs to, but he isn’t better than Curry.
Curry is insane, and I mean that in the best way possible. He shoots maybe eleven 3-point shots on a night that he’s hot, and he could make up to nine of them. He already broke the record for most 3-point makes in the regular season with 272. He can score off the dribble and drive the basketball. He is the Warriors’ star.
Winner: Stephen Curry
2. Klay Thompson vs Dwyane Wade:
This is another easy decision. Thompson is one of the rising stars in the NBA, currently enjoying himself at the USA camp in Las Vegas. He’s a terrific shooter, and finished third in the NBA in that category, despite having to share the wing with his teammate Curry.
He can penetrate to the basket when he needs to, and he’s a phenomenal perimeter defender. Based on every indication, this guy’s is going to be a star.
He’s not quite there yet, however.
Wade, on the other hand, has been an All-Star for almost his whole career. He lead the Heat to a title in 2006, and has been the sidekick in 2012 and 2013. He’s unstoppable. He may be on the decline this next year, but he’s still going to be more of a force than Thompson.
Winner: Dwyane Wade
3. Andre Iguodala vs LeBron James:
To be honest here, it’s going to be hard to win matchups against the two-time defending NBA champions.
LeBron is obviously the biggest reason behind the Heat’s continual success. Sure, he’s going to be a free agent in 2014, but he’s the best player in the universe right now, and he doesn’t seem to be on the decline at all. His best years could still be ahead of him, for all we know. He’s a great rebounder, scorer, facilitator, and defender.
Iguodala can do everything that LeBron can do, but just not as well. He’s a good rebounder, scorer, facilitator, and defender. He was an All-Star once, but doesn’t play like one every season. However, he is the ideal guy that every team wants.
He’s the sidekick in most cases, and the second best player on the team overall. In other words, Iggy isn’t a face-of-the-franchise type player.
Winner: LeBron James
4. David Lee vs Shane Battier:
In this matchup, Battier isn’t truly a power forward, but he still guards David Lee. Battier is one of the better defenders in the league, and can hit the 3-ball from the corner without any worries. He is a solid contributor, but come on, there’s no way he can beat out an All-Star like Lee.
Lee is a great rebounder, has a good stroke, and is mentally tough. He doesn’t back down from a difficult matchup. When he’s not shooting the ball well, he still gives you something with rebounding and assisting.
Winner: David Lee
5. Andrew Bogut vs Chris Bosh:
This is another interesting matchup because Chris Bosh is truly a power forward. Unfortunately for him, Andrew Bogut is a big Aussie who is tough, a good rebounder, a good defender, and has passing skills.
The thing about Bogut, however, is his inconsistency, and he doesn’t take enough risks. With the idea that he’s injury prone in mind, one could hardly blame him.
Still, Bosh shoots too many 3-pointers and if he catches Bogut on one of his good days, then he’s going to be in for a frustrating and long night.