There is no doubt that Charles Barkley is one of the greatest NBA players in history. As much as I loved watching the Round Mound of Rebound play, I cringe equally at some of his takes since he became an analyst for TNT.
Barkley has criticized the Dubs’ brand of basketball, and traded verbal jabs with forward Draymond Green on multiple occasions.
One thing Barkley can’t hate on is the fact that Golden State claimed three championships over a five-year span. Although the Warriors used the 2019-20 season as a gap-year, many are expecting them to be back in the title picture when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are back healthy for the start of the 2020-21 season.
But, Barkley isn’t sold on the Dubs being back among the NBA’s elite. He spoke conference call for the American Century Championship (h/t NBC Bay Area):
“The Warriors, it depends on what they do going forward. Obviously, they are going to have a lottery pick. They are going to have a good team. Any time you got Klay and Steph you’re going to have a good team. I mean they are the two greatest shooters who ever lived. They are not going to be the same team they used to be because other teams have gotten a lot better. I mean, listen, the Lakers and the Clippers are not going anywhere, the Nuggets got a good solid team. The Lakers and the Clippers are the two teams to beat, not just this year but going forward. As far as the Warriors, man they are going to be competitive because of Klay and Steph. Draymond is a good little player. But the rest of the stuff is out. The rest of the jewelry is out on the rest of that team.”
Sure, some of the other Western Conference teams are better than they were during Golden State’s run, but are they head-and-shoulders above a healthy Warriors squad? General manager Bob Myers has the ammunition to add valuable piece around Curry, Thompson and Green. If he can bring in two-to-three solid contributors, I would give the Dubs a great chance to beat any of the L.A. teams in a seven-game series. The Lakers have two superstar players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it’s not like they’re loaded with talent on the rest of the roster. If Myers can add a piece like John Collins, or Aaron Gordon, the Dubs would have the edge in overall depth.
The Clippers are the deepest team in the conference. They have proven veterans at every position, and their bench gives head coach Doc Rivers plenty of options in terms of rotations. Still, the core of Warriors have proven they can get it done, something the Clippers haven’t yet. It’s almost as if people are forgetting about just how great Golden State was just a year ago. Sure, Kevin Durant is gone, but that doesn’t take away from the capabilities of Curry, Green, and Thompson.
As for the Denver Nuggets, let’s just wait until they qualify for a conference finals before we consider them a legitimate threat to a team with championship DNA.
On to some links:
No one knows what the Warriors will do with their first-round pick, but there are some intriguing prospects available. Green is keeping an eye on the available players, and thinks one of the big men is a good fit with the Dubs. (247Sports)
Golden State will need some help on the defensive end if it wants to compete for a championship next season. Fansided’s Tony Pesta looks at which wing defenders the Warriors can target in the offseason.