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I always like to see NBA topics discussed on here.

Golden State historically great? Not yet. They may be by the end of their run. They are a very very young championship team. This team would be akin to an 81 Celtics squad or 91 Bulls. You don't really know what you have yet. Just my personal view I would not rank this years team as one of the 20 best NBA teams. They may be a couple years down the road. The best teams I have seen in my fandom are 86 Celtics, 01 Lakers, 96 Bulls, & 89 Pistons. Warriors aren't close to them, yet.

Golden State played small in this series but they do have bigs. Bogut is an elite defender in the league. A top 10 defensive center easily. Lee is another post guy, more offensive though who is just two off an All NBA team. Warriors are not bereft of inside players. NBA teams don't really have traditional front lines anymore. Sure an old Celtics team would still mop up current teams but those second tier teams in the 80s, they would have a hard time playing against many current teams running out frontlines of 6'9, 6'10, 7 footers in which none of them could play on the perimeter.

The NBA is very watered down now, competition levels are different and it is only fair to judge against their peers in season. Could the Warriors beat the 86 Celtics on the court? No, but were they better than their competition? Maybe so. I can't believe the 14 Spurs are ranked so high on that list.

Just like the Billikens tons of what ifs in the NBA. This Warriors squad, really without a transcendent star, although Curry is close but I believe more akin to Isiah Thomas as in not quite a pantheon player, really hasn't had to test themselves or go through multiple playoff runs of failure like teams in the past did. They just catapulted to the top, from being 8 seed to champs. The Spurs should have met them in the Conference finals but they made one error, keeping Diaw a second year, and ran into a flawed Clippers team who matched up well against them. Also had James Harden taken a little less money and agreed to a contract with OKC they would be looking at probably their 3rd straight title and be looked at as an all time great team and this Warriors bunch wouldn't have made as much of a blip.

I've read a couple interesting takes on Lebron as well lately and I share their sentiments. I could see him making 4 or 5 more finals before his career is over. I could also see him not winning another title and making all those finals. He fits the new NBA perfectly. He's a blend of Bird & Johnson, a do everything player yet he has that Alpha dog mentality of Kobe, Shaq, and Wilt. He's not Jordan certainly, he's different. He is in some ways more selfish. He doesn't need a supporting cast for him to win, he's that great. Even Jordan needed help. But Lebron doesn't make teammates better. He doesn't need to. He dominates so much that even incredible players get lost in the shuffle, like Bosh, or they get pissed and quit on him like Love did. Lebron's perfect partner is a Irving, or Wade, or a Russell Westbrook, another player who by their sheer will is going to get their shots and points no matter what. If you don't have that mentality you are going to become a spot up shooter playing with Lebron, almost no matter how good you are. Lebron can play like this way and still win nowadays. If Lebron played in the 80s like this, he would be a better version of Dominique, and get about as far as he got in the playoffs.

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I think the talent is actually better in the league now than 25+ years ago. First, the U.S. talent pool is much larger. The country has 100 million plus more people. Second, there is a global talent pool now to draw from.

Add in better training, diet, film study, personal coaches, better prepared coaching staffs, analytical scouting, etc........

The talent in the league today is light years ahead of the good old days. Teams today would blow those teams off the court.

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The thing is, if Lebron was forced to run a Spurs-style offense he would still average nearly 25 ppg. He would get easier shots. But it would require him to commit to his post offense, like he did the last couple of years in Miami. He clearly is more comfortable dominating the ball, putting his head down and barreling in from 25 feet away. Hard to get anything but spot up jumpers for teammates that way. Hardly any pick and roll action. Playing with another ball dominant perimeter player in Irving only compounds the problem.

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I think the talent is actually better in the league now than 25+ years ago. First, the U.S. talent pool is much larger. The country has 100 million plus more people. Second, there is a global talent pool now to draw from.

Add in better training, diet, film study, personal coaches, better prepared coaching staffs, analytical scouting, etc........

The talent in the league today is light years ahead of the good old days. Teams today would blow those teams off the court.

Which explains why the ancient Spurs with a bunch of guys who can't jump win 60 games every year.

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Which explains why the ancient Spurs with a bunch of guys who can't jump win 60 games every year.

Half the Spurs roster would have never played in the U.S. 25 years ago because of where they were born. The Spurs help make my point.

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And less than stalwart athletes like Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw, Marco Bellini an almost 40 year old Tim Duncan and a long past his prime Ginobli make my point.

. how do they make your point? Talent is more than just athletic ability. They are talents that would have never gotten a chance in the NBA 25 years ago except for Duncan. Even then colleges and the NBA would search the world for bigs.

The point is the talent pool is much bigger right now and 25 years from now it will be much bigger than today. Bigger talrent pool means more top players.

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. how do they make your point? Talent is more than just athletic ability. They are talents that would have never gotten a chance in the NBA 25 years ago except for Duncan. Even then colleges and the NBA would search the world for bigs.

The point is the talent pool is much bigger right now and 25 years from now it will be much bigger than today. Bigger talrent pool means more top players.

So, with this expanded pool, the top 10 players in the league now are better than the top 10 players 25 years ago? The top 10 players of that era are among the top 25 of all time.

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American talent may be just as rich as it was 30 years ago. But there are more teams.

Honestly I don't think the foreigners have added that much to the game. There have been a few all star caliber players and Nowitzki, a top 25 talent. But in the last several years the foreign talent pool has shrunk. I'm still waiting for a first team all NBA not named Dirk. It has been a long time since a foreign difference maker appeared in the league.

Talent has ebbs and flows. I don't think we are currently at a high point, but it isn't 1979 or 2000 either.

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I think, for the most part, the elite of any era could be elite in any other era. I think the big difference comes when you move past those players.

I think when you rank players or teams, you should rank them on how they compared to their peers of their era. While I think the Warriors would blow the golden era Celtics off the court, I wouldn't rank Warriors as a better team in a ranking of the greatest teams ever.

I would rather watch mid eighties to nineties NBA basketball than the product today. I think it was more entertaining. That said, I think today's teams are better for the reasons I stated earlier.

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This Cleveland team isn't even a top 100 team of all time. Golden State may be a great team someday but they didn't prove it by taking 6 games to dispatch this motley crew.

So true.
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I think the talent is actually better in the league now than 25+ years ago. First, the U.S. talent pool is much larger. The country has 100 million plus more people. Second, there is a global talent pool now to draw from.

Add in better training, diet, film study, personal coaches, better prepared coaching staffs, analytical scouting, etc........

The talent in the league today is light years ahead of the good old days. Teams today would blow those teams off the court.

There are a lot of players in the league now who should be juniors or seniors in college. Russell, Robertson, Magic, Bird and West did not play against players who should have still been in college. The league is very watered down. To say the league is light years ahead of the leagues of the past is foolish, imo.

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http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-best-nba-teams-of-all-time-according-to-elo/

But it’s also hard to say the NBA is watered down, at least right now. In fact, it’s barely expanded in recent years, adding just one franchise since 1995. That makes recent teams’ performances more impressive than those from, for example, the early 1970s, when the NBA almost doubled in size over a few seasons. When Elo ranks a team higher or lower than you might expect intuitively, it’s usually because it perceives the team’s competition to be especially strong or especially weak.

Some teams, meanwhile, do their damage over the long run instead of having any one standout season. The best team from the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s ranks only 47th all-time. But the Celtics of that era were incredibly consistent, with a composite Elo rating falling somewhere between 1627 and 1704 over 11 consecutive seasons. The San Antonio Spurs, meanwhile, have placed 13 teams in the all-time top 100 since 1994-95, but their highest-ranked individual season (2013-14) is only 12th.

And what about this season’s Warriors ranking as the fourth-best team of all time? Obviously, that’s a provisional score: They may rise or fall a couple of slots depending on how the rest of the playoffs go (although they almost certainly won’t pull ahead of the 1995-96 Bulls). But even though the conventional wisdom has been skeptical about the Warriors at times, we think Elo’s case is pretty easy to defend.

Here’s how it goes. As we’ve said, Elo is all about accounting for the strength of a team’s competition, and the Western Conference over the past dozen or so years has featured about the toughest basketball competition imaginable. The Warriors’ 67-15 regular-season record is as good as any other Western Conference team from this era, and their regular-season point differential (+10.2 points per game) is better than anyone else’s. If they follow that up with a title, there really won’t be much to find fault with. Whether they’re a one-year wonder or will prove to be a perennial contender is another question, of course. We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the interactive and tracking their progress.

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And less than stalwart athletes like Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw, Marco Bellini an almost 40 year old Tim Duncan and a long past his prime Ginobli make my point.

Don't forget to add into the equation the extremely underrated Gregg "Pop" Popovich, who is the only active coach among the top 10 coaches of all-time, unless the Zen Master comes back. As the sun set on the dynasty Bulls run, it was San Antonio that rose from those years to stake a claim to its own dynasty, winning in 99, 03,05,07 and 14.

The San Antonio Spurs and the LaRussa-era Cardinals won with talent that extended beyond the playing field, with a studious coaching staff, outstanding player personnel and development and a scouting bureau that put them in an elite class. They had their All-Stars, for sure, but they also had a stack of role players that could be called upon to deliver in the clutch. Plus they had stalwart and sturdy ownership at the helm.

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As for the alleged better "talent": all I want to point out is, that the athletic prowess is clearly improved; and guys like Lebron, or Kevin Durant, were non-existent 20-30 years ago -- athletically. If by "talent" you mean athletic ability, period, then yes. Lebron could be the greatest receiver in NFL history, I think, just to give one example.

But the falling away of fundamental skills has been very well documented. In other words, I will grant that there is much more athletic "talent," but I am highly dubious about saying the fundamental skills are better. In fact it is the opposite: and in addition, I also do not think court IQ is improved. In my observation, most players today are fairly brain-dead about playing on a team. All you have to do is watch the way pick up games go -- to notice how poorly players today actually play with other players -- it is just pi$$ poor, and a reflection of deteriorated court sense and team play. Team defense, switching, screening, give and go's, pick and rolls -- most of the guys down playing pick up in Simon never heard of that stuff, and this lack of fundamental court vision and sense is reflected in the highly self-centered, narcissistic version of basketball that top-10 highlights on ESPN and the 24 second clock have inspired.

I will also admit that Golden State is. more or less, an outlier in this description: it does play well (at times) as a TEAM -- and in particular I would say San Antonio did that too, in their prime -- but a lot of NBA teams over the past 10-15 years have been filled with magnificent athletic specimens who were not all that tremendous as team basketball players. I really think this is a valid point, and I apologize to all the young 'uns who think it is unnecessarily curmudgeonly.

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As for the alleged better "talent": all I want to point out is, that the athletic prowess is clearly improved; and guys like Lebron, or Kevin Durant, were non-existent 20-30 years ago -- athletically. If by "talent" you mean athletic ability, period, then yes. Lebron could be the greatest receiver in NFL history, I think, just to give one example.

But the falling away of fundamental skills has been very well documented. In other words, I will grant that there is much more athletic "talent," but I am highly dubious about saying the fundamental skills are better. In fact it is the opposite: and in addition, I also do not think court IQ is improved. In my observation, most players today are fairly brain-dead about playing on a team. All you have to do is watch the way pick up games go -- to notice how poorly players today actually play with other players -- it is just pi$$ poor, and a reflection of deteriorated court sense and team play. Team defense, switching, screening, give and go's, pick and rolls -- most of the guys down playing pick up in Simon never heard of that stuff, and this lack of fundamental court vision and sense is reflected in the highly self-centered, narcissistic version of basketball that top-10 highlights on ESPN and the 24 second clock have inspired.

I will also admit that Golden State is. more or less, an outlier in this description: it does play well (at times) as a TEAM -- and in particular I would say San Antonio did that too, in their prime -- but a lot of NBA teams over the past 10-15 years have been filled with magnificent athletic specimens who were not all that tremendous as team basketball players. I really think this is a valid point, and I apologize to all the young 'uns who think it is unnecessarily curmudgeonly.

This kind of stufff cracks me up because it is exactly what was said by old people 25 years ago. It is almost word for word the same. That generation was called the Sports Center generation. It was the first generation that grew up watching Sports Center and all the geezers claimed that all the guys playing in the league only cared about getting their highlight on Sports Center.

I don't know where you are trying to go with what the 24 second clock has done to the game. The 24 second clock has been around since the 1954-55 season. That is 60 years. You would have to be over 80 to have ever played in a NBA game without the shot clock.

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This kind of stufff cracks me up because it is exactly what was said by old people 25 years ago. It is almost word for word the same. That generation was called the Sports Center generation. It was the first generation that grew up watching Sports Center and all the geezers claimed that all the guys playing in the league only cared about getting their highlight on Sports Center.

I don't know where you are trying to go with what the 24 second clock has done to the game. The 24 second clock has been around since the 1954-55 season. That is 60 years. You would have to be over 80 to have ever played in a NBA game without the shot clock.

I think Easy Ed was better than the current generation because he played a few years before the shot clock.

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As for the alleged better "talent": all I want to point out is, that the athletic prowess is clearly improved; and guys like Lebron, or Kevin Durant, were non-existent 20-30 years ago -- athletically. If by "talent" you mean athletic ability, period, then yes. Lebron could be the greatest receiver in NFL history, I think, just to give one example.

But the falling away of fundamental skills has been very well documented. In other words, I will grant that there is much more athletic "talent," but I am highly dubious about saying the fundamental skills are better. In fact it is the opposite: and in addition, I also do not think court IQ is improved. In my observation, most players today are fairly brain-dead about playing on a team. All you have to do is watch the way pick up games go -- to notice how poorly players today actually play with other players -- it is just pi$$ poor, and a reflection of deteriorated court sense and team play. Team defense, switching, screening, give and go's, pick and rolls -- most of the guys down playing pick up in Simon never heard of that stuff, and this lack of fundamental court vision and sense is reflected in the highly self-centered, narcissistic version of basketball that top-10 highlights on ESPN and the 24 second clock have inspired.

I will also admit that Golden State is. more or less, an outlier in this description: it does play well (at times) as a TEAM -- and in particular I would say San Antonio did that too, in their prime -- but a lot of NBA teams over the past 10-15 years have been filled with magnificent athletic specimens who were not all that tremendous as team basketball players. I really think this is a valid point, and I apologize to all the young 'uns who think it is unnecessarily curmudgeonly.

To piggyback on your point, I've never seen this many athletically gifted players shooting under 40% from the floor in my life. What's the point of being 6'8 or having a 40 inch vertical if you're shooting 6 for 22 a dozen times a year? The shot selection is painful to watch sometimes.

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The Warriors certainly benefited from not having to play either the Spurs and Clippers (that Spurs/Clippers first round series was a Finals caliber duel), not to mention drawing an injury decimated Cavs in the finals.

That said, they earned top seed in the loaded Western Conference by finishing ELEVEN games ahead of the pack - and never faced elimination on their way to winning the title - playing a team style that emphasizes defense and passing.

What else do you want from them?

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Golden State historically great? Not yet. They may be by the end of their run. They are a very very young championship team. This team would be akin to an 81 Celtics squad or 91 Bulls. You don't really know what you have yet. Just my personal view I would not rank this years team as one of the 20 best NBA teams. They may be a couple years down the road. The best teams I have seen in my fandom are 86 Celtics, 01 Lakers, 96 Bulls, & 89 Pistons. Warriors aren't close to them, yet.

Golden State played small in this series but they do have bigs. Bogut is an elite defender in the league. A top 10 defensive center easily. Lee is another post guy, more offensive though who is just two off an All NBA team. Warriors are not bereft of inside players. NBA teams don't really have traditional front lines anymore. Sure an old Celtics team would still mop up current teams but those second tier teams in the 80s, they would have a hard time playing against many current teams running out frontlines of 6'9, 6'10, 7 footers in which none of them could play on the perimeter.

On your first point, I agree. I also think that if this team had a bonafide top 50 player of all time, it would be looked at a lot differently. Playing in Oakland certainly doesn't help the "eye test" thing either.

On your second, I'd also put Draymond Green as an elite big. That guy is one of the best defenders in the entire league, regardless of position.

If the Warriors title is just a one off, this team won't be discussed amongst the greats. If they win a couple more over the next 5 or 6 seasons, they will be.

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FG% this year across the board was 44.9%. Which is just about average for any NBA season historically. Effective FG% was 49.6% which is the 11th best season ever. The effective FG% in 13-14 was 50.1% was tied for the best ever. People's eyes are lying to them.

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I can't name quite a few top players shooting under 44.9%.

I thought we were talking about the level of play overall in the league.

We can find tons of star players over the years that shot under 44.9% for their career. I will start the list with NBA HOFer and consensus top 20 player ever John Havlicek at 43.9%.

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