The Warriors lineup of death features some serious firepower. They have the GOAT shooter who happens to be a good passer, rebounder, and finisher around the rim in Steph Curry. At Shooting Guard they have (in my opinion) the second greatest shooter ever who is also a very good defender and can put the ball on the floor and get to the rack in Klay Thompson. They have a very athletic wing player and on ball defender on the wing in Andre Iguodala. They added the best perimeter scorer since Michael Jordan this off season in Kevin Durant. And to round out the lineup of death, Draymond Green is the most versatile defender in the league, a really good rebounder and an exceptional passer for his position/size. In my opinion to be able to defend this lineup with any success you will have to have at least 2 good-great perimeter defenders and a very solid rim protector. I know the Cavs beat the Warriors last season but the Warriors didn’t feature Kevin Durant. I will try to make the best team, man for man that can match up or beat this years Warriors squad. My team will not feature the prototypical PG-SG-SF-PF-C lineup.
Kyrie Irving is one of the more obvious choices because of his ’16 finals performance. But I’ll be going with… uh, Kyrie Irving. There aren’t too many players in the league that can stay with Kyrie 1v1 because of his quickness and ball handling ability. Without any decent rim protection in the Warriors lineup, Irving will feast at the rim. Kyrie isn’t an ideal defender but I couldn’t ignore his offensive abilities.
I’m going to go with a 3/D guy right here. Somebody who can guard multiple positions and is a knockdown shooter. That player is Danny Green. Green is a truly underrated defender and that is most likely because his teammate Kawhi Leonard takes all the shine (deservedly so) on the defensive end. Danny is also a marksman. Shooting 40% from three for his entire career. He will get tons of open looks with the lineup I am creating and he can defend at a high level.
Seriously… This one is obvious. LeBron James is my small forward. He fits in any lineup anywhere, no matter who’s around him. The best player in the world will have a absolute field day in the paint. With no rim protection who is going to stop James from attacking the basket. With Irving and Green as two outstanding shooters, the Warriors defenders cannot help or it will be a 3 point barrage all game long for my team. LeBron can also guard 1-5 on GSW. Not saying he will “lock” anybody up, but he is talented enough a defender to make solid switches and stay in front/contest.
I’ve went position for position so far. But I’m going different for my power forward spot. Going with another Spur… Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is an amazing defender. He can literally guard everybody on the other team. Switching will be no problem for him. On the offensive end he can create for himself and he is also a great spot up shooter. Kawhi shot 45% from 3 and 46% on catch and shoot 3s.
My center needs to be able to be a good rim protector and mobile enough to at least do a moderate job on switches from those GSW PnRs (pick and rolls). More than likely he will have the assignment of guarding Draymond Green. So, he will also need to be able to stay in front of Green and get out to contest his three point attempts. Offensively he doesn’t have to do anything more than catch lobs and finish around the rim. With that being said, I’ll take Serge Ibaka. Serge is one of the more mobile bigs in the league and he is an outstanding rim protector. He struggled with his shot a lot in the 15-16 season but I’m not worried about that because his shots will be even more wide open with this team. I took the “hack-a-shaq” rule into account as well. Serge is a 74% FT shooter for his career so that takes care of that problem.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green versus Kyrie Irving, Danny Green, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Serge Ibaka… Who wins?