Ultimate Warriors: How do you beat them?

johnmd20

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If anyone has heard the Simmons podcasts with Durant - and if you a sports fan, let alone NBA fan you should - you would know that the guy is pretty unique. Setting aside what he did via social media - mostly because it was a big nothingburger where nobody really got hurt - the guy has been a model NBA citizen. And in the Simmons podcasts, the guy comes off as very thoughtful, sincere and likable.
I took all his podcasts in the exact opposite way. I think he's so full of shit and one of the least self aware superstars in sports today. He is unique, I'll give you that, but he's neither sincere nor likable.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Turns out Iguodala was thisclose to leaving the Warriors this Summer.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20750344/andre-iguodala-was-verge-leaving-golden-state-warriors

Had he joined the Rockets, I'm not sure it would have closed the gap entirely, but I think it could have made things a lot more interesting. Last season, at age 32, the 2015 Finals MVP led the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (ahead of #2 Chris Paul and a bunch of little guys), put a ts% of .624, and dropped 20 in the Finals close-out game. Would have been a great complement to Harden, and a big missing piece in the Warriors death lineups.
 

queenb

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That's one of the most sincere-sounding apologies I've ever heard out of a professional athlete.
It's really not. The story here is that he referred to himself in the third person because he's been pretending to be other people while he defends himself on social media.

It's totally understandable to pose as a normal person and try to sway public opinion on his decision to leave the Thunder (which I defend). The solution to the problem of Thunder fans irrationally dismissing anything he has to say is to just pretend to be someone else and say it, and hope his point of view resonates. He owes them nothing, but cares enough about their frustration, or his image, or both, to mix it up online. Fine. Far be it from me or anyone on this board to discourage famous people from interacting with people anonymously on the internet. It's one of few ways they can blend in, interact with people outside their inner circle, feel normal, etc.

But this is something else. He regularly defends himself and his decision to leave the Thunder on his public social media accounts (and in the media), so what this reveals is that one reason he uses burner accounts is so he can talk shit about teammates and coaches without it being attributed to him. Since he didn't cop to using burner accounts, all this amounts to is a promise not to insult anyone from his public account, i.e, get caught again.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Another KD quip — in response to a YouTube commenter who said someone of his stature shouldn't worry so much about what people say — that I suspect his fans will find endearing and his critics will find annoying:

of my stature, I play basketball, I got acne, I grew up with nothing, in still figuring myself out in my late 20, I slide in DMs, I make fun of my friends, I drink beers and play Xbox. I’m closer to you than u think

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/09/kevin-durant-critics-haters-youtube-comments-twitter-account-warriors-nba
 

ElUno20

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I don't know why the world needs this constant barrage of KD stories but I wish they would stop. Dude you play basketball for a team that can't be beat. Just STFU already.

I don't care how down to earth you are or how much of a flawed superstar you try to portray. You joined a 73 win team you were up 3-1 on months prior, the people who've made up their mind on you aren't changing their minds because you play Xbox and have acne. Take a walk with all this pandering bullshit.
 

AMS25

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I don't know why the world needs this constant barrage of KD stories but I wish they would stop. Dude you play basketball for a team that can't be beat. Just STFU already.

I don't care how down to earth you are or how much of a flawed superstar you try to portray. You joined a 73 win team you were up 3-1 on months prior, the people who've made up their mind on you aren't changing their minds because you play Xbox and have acne. Take a walk with all this pandering bullshit.
It's a slow news cycle for NBA reporters; they have to write about something. But, yeah, it's not the best look for KD. Confirms the common suspicion that he's hypersensitive and can't just enjoy his current situation. LOL, Sam Ray Ban -- KD will still be figuring himself out in his early 30s, his mid-30s, his late-30s, etc.. I've heard that line before.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Well, I love him, even if his skin never clears up, he behaves like a thin-skinned adolescent on the internet, and he never figures himself out. :love:
 
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cheech13

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I don't like KD any more or any less due to this, but he comes off as insincere, thin-skinned, and immature. With a proper villain like Kobe I wanted him vanquished on the court in the most demoralizing way possible. For Durant I just want to stop hearing about him and his feelings about leaving OKC for the Warriors. The whole thing is just insufferable.
 

Kliq

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People are obviously looking for reasons to dislike the Warriors/hate them even more. For a juggernaut that rolls over the competition any small infraction is going to be blown out of proportion by fans of the 29 other teams. All Patriots fans know that. I don't really care what Durant says on Twitter; but he is taking that awkward victory lap that was mentioned above. By virtue of being Goliath, GS are always going to be villains and little things like Durant awkwardly using Twitter are going to be strikes against them for fans.

Part of this is that Durant has never come out and just said "I went to GS because I wanted to win a championship and playing with them gave me the best chance to do that." He's been beating around that bush for over a year now by offering a bunch of alternative reasons for going to GS, but for most people including myself, they know that the real reason even if Durant never admits it.

I don't have a problem with Durant going to GS; the move itself didn't make me think any less of him. My only qualm is that it made the playoffs dramatically less interesting, and as a non-GS fan that isn't very fun.
 

tbb345

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That's one of the most sincere-sounding apologies I've ever heard out of a professional athlete.
Did you watch the event where he said this or did you just read what was said? Because if you watched the video and came away with that impression then you must think all other athletes are completely full of shit.
It’s pretty obvious that Durant uses burner accounts on all social media platforms. I would also wager a lot of money that the only reason we got that extremely sincere apology was because he got caught red handed.
 

tbb345

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I don't like KD any more or any less due to this, but he comes off as insincere, thin-skinned, and immature. With a proper villain like Kobe I wanted him vanquished on the court in the most demoralizing way possible. For Durant I just want to stop hearing about him and his feelings about leaving OKC for the Warriors. The whole thing is just insufferable.
Completely agree. The whole thing is worse because anyone with a fucking shred of common sense could see there would be backlash to this decision. Yet Durant acts completely indignant and blindsided by the whole thing. Its honestly kind of sad and pathetic to watch play out
 

InstaFace

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Did you watch the event where he said this or did you just read what was said? Because if you watched the video and came away with that impression then you must think all other athletes are completely full of shit.
It’s pretty obvious that Durant uses burner accounts on all social media platforms. I would also wager a lot of money that the only reason we got that extremely sincere apology was because he got caught red handed.
Yes, I do think most athletes' apologies are full of shit, said for PR purposes without any sort of remorse for their words or actions. I also think people are far too quick to take offense, but such is life for famous athletes. I don't much care whether he thinks highly or otherwise of Oklahoma City, or whether people were offended by his remarks, but he apparently did: I was quick struck by the vehemence and seeming sincerity of his apology.
 

johnmd20

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Part of this is that Durant has never come out and just said "I went to GS because I wanted to win a championship and playing with them gave me the best chance to do that." He's been beating around that bush for over a year now by offering a bunch of alternative reasons for going to GS, but for most people including myself, they know that the real reason even if Durant never admits it.
It's worse than this, tho. He's explicitly come out and stated the prospect of winning a potential championship never even entered into the equation when it came down to him choosing Golden State.

From the moment he said that, I've been a hater of KD. It doesn't matter, obviously, but he can't go around talking about how open and honest he is when he's throwing out blatant lies that are clearly incorrect. It would be less annoying if he did say, "Golden State gave me the best chance to win." Instead he said, "I never even thought about whether it would help me win." Just as a friendly reminder, he joined the team that broke the all time wins record the previous year.

Team Hater.
 

tbb345

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Yes, I do think most athletes' apologies are full of shit, said for PR purposes without any sort of remorse for their words or actions. I also think people are far too quick to take offense, but such is life for famous athletes. I don't much care whether he thinks highly or otherwise of Oklahoma City, or whether people were offended by his remarks, but he apparently did: I was quick struck by the vehemence and seeming sincerity of his apology.
I think you are vastly underselling what he did. He didn't tweet "Ya know, OKC just wasn't for me". He effectively said that Billy Donovan sucked as a coach and that the OKC roster apart from Russ was barren. That's pretty dangerous terrain, especially coming from Durant, because since he left OKC he has consistently stuck to the script that OKC had a good team but GS was too good of an opportunity to pass up
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Surprised nobody mentioned this, but President Trump attacked Steph Curry today via Twitter for "hesitating" around the Warriors White House visit. The invitation's now been rescinded.

This came the morning after Trump told a crowd in Alabama that he wished NFL players who protested during the anthem would lose their job, and that the NFL is ruining it's game by penalizing players for dangerous hits.

It's striking how different the NBA and NFL are in their handling of such things. Immediately this morning, multiple NBA players have spoken out supporting Curry, including the league's most famous player in LeBron.
I think you are vastly underselling what he did. He didn't tweet "Ya know, OKC just wasn't for me". He effectively said that Billy Donovan sucked as a coach and that the OKC roster apart from Russ was barren. That's pretty dangerous terrain, especially coming from Durant, because since he left OKC he has consistently stuck to the script that OKC had a good team but GS was too good of an opportunity to pass up
 

E5 Yaz

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It's striking how different the NBA and NFL are in their handling of such things. Immediately this morning, multiple NBA players have spoken out supporting Curry, including the league's most famous player in LeBron.
Goodell spoke out today:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Trump's "divisive comments" showed "an unfortunate lack of respect" for the league and players.
"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," Goodell said. "There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month."
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/09/23/nfl-commissioner-roger-goodell-says-trumps-attacks-show-an-unfortunate-lack-of-respect-for-the-nfl/23220421/
 

The Social Chair

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Weak response from Goodell.

It's hard to compare the NFL and NBA. The NFL is a militaristic sport with no guaranteed contracts and Trump supporting owners.

The post-LeBron generation of NBA players on the other hand have a lot of power and moral courage.
 

lexrageorge

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Weak response from Goodell.

It's hard to compare the NFL and NBA. The NFL is a militaristic sport with no guaranteed contracts and Trump supporting owners.

The post-LeBron generation of NBA players on the other hand have a lot of power and moral courage.
100% of NFL owners voted for Trump, as did an overwhelming majority of sponsors and fans, so Goodell can only say so much.
 

the moops

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100% of NFL owners voted for Trump, as did an overwhelming majority of sponsors and fans, so Goodell can only say so much.
I don't think any of this is accurate.

Only a few owners donated to Trump. A couple donated to Clinton. The rest were pretty silent, and it is very likely that a whole bunch of them did not in fact vote for Trump. Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Trump.
 

loshjott

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I don't think any of this is accurate.

Only a few owners donated to Trump. A couple donated to Clinton. The rest were pretty silent, and it is very likely that a whole bunch of them did not in fact vote for Trump. Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Trump.
Tweet from Don Van Natta:

Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, Stan Kroenke, Daniel Snyder, Shahid Khan, Woody Johnson & Bob McNair each gave $1M to Trump. twitter.com/BryanAGraham/s…
 

Nick Kaufman

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If anyone has heard the Simmons podcasts with Durant - and if you a sports fan, let alone NBA fan you should - you would know that the guy is pretty unique. Setting aside what he did via social media - mostly because it was a big nothingburger where nobody really got hurt - the guy has been a model NBA citizen. And in the Simmons podcasts, the guy comes off as very thoughtful, sincere and likable.
Hi Kevin!
 

Sam Ray Not

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Klay — the next core piece coming up for free agency, the Summer after next — says he's probably willing to take a friendly discount to keep everyone together.

“I probably could, yeah. That much? I don’t know. I don’t make as much as Kevin off the court…. If it’s a few million … It’s a blessing whatever contract I sign. I would definitely consider it cause I don’t want to lose anybody.”

https://sports.yahoo.com/klay-thompson-says-may-discount-221600160.html

So much can change in two years that it's probably not worth conjecturing about, but Klay's such a perfect fit on the Ws and such a chill Left Coast dude that it's really hard to see him leaving (though if the Ws totally lowballed him, I could see him being enticed by a max offer to play alongside Lonzo Ball in LA or Damian Lillard in Portland...)
 

bosox79

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Klay also seems like he'd be the easiest player to replace and the least likely to be missed of the big 4. I don't think the team would be that much worse without him. Durant and Curry would pick up more of the offense, they'd just need to find a competent 3 point shooter.

Also, where would Klay play in Portland? SF? CJ McCollum is pretty deadly himself. Not to mention they are in cap hell for the foreseeable future.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Klay also seems like he'd be the easiest player to replace and the least likely to be missed of the big 4. I don't think the team would be that much worse without him. Durant and Curry would pick up more of the offense, they'd just need to find a competent 3 point shooter. Also, where would Klay play in Portland? SF? CJ McCollum is pretty deadly himself. Not to mention they are in cap hell for the foreseeable future.
Yeah, Klay's pretty clearly the "fourth wheel" — advanced metrics like RPM suggest as much — but I think advanced metrics with a boxscore component (RPM, e.g.) fail to fully capture the greatness of Klay.

  • He's the second-best high-volume three point shooter in NBA history (min. five 3fga per game), after Curry, and significantly ahead of KD.
  • He does most of his damage off ball — viz. last season's insane 60 points in 30 minutes on 11 dribbles while holding the ball for a total of 90 seconds. His prowess as an off-ball finisher will naturally lower an assist-rate-dependent metric like RPM (and the utterly useless PER), but is actually a big plus on a team that thrives on spacing and ball movement and is loaded with elite initiators. Klay presents none of the "there's just one ball" challenges that, say, the combos of Harden/CP3 or Westbrook/Melo/George may present.
  • He has crazy-rare defensive versatility — quick-footed enough to handle small PGs but long, rugged and strong enough to switch onto the occasional big. In last year's final he was sometimes seen getting in the jerseys of both Kyrie and Kevin Love on the same possession.
  • Knock on wood furiously, but ... in terms of durability, he's up there with LeBron and maybe one or two other players in the convo for "Cal Ripken-Bot of Hoops." Dude runs around screens all day, gets after it constantly on D, typically guarding the other team's best scorer, and almost never seems to get fatigued or hurt. On a team led by Curry with his ankle history, KD with his foot history, Draymond with his breakneck style, and a bunch of semi-fragile vets, the importance of Klay's durability is hard to overstate. If "the best ability is availability," Klay has that in spades.
  • He has a chill, goofy, laid back California personality that endears him to everyone on the team, and fits perfectly on a team full of type-A personalities and A-list superstars. As Mark Jackson put it: "Klay's not low maintenance — he's NO maintenance."
I've been digging the raw plus-minus stat lately, since it's so clear and no-nonsense — does away with somewhat pointless boxscore stats and noble-but-inherently-flawed efforts to distill a player's individual impact in a team sport (using various regressions) and just tells you exactly how positive a given player is on court in the context of his team.

2016-17 NBA plus-minus leaders
1. Curry, GS 1,015
2. Green, GS 819
3. Thompson, GS 800
4. Durant, GS 711
5. Paul, LAC 579

Yeah, a deeper dig into the APM numbers suggest that over the past three years Curry and Green in particular have done a bit more of the "heavy lifting" than Klay towards making the Warriors arguably the greatest team in NBA history (at worst #2 after the 1995-97 Bulls). But since they're so often on court together, the samples of them playing separately on which the adjusted numbers are based are small. And even the best adjustment can't fully capture the effect of synergy. It probably can't be said enough: it's a team sport.

I'd be wary of assuming that replacing Klay with any old 3-and-D guy wouldn't significantly hurt the team. Sure, they'd still have a great shot to win it all without him, but I think the list of guys who check all the boxes on the list above — even if you loosen the 3fg% requirement slightly — is extremely short. It might be just Klay and Paul George, who the Ws could have had straight up for Klay and declined.
 
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Kliq

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Maybe an overreaction, but I think the widespread assessment that they were going to cruise to 65+ wins was a little off-base. Study any great team in history and you will find out that most of the time they peak in wins rather early in their run. It's so tough to grind out three or four seasons of going to the finals every season, and also one of the lessons you learn is that the regular season is less important. I would still take them over the field in the playoffs, assuming everyone is healthy, but it wouldn't surprise me if they finished with like, 58 wins and didn't get the number one seed.
 

BigSoxFan

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Maybe an overreaction, but I think the widespread assessment that they were going to cruise to 65+ wins was a little off-base. Study any great team in history and you will find out that most of the time they peak in wins rather early in their run. It's so tough to grind out three or four seasons of going to the finals every season, and also one of the lessons you learn is that the regular season is less important. I would still take them over the field in the playoffs, assuming everyone is healthy, but it wouldn't surprise me if they finished with like, 58 wins and didn't get the number one seed.
I mean, the regular season has to be downright boring for these guys. The West also looks like it’ll be pretty competitive this year so they’re not going to be able to sleepwalk to as many wins as in prior years.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Bump. Replay the 2016 Finals, dammit!!!


(Seriously, that's a technical foul and possession, and 0.5 seconds is enough time to get off a 3...)