Are the 2017 Golden State Warriors better than the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers? | The Tylt
Are the 2017 Golden State Warriors better than the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers?
Oh, how quickly we forget. The 2000-2001 Lakers may not have been a “Super Team,” but damn did they do some super things in the playoffs. They didn’t have the best record at the end of the regular season, but something clicked for them. The triangle was in full motion, and no one could stop them.
This Lakers team may not have the star power on paper the Warriors have, but they had one of the most dominant players of all time, and one of the greatest closers of all time. When they were working together in Phil Jackson’s offense, it was poetry in motion. Shaq could get his shot whenever wanted if he was guarded one-on-one; if they doubled he kicked it out to shooters Derek Fisher, Rick Fox and Robert Horry, and Kobe Bryant could literally score on anyone.
They blew the competition out of the water, leading the playoffs in offensive and defensive rating—something Golden State can’t say at this point in the postseason. If the Warriors wanted to jack up threes, the Lakers held opponents to 27.1 percent beyond the arc. And they don’t have the size up front to hold in-prime Shaq at bay.
The Warriors have had a cakewalk of competition on their way to the Finals. If they had to play a real team like the 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers, you can bet they’ll get beat.
Okay, Dad. Let’s settle down. The Lakers were a good team for their time, but the new NBA is so much faster and skilled than that era of basketball. The versatility of each player on the Warriors would make them impossible to guard, and any team, including the 2001 Lakers would fall to their knees before Golden State’s greatness.
If you recall correctly, Shaq may have been a dominant player, but he had trouble with the smaller, but strong and more agile Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons. Guess what? The Warriors have a similarly built player in Draymond Green that can also pass and spot up in addition to his otherworldly defense. Throw in the incredible shooting touch of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, and you have a team that no one can keep up with.
While they can outscore anyone, it’s their defense that has been stellar. The Warriors lead the league in defensive rating in the playoffs. Sure, it may appear they’re not as tough as the 2001 Lakers with their brute strength, but that’s the beauty of the Warriors. They don’t have to bust you in the mouth to run you out of the building. They are skilled enough to destroy you and look good doing it, too.
It doesn’t matter who you put in front of these Warriors. You can’t compete with a team you can’t stop. And no one is stopping this scoring machine.