Who wins a series: 2016 GSW (73 wins) or 2017 (16-1 playoffs)?

Relax, this is just to remember some great teams.

I’m not much of a ranker. I find these kinds of tasks, like “who/what is the greatest X of all time” to usually devolve into exposing hidden assumptions and personal formulas.

Having said that, as long as we’re all clear that this is a meaningless exercise, you know what, so is basketball, so let’s do this.

Suppose the 2015-16 (73-wins) team played the 2016-17 (16-1 playoffs) in a 7-game series, AT FULL HEALTH. Who wins?

Zaza Pachulia and Steve Kerr seem pretty clearly on the side of 2016-17.

Reference Materials

Here are some stats from Basketball Reference to help. Teams, then key players.

2015-16


2016-17

Stephen Curry

Klay Thompson

Draymond Green

Andre Iguodala

Kevin Durant

Harrison Barnes


My Take

Give your take in the comments before reading my (not very deeply held) take.

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2016 vs 2017. This is really tough. The 2017 opponents seemed to give up a bit before the series started. But I don’t think 2016 would have been awed, riding their record 73-win season. For playoff play:

  • Steph 2016 ~ Steph 2017

  • Klay 2016 >> Klay 2017

  • Dray 2016 > Dray 2017

  • Barnes 2016 <<<< KD 2017

  • Andre 2016 > 2017

  • Bogut 2016 > Zaza 2017

  • Shaun, Ian 2016 slightly > Shaun, Ian 2017

  • Barbosa 2016 > McCaw 2017

  • Ezeli 2016 << D West 2017

  • Mo Speights 2016 << JaVale 2017

Don’t sleep on how 2016’s switching defense would give 2017 fits, and also tempt Kevin Durant into more isolation ball. Basically what HOU did to the 2018 team, and they took 2018 to 7 games. 2016 GSW is way more talented than 2018 HOU, but 2017 GSW was way more hungry than 2018 GSW. So I think the series would be much closer than one might think.

The cohesion of 2016 was so strong, it might be enough to overcome the talent advantage of 2017. But I give the edge 2017 > 2016.

That’s pure science for you. Mixed with a lot of handwaving.

Warriors Twitter’s Take


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