Saturday, November 28, 2015

2015-16 Warriors vs. 2007-08 Celtics: Who you got?

The Golden State Warriors are now 17-0 and the comparisons to the 95-96 Chicago Bulls have begun.

Let's pump the brakes on that...

The '95-'96 Bulls are the best team of all time. They racked off 72 wins, notched Jordan his fourth NBA title, and had the most impressive run in NBA history. The Warriors aren't there yet.

Don't get me wrong, the Warriors are good. VERY GOOD. They proved a lot of people wrong last year and were virtually unstoppable on their run to the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Steph Curry is the best player in the NBA and they have a bunch of shooters and players that can go off on any given night.

However, they cannot be compared to Jordan's Bulls... yet.

In this hypothetical wonderland of greatest teams of all time battling it out in a time warp situation, the Warriors cant just jump up to play the Bulls. They need to stack up to other great teams that have challenged the Bulls' reign as "Best Team of All Time".

Enter the 2007-08 Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. The Big Three. Doc Rivers. The defense, the intensity, and all of the clutch performances. That team was arguably, the best team since the Chicago Bulls dominated. If it wasn't for a huge injury to Kevin Garnett in '08-'09 and then losing Kendrick Perkins for game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals, the Celtics could have had three championships with that core.

So the question remains. In a seven game series, who would win?  Steph Curry and the current Golden State Warriors or the Big Three and the '07-'08 Celtics?

The Starting Fives:

Steph Curry/ Klay Thompson/ Harrison Barnes/ Draymond Green/ Andrew Bogut

Bench: Andre Iguadala/ Festus Ezeli/ Shaun Livingston /Leandro Barbosa/ Maurice Speights


Rajon Rondo/ Ray Allen/ Paul Pierce/ Kevin Garnett/ Kendrick Perkins

Bench: Eddie House/ James Posey/ Leon Powe/ Tony Allen/ Glen Davis

At the point guard spot, the Warriors probably have the best player on either team in Steph Curry. The Celtics Rajon Rondo was a second year player, and at that point was emerging as a defensive stud (my, how things have changed). He would have been asked to somehow slow down Curry, which everyone knows is almost impossible to do. So, Curry obviously would get the edge in this individual match up.

Ray Allen vs Klay Thompson would have been a great match-up to watch. Thompson and Allen could have been separated at basketball birth with the way they play the game. Thompson is a little more physical while, Allen is a better shooter. They both can go off any game and be border line unstoppable.

Paul Pierce obviously would have the advantage over Harrison Barnes. Barnes fits the Warriors run and gun style but is no where near the type of player Pierce was in 07'-08. Pierce was on a mission and this is the match-up that the Celtics would have exploited all day. Pierce would have had his way with his range, step back jumpers, and Barnes would be in foul trouble every game.

The best match-up is at the power forward spot. Could you imagine Kevin Garnett and Draymond Green jawing at each other the entire game? I would pay a lot of money to have these two mic'd up for this fictional best-of-seven series. Garnett would have the advantage in the half court game but Green can outrun any big in the league, even today. KG has the advantage in this match-up, but if there is one player that maybe could have out-trash talked Garnett into a few mistakes -- it would be Draymond Green.

By obligation of being thorough, I have to mention the the center match up between Bogut and Perk. Both players pretty much there to just be the muscle for when KG or Green talk too much shit. It's no secret that Bogut is a more talented offensive center. However, Perkins' defense was more intimidating then any one in the league. So we are going to call this one a push and move on to more exciting parts about this match up.

The Bench is where the game could change in the Celtics favor. Posey and Tony Allen were there to come off the bench and defend. House would provide instant offense and be threat from long range. While Iguadala was the finals MVP last year, the bench falls off significantly after him for the Warriors. Iguadala would be able to spell Barnes and try to slow down Pierce, but the Celtics bench is far deeper and would help the C's keep up with the run and gun offense the Warriors would play.

Coaching and Style of play:

These two teams couldn't be more different when it comes to style of play. The Celtics were extremely dominant in the half court offense and were even more dominant on the defensive end. They held teams to 90.3 points per game. That was through 82-games, their opponents averaged barely 90 points.

In almost direct contradiction the Warriors average 114.3 points through the first 17 games of the year. It would be extremely impressive if they would be able to keep this up all year, but they show no signs of stopping.

The key to the style of play match up would be if the Celtics were at all able to limit the Warriors 3-point shooting. The Warriors make an average of 12.4 3-pointers per game. The Celtics allowed 5.9 3-pointers during the entire 07-08 season. This is just crazy even if the amount of 3-point attempts have gone up a ton over the past eight years. The Celtics prided themselves on limiting the long-ball as the Warriors eat, sleep, and breathe outside the arc.

Physically, the Celtics would dominate the Warriors. Garnett, Perkins, and Pierce all play that old school style of physical defense that could cause problems for the Warriors. Yet, the Celtics had trouble that year against younger, faster teams. So as lame as this sounds, both teams would be forcing their style of play upon each other and it would all come out as a wash. It would have been awesome to see how these two contrasting styles would clash.

Doc Rivers vs the combo of Luke Walton and Steven Kerr. It's a very strange time warp match up, since Luke Walton was actually on the Lakers team when the Celtics beat them in the NBA Finals in 08'. Rivers though, is a better coach then both of these guys. Especially that year, Doc was the best coach in the league. Steve Kerr's innovative approach is great for the game, but he is at the mercy of his shooters making shots. Rivers was able to get three superstars to sacrifice and come together as one to win a championship. I'll take 08' Rivers any day.

Superstar Effect:

Steph Curry has been absolutely unstoppable and would have given the Celtics headaches. Like I said before, Curry would be the best player on the floor in this match up even with the Celtics three future HOF players on the floor. He is playing at a rate now that you are absolutely shocked when he misses a shot.

The Celtics would have to throw Rondo, both Allens on him and try to break him down physically. My guess would be it wouldn't matter. Curry could still average 35 points in this series. He'd probably break poor Eddie Houses ankles a few times just for fun. He'd be MVP of the series, for sure.

Paul Pierce would be the x-factor for the Celtics. He was a magician on the offensive end at creating his own shot and knocking them down. Even though Iguadala would be on him for most of the game I really don't think that would stop him, either. Pierce would be able to dominate the tempo on the offensive end and make sure the Celtics weren't getting run out of the building.

Edge here obviously goes to the Warriors and Steph Curry.


The 2016 Golden State Warriors do deserve to be in the conversation of all-time teams. That is saying a lot, since they've only played 16 games on the year and these teams we are comparing them to kept up the scorching pace for an entire season on route to an NBA Championship.

My prediction in this hypothetical match-up is Celtics in seven. The C's veteran presence and knack for ALWAYS coming through in the clutch would push them through. Also, I always take defense over offense in these match-ups.

It would be close. Curry himself is good enough to carry his team for two games by himself. Yet, it's the Celtics with three all-time greats, the best defense in a century, and the resilience to pull through.

-Sean Dutra
@seandutra on twitter

photos courtesy of getty images and associated press


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  3. Smh you sound like a Celtics fan. The Celtics are the greatest team since the 96 Bulls? They should of have 3 championships in a row? Lol how can you justify the Celtics winning the 2010 Finals due to Perkins being injured and then ignore the fact that Bynum and Ariza were hurt an entire series in 08. As for Celtics winning in 09 if Garnett was healthy, you do realize they lost to the Lakers twice that year during the season with everyone healthy? So the three championship theory is bias.

    As for the 08 Celtics being the greatest team since the 96 Bulls. Have you heard of the 01 Lakers? They went through a really tough Western Conference unbeaten. Which is as impressive if not more incredible then what the 96 Bulls did with the 72 wins when you take into account the expansions and the amount of teams that were bad and inexperienced. Oh an as for them having the greatest defense of the century I suggest you watch some of the 04 Pistons team. They had defense that could easily rival the Celtics

    Now on to these Warriors VS the 08 Celtics. The 2016 Warriors would most likely get dominated by the 08 Celtics due to a deeper better bench and domination on the boards. Garnett would dominate Green in almost every way and that wouldn't be a challenge. In all honesty this Warriors team would lose to most teams with a dominant big men in the interior. In the end the Celtics just have too many weapons, more superstars, more and better clutch players, and better defender and rebounders. In the end it is too early to call this team an all-time great team when its still early and we've yet to see how they respond to actual pressure considering the last time we saw them respond to pressure they almost lost to an injury ridden Cavs team and Curry struggled against an average defender in Delly.

  4. Laker bros are so sensitive these days... Maybe it's the losing, or watching Kobe decay on the court right before their eyes? Idk, but anyways I'm glad you brought up the 2001 Lakers. That team was loaded, but I'm pretty sure the title of the article was Warriors vs 08 Celtics so it wasn't meant to diss what Shaq an Kobe accomplished. I'm sticking to my claim as the 08 Celtics being the best team since the 95-96 Bulls. The 01 Lakers is defintely right there though, that team was legit.

    P.S. You also lost all credibility when you brought up the 04 Pistons. Good team, but probably the worst Champion since Jordan's Bulls.

    1. Lol This has nothing to do with being a Lakers fan and everything to do with if you actually know what you are talking about. It doesn't matter that this is a Warriors VS Celtics article fact is you made the claim the 08 Celtics was the best team since the 96 Bulls. So if your gonna make a statement as big as that with no evidence or facts to back it up or poor arguments like if Perkins wasn't hurt when the same thing could be said for the Lakers in 08 then prepare for backlash like this.

      As for the Pistons being the worst championship team since the Jordan Bulls, One has to seriously question your basketball knowledge with a statement like that. You talk about the 01 Lakers being loaded(Which they actually weren't)? The Pistons had 4 of their 5 starters make the all-star team and locked up an entire Western Conference All-star team which is unheard of
      That's how lethal their defense was. On top of that they took an 05 Spurs team to 7 games. That Spurs team is arguably the greatest Spurs team in the franchise
      So sorry that Pistons team is easily one of the best championship teams since the Jordan era. But I guess now I am a Pistons fan since I am defending them. If your gonna make the claims of Celtics being the best team since Jordan it would wise to actually back it up with facts rather then hypotheticals and opinions. The only one who lost credibility is you the second you regarded the 04 Pistons as one of the worst championship teams.

  5. Being the worst team to win a championship since the Bulls is not a bad thing. It's like being the least rich billionaire ... Your still a billionaire so it's all good.
    Look at the teams that have won a championship since the Bulls and tell me with a straight face who you think the 04 Pistons are better than?
    The Pistons were a great group of players thT capitalized on the NBA having one of the worst stretches of offensive productivity in its history.

    1. Before I list the teams they were better then it is important to note that my original statement was they had a defense that was equally as good as the Boston Celtics if not better. I never claimed they were better then the Celtics

      As far as capitalizing on the worst stretches of offensive productivity why do you think even think that year was the worst stretched in offensive productivity? Because the defenses had gotten better. If anyone is capitalizing on anything it isn't the Pistons but in fact every team after them. And even still the Pistons played great defense in 05 and 06.

      Anyways here are he teams they could beat

      1999 Spurs - Pistons took a much better Spurs team to 7 games so they could most likely beat this team

      2011 Mavs - Pistons have a match-up advantage in every position except the power forward spot

      2012 Heat - They struggled against an old injured Celtics team so I'm sure the Pistons could beat them

      2013 Heat - If an old Duncan could dominate them in the post then the Finals series then a a prime Rasheed could and if Hilbert could give them defensive problems in the paint then a Ben Wallace certainly can

      2014 Spurs - Duncan and Ginobli are older and wouldn't have their way with the Pistons defense like they did with Miami. Also they beat a better 2005 team and this 2014 version doesn't have the clutch players the 05 version did.

      2015 Warriors - They have no answers for Rasheed or just the big men of the Pistons in general and if Delly could make Curry struggle then Billips certainly can.

    2. The rest of the championship teams is either a no or I am not sure about.

    3. WOW. Bold statements. Can't say I agree... AT ALL with what you just wrote but we all different people so it's all good.

      Keep on keeping on man and thanks for reading!!

    4. Bold? Not really especially when I provided reasonable explanations behind my answers. If you wanted bold then I would of said the 2000 Lakers as well. However most of my reasoning is pretty logical. I don't believe I said anything that isn't universally agreed upon in regards to most of the teams above and their weaknesses. Its universally known that the Heat and GSW had issues against teams with skilled big men. If a team struggles with average big men then it is not preposterous to believe they would struggle against better more skilled big men. The Heat struggled greatly against an Indy team with really average post players and defenders. Hibert and West gave the Heat issues in 2013 so its not preposterous to believe the Ben and Rasheed could do the same thing when they were much better then the Pacers at defending the paint and scoring in it.

  6. Also having 22 year old Kobe and 28 year old Shaq on the same team would classify as stacked.

    1. Sorry but 2 men don't qualify as a stacked team Last time I checked basketball is a team sport not a 2 man one.

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  8. Alright, I was going to stay out of this but your list of teams you got there is so flawed and you've left out so many players...

    1999 Spurs - I know you hold Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace very high but I think they would have struggled against David Robinson and a young Tim Duncan.

    2011 Mavs - If the they could take care of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. I don't think Billups and Rips' jumpers would overmatch the Mavs. The Heat also had a "match up advantage" at every position except for PF and it still was no good. Oh and I don't think I'd give the edge to Ben Wallace (I know you think so very highly of the guy) over 2011 Tyson Chandler - a HUGE reason they won that series over the Heat.

    2012 Heat - Who the hell is guarding LeBron James? Rip Hamilton? Your boy, Tay-Tay? Ugh... yes, the "old" Celtics gave the Heat a seven-game series but it wasn't because of the "old" KG (great season that year) and Pierce, they had a guy named Rajon Rondo playing out of his damn mind. Putting together triple-doubles like they were nothing (imagine Billups having to guard him?). And if you want to talk about match ups, against this Heat team - which one would the Pistons win? Billups over Mario Chalmers, that's about it.

    2013 Heat - Read the paragraph above and add Ray Allen. Doesn't get much better for your Pistons argument, at all.

    2014 Spurs - Ah yes, I've been waiting to get to this team. Again you talk about "old" veterans (i.e. Duncan, Manu, Parker) but do you remember who was the MVP in that series? Kwahi Leonard would OWN Tay-Tay Prince and . He'd probably have a better series in this hypothetical series. And in almost every Pistons argument you have all you mention is their starting lineup. Makes sense because Detroit had NO BENCH. Spurs on the other hand... Patty Mills, Ginobili, Diaw. The Pistons on the other hand, um... Elden Campbell, Corliss Williamson?? And oh yes, over-the-hill Lindsey Hunter. Yeah, I'll take the Spurs

    2015 Warriors - Again, no depth. Andre Igodala was last season's Finals MVP and he came off the bench. Meanwhile Detroit's bench combined barely averaged double-digits in points throughout the playoffs. Andrew Bogut and David Lee would take turns in the paint and yeah, Rasheed would probably get the edge over Draymond Green but it would be much closer than you think. They're just too deep for the Pistons.

    1. 1999 Spurs - No I don't hold Rasheed and Ben really high which is why I didn't mention them as a factor this year. If you look at my comment about them VS the 99 squad there is no mention of Sheed and Ben at all. So you didn't point out a flaw here at all. Smh

      2011 Mavs - Once again there was no mention of the Wallaces here. If your gonna input your opinion at least make sure you know what your talking about because you just sound foolish. 1st off the Heat didn't have an advantage at every position. They only had advantages from the 1 to 3 spot. They were at a disadvantage at the center spot which is why Chandler was so instrumental in that series. Like I said the Heat's biggest weakness was rebounding so big guys like a Chandler Hibbert, Splitter and Duncan would have a big effect in a game against them because they have no answer for them. Now as far as the Pistons in relation to the Heat, the Heat don't have nearly as many defenders that can bother the Mavs that the Pistons do. Billips/Hamilton/Prince/Hunter could bother any of the perimeter players of the Mavs while they had bigs that could bother both Dirk and Chandler. So once again you haven't pointed out any flaw.

      2012 Heat - Nobody is guarding LBJ. What will happen in this series is they will do a mix of what the Celtics/Pacers did to stop this team which is play everyone straight up and pretty much shut everyone else around LBJ down. Prince job would be to stay in front of LBJ and force him into Ben Wallace much like the Pacers did with Hibbert.

      Smh I'm done I can't even take your response seriously so I'm not gonna bother reading the rest. You would of been better off not responding because you don't know how to argue. You've addressed none of my points in the right areas which just shows your lack of actual listening. So have a nice day

  9. Good job, you're done here, you have nothing for the others. Carry on..