Warriors

‘01 Lakers vs ‘18 Warriors: Who you got?

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NBCSBA

‘01 Lakers vs ‘18 Warriors: Who you got?

The 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers went 56-26 in the regular season in defense of the previous season's championship. But the team, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, stormed through the playoffs, and lost just once en route to a second straight title.

"I'll take that '01 [Lakers] team against anybody in the history of the game," Bryant told Alex Kennedy of the HoopsHype Podcast last week. "Any team."

But what about another back-to-back champion? We're talking about the 2017-18 Golden State Warriors.

‘01 Lakers vs ‘18 Warriors. Who you got?

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This year's Warriors had a similar regular season (58-24), but posted a better offensive rating (113.6) and defensive rating (107.7) than their purple-and-gold counterparts from the start of the century, all while averaging about eight additional possessions per 48 minutes. Golden State shot better from the field (50.3 percent), from beyond the arc (39.7 percent) than Bryant's second title team, but Los Angeles did a better job limiting opponents in both areas. 

We'll never truly know without a time machine that could fit the Warriors' roster, but the current title-holders would have been a heck of a matchup for that Lakers squad.

Who would you pick? Sound off in the comments.

 

Does Kevin Durant sign with Warriors if they win 2016 title? Lacob 'can't say for sure, but...'

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AP

Does Kevin Durant sign with Warriors if they win 2016 title? Lacob 'can't say for sure, but...'

The Warriors did not win the championship in 2016.

It turns out that blowing a 3-1 lead in the Finals may have been a good thing after all.

If the Warriors win the title that year, does Kevin Durant sign with Golden State?

[LISTEN: Subscribe to the Warriors Outsiders Podcast with Drew Shiller and Grant Liffmann]

"I can't say for sure but I do not think he would be on the Warriors," Joe Lacob said on 95.7 The Game on Monday. "If we had won, it just would have been too difficult for him probably -- and I can't say this for sure -- to make that decision. 

"As it is, he got criticized for going to a 73-win team, even though we did not win. That's the way it is. And the players, they listen to all this stuff, too."

Lacob and Draymond are on the same page.

During the 2017 Finals, Draymond told ESPN's Zach Lowe:

"If we win the championship, I'm like 99 percent sure we don't get him. There are silver linings to everything."

In Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, the score was tied at 89 with about 4:40 remaining.

[RELATED: Kyrie Irving explains mental process before hitting game-winning 3-pointer in Game 7 vs Warriors]

"At that exact moment when it was happening ... I remember saying to myself, 'I'm not gonna worry about this, but if we win we win, if we lose -- I'm going after Kevin Durant," Lacob said on Monday as he began laughing.

The Warriors did not score another point and lost 93-89.

So Lacob went after Durant and got him...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Compared to Kawhi Leonard, Tulane wing Melvin Frazier fits Warriors' desire in NBA Draft

Compared to Kawhi Leonard, Tulane wing Melvin Frazier fits Warriors' desire in NBA Draft

OAKLAND -- The Warriors worked out six draft hopefuls on Monday, and at least one of them fits very neatly into their desired profile.

Melvin Frazier brings the kind of tools that would make him available to play as a rookie.

A product of Tulane University, where he played under former NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy, Frazier is a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing, with a 7-2 wingspan and a passion for defense.

“Coming up, growing up where I come from, that’s what we do,” he said after a nearly two-hour workout at the Warriors’ downtown facility. “A lot of guys today, in this generation, don’t like to play defense. It’s just something I like to do. And I know defense is going to get me on the floor.”

Frazier, 21, generally projects to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second on Thursday. The Warriors, who pick late in the first round, 28th overall, make no attempt to conceal their interest in two-way wings.

They also want a player who, like Jordan Bell last season and Pat McCaw in 2016-17, can contribute as a rookie.

“The draft is big for us, because we just don’t have a lot of vehicles to add players, as far as financial or cap space even the non-tax payer mid-level,” general manager Bob Myers said. “Things that you’d normally have, we don’t have. We’re looking for a guy who can play, which is a little unusual. We’re going to need to have guys that can go out there and give us minutes.”

McCaw is a restricted free agent whose return is in question. The Warriors have to draft on the probability that he will get a better offer elsewhere. Moreover, they plan to replace a couple big men with big guard/small forward types capable of defending multiple positions.

“I know I can impact any team, from Day 1, with my defense,” said Frazier, who added that he doesn’t pattern his game after any particular player but “always gets the comparison of Kawhi Leonard.”

Though Frazier’s true shooting percentage as a junior last season was 63.1, with 38.5 from deep, most scouting reports are tepid about his offense but rave about his defense -- on the ball and in space. Though at least one mock draft compared him to McCaw, Frazier sets himself apart with superior length and 40-inch vertical leap.

“People know I can play defense,” he said, “so I just want to show them my offensive side, that I can shoot the ball and that my percentage is true to what it is.”

Frazier previously worked out for Atlanta, Indiana, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Portland and Utah. The Warriors, the Louisiana native said, are his final workout before the draft.

The Warriors are crossing their fingers, hoping Frazier will be an option for them.