Warriors

Simmons, Lowe easily pick 2017 Warriors to beat 2001 Lakers

Warriors

The 2016-17 Warriors -- who went 16-1 in the playoffs -- are one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

And on Friday's edition of "The Bill Simmons Podcast," Simmons and ESPN's Zach Lowe had some fun by putting together an eight-team tournament of the best squads of the 21st century.

These were the seeds:

1) 2016-17 Warriors

2) 2000-01 Lakers

3) 2012-13 Heat

4) 2007-08 Celtics

5) 2019-20 Lakers

6) 2013-14 Spurs

7) 2008-09 Lakers

8) 2003-04 Pistons (who beat the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks in a play-in game)

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Both picked the Warriors to beat the Pistons in five games.

"Unfortunate matchup for the '04 Pistons. This is not who they wanted," Simmons said with a laugh. "A team that had trouble getting to 100 points playing the best offensive team we had this century, and one of the best all time."

In the second round, both went with the Warriors over this season's Lakers.

"The Warriors have an embarrassment of riches," Lowe said. "There's no answer for LeBron [James], but KD [Kevin Durant] is the only wing who can really consistently go toe-to-toe with him and sometimes outduel him in playoff games."

Don't forget about their averages in the 2017 NBA Finals:

-- Durant: 35.2 points (55.6 percent shooting overall, 47.4 percent on 3-pointers), 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, 1.0 steals

-- LeBron: 33.6 points (56.4 percent shooting overall, 38.7 percent on 3-pointers), 12.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.4 steals

RELATED: Kerr discusses 'KD jealous of LeBron' narrative

Additionally, KD hit the iconic pull-up three on LeBron late in Game 3, and was named Finals MVP.

 

Which brings us to the 2016-17 Warriors against the 2000-021 Lakers.

"The case for the Lakers is Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal] just steamrolls the Warriors and puts up like 43 [points] and 20 [rebounds] every game," Simmons said. "The Warriors are taking advantage of this modern basketball world where they get an extra 17 points a game from 3s. 'Shaq, have your 2s. We're just gonna come back down and hit a 3, and we're putting you in pick-and-roll every time.'

"There's one other reason I think the Warriors win. I think 2001 Kobe sees this series as like, 'They're gonna triple-team Shaq, I've gotta win this for us.' And you would have the alpha dog thing resurfacing, where he's like, 'Oh, these guys think they can shoot 3s -- watch this.' I think the Warriors win this in five, but I think Shaq has one game where he has like 57 points."

Added Lowe: "I'm going to give the Lakers two games just because. But I think five games might be the right call."

Fun stuff, right, Warriors fans?

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