Warriors not one of the greatest in history | NevadaAppeal.com

Warriors not one of the greatest in history

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

Please stop with all the talk about the Golden State Warriors being one of the greatest teams in NBA history. The Warriors wouldn’t have gotten out of the second round of the playoffs in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s a team with a rookie head coach, one great jump shooter (Stephen Curry) and a bunch of role players. It just happened to be the best team in one of the worst seasons in NBA history. The Western Conference was vastly overrated and the East was simply awful. The Cleveland Cavaliers were arguably the worst team to ever get to the NBA Finals. And they still beat the Warriors twice. Which NBA champion over the last 35 years would this Warriors team beat? The Dallas Mavericks of 2011? The Detroit Pistons of 2004? Maybe. All the rest, starting with the 1980 Los Angeles Lakers, would have destroyed this Warriors team.

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Stephen Curry should have been the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. The choice of Andre Iguodala as MVP was utterly ridiculous. Curry averaged more points, steals, assists than Iguodala and had almost as many rebounds. Iguodala couldn’t make a free throw to save his life. Curry was hitting 3-pointers (seven in a game twice) with two players in his face. Iguodala is nothing more than a role player who played well because the defense was off guarding Curry. Without Iguodala the Warriors still would have won in six. Without Curry the media would be declaring LeBron James the greatest player in the history of the sport right now. The media probably voted for Iguodala as MVP because they were tired of interviewing Curry’s daughter after the game.

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Will LeBron James ever win another NBA title? That all depends on who he gets as teammates. And, no, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are not the answer. James cannot do it by himself. That guy we saw wearing No. 23 for the Cavs in the Finals wasn’t the real LeBron James. That was Magic Johnson trying to be Kobe Bryant. It was painful to watch at times. LeBron needs a superstar. A Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook. A young Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant. There’s nothing wrong with that. Magic needed James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Tim Duncan needed Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen. LeBron has also never played for a great coach. Jordan and Kobe had Phil Jackson. Magic had Pat Riley. LeBron has had Paul Silas, Mike Brown, Erik Spoelstra and David Blatt.

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While the nation was off watching an ugly NBA Finals the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning were playing a classic Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks scored exactly two goals in all four of their victories. The only time either team had as much as a two-goal lead was the final 5:14 of the last game when the Hawks went up 2-0.

If you spent the last two weeks watching LeBron James clank shot after shot off the rim instead of watching Hawks-Lightning, well, you missed something special.

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It appears the Nevada Wolf Pack’s 41-win baseball team has been gutted in recent weeks. Head coach Jay Johnson is gone, off to the Arizona Wildcats and his so-called dream job. Also gone is 45 of the team’s 55 homers from last year thanks mainly to the departure of Austin Byler, Kewby Meyer and Ryan Howell. Carson’s Adam Whitt signed with the Houston Astros organization so there will be a new closer in 2016. Trenton Brooks, Cal Stevenson and Bryce Greager will be back to lead the offense and Christian Stolo will top the pitching staff. But the program is practically starting over. Johnson is now at Arizona thanks in large part to what former coach Gary Powers left him after the 2013 season. The new coach won’t be so lucky.

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The Wolf Pack football team, though, should brighten everyone’s spirits up on north Virginia Street this fall. A forgiving schedule (Davis, Buffalo, UNLV, New Mexico, Hawaii, San Jose State, Wyoming to name just seven patsies) will likely find the Pack at 7-3 or 8-2 heading into the final two games of the regular season at Utah State and San Diego State. And if those final two games go well, don’t be shocked to find the Pack in the Mountain West title game. A season of at least seven victories and a bowl game should be enough to get coach Brian Polian a contract extension. Polian will have two years left on his deal after this year but the Pack would be smart to add three more years to his contract after this year and slow down the revolving door that has become the top jobs for football, men‘s basketball and baseball.

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The Wolf Pack is hoping new men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman is to David Carter what Warriors coach Steve Kerr was to Mark Jackson this year. Kerr took Jackson’s former players and won a NBA title in his first year. Can Musselman take Carter’s players and win a Mountain West title? If so it would be the greatest job of coaching in Wolf Pack history. But don’t be surprised if Musselman doubles Carter’s win total (nine) of a year ago. Like Powers did with Johnson, Carter left Musselman an experienced and talented team with the likes of Tyron Criswell, Marqueze Coleman, A.J. West, Eric Cooper, D.J. Fenner and Robyn Missa. Pat Foster left new coach Trent Johnson almost nothing after the 1998-99 season but Johnson had the Pack in the NCAA tournament just five years later. It shouldn’t take Musselman that long.

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We might see as many as five Mountain West players drafted into the NBA next week. UNLV’s Rashad Vaughn and Christian Wood could both be picked in the first round. Boise State’s Derrick Marks, San Diego State’s Dwayne Polee and Wyoming’s Larry Nance could all go in the second round. The next Wolf Pack player to get drafted? He’s not on the roster yet.