Here we are, in Golden State. This team used to be very, very good. Look at some of the marquee players they had. Joe Fulks in the 40s (we don’t get to see him though, not at his best, but he was still pretty good when we pick up the Warriors), Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston in the 50s, Wilt, Thurmond, and Barry in the 60s, and Run TMC later. Great team. There were three champs, but we miss the 1947 one with Fulks. On to the matchups!
(1) 1976 Golden State Warriors (59-23) vs. (60) 1953 Philadelphia Warriors (12-57)
No, this isn’t the champ of the 70s (that was 1975). Here’s why they didn’t win: In the Game 7 of the West Finals (playing Phoenix, and you may know this), Rick Barry got in a fight with Ricky Sobers, and he, at halftime, he realized that his teammates didn’t rush to defend him (and it’s no wonder….nobody liked him, not even his team), and he refused to shoot in the second half, giving away a championship (you think Boston could beat them?). Interesting side note: this is the year he wore the wig…Anyway, Barry had 21-6-6 this year, Phil Smith had 20-5-4, and Jamaal Wilkes had 18-9. Reread what I wrote for Boston that year: “These champs are the end of a prosperous time in Boston, but Cowens enjoyed it, hustling his way to 19-16-4 a night. White also put in the extra effort to win (19-4-5) and Charlie Scott relieved the aging Celtics for 18 a night. Havlicek may be old and gray (35 years old), but he had a decent 17-4-4 year. Defensively, Paul Silas was critical, and he also gave out 11-13-3 nightly.” Notice the end of a good time, repeated age….not a given, but very likely. Note: (I realize this paragraph is long…and this note in a note isn’t helping), Rick Barry was in his 6th NBA, and his 4th since returning from the ABA. My comment is how dumb that move was to the ABA. How can you forget to have an opt-out clause if the team moves, or if the person he came there for (his father in law) leaves? He robbed us of Knicks-Warriors, Celtics-Warriors, and even Lakers-Bucks-Warriors vying for the West! Why even bother jumping to a different league, when you have to sit out and waste a year of your prime? You and Thurmond….that’s champ material year after year! Very dumb….(Sorry about that huge paragraph…)
Anyway, facing them is the 53 Warriors (do you even remember who is on the 1976 team, hidden in a huge block of text?), who were missing Arizin due to war service (in Korea. I applaud him for his service…). Neil Johnston was the league scoring leader, averaging 22-14, while an old Fulks had 12-6-2. Andy Phillip was shipped out this season. (Poor Fulks, him and Mikan both get screwed with the 1952 rule…Mikan only had 23 points a night in 1952, after they widened the foul lane and took his scoring down from 28).
(2) 1992 Golden State Warriors (55-27) vs. (59) 2001 Golden State Warriors (17-65)
Pretty good team (but not good enough, lost to Seattle in round 1), as Chris Mullin had 26-6-4, and Tim Hardaway had 23-4-10. Sarunas Marciulionis had 19 points, and Billy Owens had 14-8.
Antawn Jamison had 25-9-2, but got no other help, as no one could stay consistently healthy.
(3) 1960 Philadelphia Warriors (49-26) vs. (58) 1965 San Francisco Warriors (17-63)
This is a good team right here….Wilt debuts with 38-27 (those stats seem astronomical, but you can’t tell me he’s better than Russell…sorry…Stats lie), and Paul Arizin got out 22-9 at age 31. Tom Gola had 15-10, Guy Rodgers had 12-6-7, and Woody Sauldsberry had 10-6. I think this team is a contender for the Warriors title.
Wilt was traded this season, while having 39-24 this year, essentially for crap. Nate Thurmond would be the one taking over, and he did great in that role, averaging 17-18. Guy Rodgers had 15-2-7, and Meschery had 13-8 in a pretty awful season.
(4) 1956 Philadelphia Warriors (45-27) vs. (57) 2000 Golden State Warriors (19-63)
Paul Arizin entered year two after returning from Korea, determined to do better than last year’s disappointment. And they did, winning the championship over Fort Wayne. Arizin had 24-8-3, and Johnston was one year removed of leading the NBA in boards and points, and still had a great 22-13-3. Joe Graboski had 14-9, Jack George had 14-4-6, and Tom Gola had 11-9-6. Looks like a great team to me.
Ugly. That is the word to describe this. Jamison played only 43 games (of 20-8), but they got Larry Hughes late in the year for 23-6-4. Donyell Marshall had 14-10, the only really good played that was there more than half the year (and he played only 64 games).
(5) 1972 Golden State Warriors (51-31) vs. (56) 1998 Golden State Warriors (19-63)
This team was good without Barry…and in their first in Golden State…they nearly had three 21 point scorers (one had 22 a game). That 22 point scorer was Jeff Mullins, who had 22-6-6. Nate Thurmond went for 21-16-3, while Cazzie Russell had 21-5-3. Clyde Lee had 8-15. This looks to be a secretly dangerous team (yet they were almost swept by the Bucks…they stole a game…)
Not too great. Mullin was traded before the year, and when they got there, Spree played only 14 games, and Jim Jackson came over for Joe Smith, and Jackson had 19-6-5 in….31 games. Erick Dampier had 12-9, and the real best player was Donyell Marshall, averaging 15-9.
(6) 1962 Philadelphia Warriors (49-31) vs. (55) 1988 Golden State Warriors (20-62)
This is Wilt’s “incredible” 50 point year. Come on…think of how much he hogged the ball. Wilt had 50-26 this season, and Arizin had 22-7-3. Contributing were Gola (14-10-5), Meschery (12-9), and Rodgers (8-4-8). I guess this team is pretty good….
Chris Mullin was pretty good, averaging 20-3-5, but they traded Sleepy Floyd (21-5-10) and Joe Barry Carroll (16-7) for the ever injured Ralph Sampson (15-10 in 30-some games…he’s very skilled, but not very useful if he’s injured). Don’t expect much from this team…
(7) 1994 Golden State Warriors (50-32) vs. (54) 2002 Golden State Warriors (21-61)
A pretty young team, even though Chris Mullin (17-6-5) wasn’t young. Spree (21-5-5) owned this team though. Rookie Chris Webber joined him, good for 18-9-4 (think of how good this team would have been if Mullin could stay healthy ((only 64 games this year)), Spree wasn’t crazy, and/or Chris Webber didn’t demand out…Oakland is drooling…anybody born 1990-on will always think that Golden State sucks…and they have since then ((meaning since when 1990ers can remember…))). 15-8 came from Billy Owens.
This is a young team built for the future (not now…meaning 2002). Antawn had 20-7 (I’ve liked Antawn when he was in Washington…just a great guy…), and Larry Hughes had 12-3-4. Two future “star” rookies joined Golden State; Gilbert Arenas (11-3-4 in a half season), and Jason Richardson (14-4-3, and he’s who the quotes were for. I hate most All-O-No-D players ((main list: Carter, McGrady, J-Rich ect…Carter and McGrady the most because of their “injuries”)), and Richardson is no exception. Remember when he blew that dunk on Phoenix against San Antonio….good times.). Danny Fortson had 11-12. I think this team is better than their record shows…not that they will beat 1994….
(8) 1964 San Francisco Warriors (48-32) vs. (53) 1985 Golden State Warriors (22-60)
This was one of those years where Wilt was a team player (1964, 1967, and 1972…notice they usually did well when he was a team player…2 finals win, and one finals loss….wonder if there is correlation?). Wilt had 37-22-5, and Meschery had 14-8. Guy Rodgers had 11-4-7, and attached to the bench, rookie Nate Thurmond shined in 25 minutes a game, having 7-10 (and per 36 minutes, he has only 3 less boards than Wilt. One deceiving thing on Wilt is that he played pretty much the whole game. He wouldn’t compare to Russell if he played as much as him. He had 3 more per 36 minutes that season.)
Purvis Short had 28 points for Golden State this year, while Sleepy Floyd had 20-3-5, and Larry Smith added 11-11. Not really exciting….
(9) 1975 Golden State Warriors (48-34) vs. (52) 1980 Golden State Warriors (24-58)
Here’s there 1975 champ season, where they beat the favored Bullets. Rick Barry had 31-6-6, and almost 3 steals, while 14-8 came from Jamaal Wilkes. Butch Beard had 13-4-4, and Clifford Ray had 9-11. This is a pretty good team here…maybe not their best, but a solid candidate for taking Golden States tourney spot.
Robert Parish (17-11) was the best player on this team…which is probably why they didn’t do well. Purvis Short had 17-5 in year two, and John Lucas had 13-3-8. Sonny Parker had 15-6 a night, and Jo Jo White made an appearance after being traded to Golden State last year.
(10) 2008 Golden State Warriors (48-34) vs. (51) 2010 Golden State Warriors (26-56)
If you don’t remember this team being this good, I don’t blame you. Where were they in the playoffs? Well, they were the ninth seed. That’s right 48-34 doesn’t grant you playoff access. This team is pretty good though, they have Baron Davis (22-5-8) and Monta Ellis (20-5-4) leading the team, with help from Stephen Jackson (20-4-4), Al Harrington (14-5), and Andris Biedrins (11-10). This team led the league in scoring (110 a game), but were last in defense (109 per game). I still think this is a pretty good team…that is unless they face an even eliter (new word) offensive team.
This is a good O team, but an awful D team. Monta Ellis (26-4-5) was great in his pairing with Stephen Curry (18-5-6 as a rook). Corey Maggette had 20 points, while they shipped out Stephen Jackson for crap (unless you have high regards for the excessively over-paid, Vlad Rad ((love that nickname though…). Nothing else good happened this year though.