Alexander Ramadan

Where I Sometimes Write Stuff


What Makes the Warriors Special
2015-06-17

What makes the 2014-15 Warriors so special? Their record was fantastic, but teams have had better records. They have one of the best offenses and defenses in the league, but that has happened before.

Why are they so special?

It boils down to Steph Curry, and his role on the team. No one will doubt that Curry is the team's best player, hell he was the best player in the league for the entire season. Why is that special? They're the first team in 20 years to win a championship when their best player for the entire season was a point guard.

This observation isn't new. Max Kellermen of Sports Nation and 710 ESPN is constantly preaching the idea that teams don't win rings when they are lead by a point guard, and he's right.

In in the past 20 years, a teams hasn't won a championship when their best player was a point guard. It just doesn't happen. To illustrate my point, let's look back at the champions of the past 20 years to see what I mean.

Disclaimer: The term "best player" is mostly a matter of opinion, but these were the teams best player in my mind.

Year Champs Best Player IMO Pos.
2014 Spurs Kawhi SF
2013 Heat James SF
2012 Heat James SF
2011 Mavericks Dirk PF
2010 Lakers Kobe SG
2009 Lakers Kobe SG
2008 Celtics Pierce/Garnet SF/PF
2007 Spurs Duncan PF
2006 Heat Wade/Shaq SG/C
2005 Spurs Duncan PF
2004 Pistons Hamilton SG
2003 Spurs Duncan PF
2002 Lakers Shaq C
2001 Lakers Shaq C
2000 Lakers Shaq C
1999 Spurs Duncan/Robinson PF/C
1998 Bulls Jordan SG
1997 Bulls Jordan SG
1996 Bulls Jordan SG
1995 Rockets Hakeem C

Notice anything? Teams that win rings aren't led by point guards. Nearly every other position is represented here, but not PGs.

Let's look at the other best team in each of these seasons

Year Opp Best Player IMO Pos.
2014 Heat James SF
2013 Spurs Duncan PF
2012 Thunder Durant SF
2011 Heat James SF
2010 Celtics Pierce/Garnet SF/PF
2009 Magic Howard C
2008 Lakers Kobe SG
2007 Cavs James SF
2006 Mavericks Dirk PF
2005 Pistons Hamilton SG
2004 Lakers Kobe SG
2003 Nets Kidd PG
2002 Nets Kidd PG
2001 76ers Iverson PG
2000 Pacers Miller SG
1999 Knicks Ewing C
1998 Jazz Stockton/Malone PG/PF
1997 Jazz Stockton/Malone PG/PF
1996 Sonics Payton/Kemp PG/PF
1995 Magic Shaq C

We see a much higher concentration of point guards in teams who went almost all the way, but eventually came up short.

The point is, teams who are lead by their point guard don't win championships, at least not in the last 20 years.

This is what makes Curry and the Warriors so unique. Curry is by far their best player, an MVP, and he still some how makes his team so much better. He is able to facilitate the leauge's best offense while individually being in the top 10 in points per game (23.8), #1 in free throw % (.914), #4 in 3 point % (.439), #6 in assists per game (7.7) and #4 in steals (2.04).

Congrats to Curry and the Warriors.