In his opening rant today, Colin said he thinks Oklahoma City beating Golden State in the Conference Finals would be good for the NBA, and the league knows it. Their 133 – 105 domination of the Warriors in Game 3, and current 2 -1 series lead, proves that a team that isn’t entirely dependent on the three-point shot can still win in the NBA.
The Warriors won the title last year. This year they set the NBA record for regular season wins with 73. They’re the most popular team in the NBA. Their philosophy revolves entirely around attempting and making more three-pointers than their opponents.
Their Beatles-like invasion of the NBA has caused a league wide shift, with many teams adopting a knock off version of their frenetic style. The strategic shift to high volume three-point shooting has eliminated a significant amount of strategy and nuance of the game. It’s rendered the traditional Center and Power Forward practically obsolete.
Colin doesn’t have a problem with the Warriors playing their style, but thinks the entire league falling in love exclusively with the three is bad for the game.
“As a country, we fall in love with things fast. Remember the Atkins diet. Eat a plate of bacon a day, you’ll live forever. That thing went away.”
The Thunder are the Anti-Warriors. They have a complete roster, with legitimate post players. They aren’t entirely dependent on small ball and the three point shot. They rebound, play defense, and block shots. If they can beat the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, it may help slow the league wide panic for every team to become a cheap copy of Golden State.
University of Oregon Football is the closest comparison to the Warriors. The Ducks burst on the scene and shocked teams into submission with their hyper up-tempo, no huddle offense. Opponents couldn’t keep up. Just like the Warriors, Oregon seemed unstoppable.
Then teams figured them out. Teams like Auburn, Ohio State and Stanford proved the blueprint for beating them wasn’t to emulate their style, but to physically dominate them and push them around. Oregon is still respected as an elite program, but not feared as an unstoppable force of nature.
If the Thunder can take out the Warriors, they’ll do it by staying true to their own blueprint, not by becoming a carbon copy. This would ultimately be good for the NBA.
Ric Bucher, of Bleacher Report and Sirius XM, agreed with Colin that the league wide trend of high volume three point shooting has grown tiresome.
“I like blueberry pie. I’m not going to be Mel Kiper and have it for breakfast every morning. That turns you into the cast from the Willy Wonka factory. There can be too much of a good thing.”