The Golden State Warriors built a dynasty and a huge legacy ever since Steve Kerr took the reins of the team, even breaking that mythical Chicago Bulls record on their way to a fantastic and historic 73 win season a couple of campaigns ago.
Winning 2 of the last 3 Championships and making it to the finals with almost no opposition in all of those seasons, every team’s trying to wonder how on earth to stop the Golden State Warriors, especially LeBron James, who’s been on the losing end of the matchup in those 2 Warriors Championships.
Over the last couple of campaigns, we’ve seen the San Antonio Spurs represent a lot of trouble for Stephen Curry and his teammates, but an unfortunate Kawhi Leonard injury in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals made Golden State completely whoop Popovich’s butt throughout the series.
So, with everybody trying to team up to beat the Golden State Warriors and lead the fierce Western Conference, it’s not easy to figure out exactly what would it take to upset the reigning NBA Champions.
Today, we’re going to talk about 5 monster lineups (minus LeBron James) that we believe could get this job done, although pulling this off would still be a huge milestone even for the best players in the world.
Starting Lineup 1:
Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kristaps Porzingis, Hassan Whiteside
Kyrie Irving already knows what it’s like to kill the Golden State Warriors and he’s one of the few point guards in history that could actually outplay Stephen Curry, with him and Kristaps Porzingis trying to keep up with the Warriors’ firepower from beyond the arc.
For defensive purposes, Whiteside would be the man down low trying to contain Curry and Durant below the rim, while Butler would completely lock down Klay Thompson in the backcourt. Besides, Giannis would be fitted to guard all 5 players in the Warriors squad and he’s the perfect guy to run the team’s offense with his fast-paced kind of play.
Starting Lineup 2
Russell Westbrook, Andrew Wiggins, Kawhi Leonard
Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol
Nobody wants to beat the Golden State Warriors more than Russell Westbrook after his former teammate and buddy Kevin Durant decided to join them the very next year they beat him, and the walking triple-double would definitely bring his A-game.
Both Griffin and Gasol would be great against the Warriors due to his ability to stretch the floor, while Wiggins could torch them down low with his hops and strong finishing ability. Oh, and obviously, having the best defender in the world and the Warriors’ kryptonite on the team would also help a lot.
Starting Lineup 3
Damian Lillard, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony
DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan
Lillard is as clutch as they come and he’s deadly from beyond the arc, and we already know what James Harden’s capable of doing on the offensive end when given the chance to run the team’s offense, being able to keep up with the run and gun Golden State Warriors offense.
Cousins would make Draymond Green go nuts with his trash talking and crafty moves, while Jordan will make sure nothing gets over the backboard and they don’t get those dozens of second chances they get. And with Carmelo on the wings, these 4 shooters will have the kind of spacing and reliable shooters from distance that could dethrone Kerr’s squad.
Starting Lineup 4
Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan
Kevin Love, Rudy Gobert
Paul is the best point guard in the nation and an outstanding defender that would match up very nicely against Curry, and with all these 3 shooters on Paul, Beal and Love, spacing wouldn’t be an issue, and we already know they can really play up-tempo.
Rudy Gobert is the best defensive big man in the league and he’d definitely own the glass, while DeRozan could also try and lock down Kevin Durant with his much-improved defense. Besides, with his ability to create contact and get to the foul line, he would get Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in a lot of trouble.
Starting Lineup 4
John Wall, Gordon Hayward, Paul George
Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns
John Wall would be perfect against the Warriors, considering he’s a one-man fast break that can go from baseline to baseline on a heartbeat, keeping up with their pace. Besides, with George and Hayward on the wings, he’d be deadly on the pick and pop with his top-notch passes.
And a Davis–Towns frontcourt will be a top-tier twin towers kind of pairing that would be any team’s kryptonite, with both being elite rim protectors and having a lot of range. This one’s the most balanced squad, featuring very good defenders and an all shooter lineup at the same time, and they could definitely take a 7 game series away from Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Pachulia.