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May 29, 2020, 6:10:00 AM

Steve Kerr Believes the 2017 Warriors Were Unbeatable

After suffering a historic loss in the 2016 NBA Finals the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors managed to acquire superstar Kevin Durant. This acquisition meant that the Warriors became a legitimate ‘superteam’.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was confident that they were not going to lose in the 2017 NBA Finals. The final result was never really in doubt for fans and pundits in the NBA world. It is great to see that Kerr was also aware of his team’s overwhelming strength.

Kerr has compared his 2017 team with the young upstart championship team that he coached in his maiden coaching season in 2015. He said, ‘I think the first championship just kind of came out of nowhere. Deep down, I think we weren’t really sure in 2015 that we could win it. We were trying to convince ourselves that we could, but we didn’t really know’.

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His first season with the Warriors in 2015 definitely surprised everyone in the NBA sphere when they raised the trophy at the end of the finals, let alone beating LeBron James on the road to winning it.

Stephen Curry became a superstar as soon as Kerr entered the Warriors lineup. Curry managed to win the 2014-2015 MVP because Kerr transformed the Warriors offence into a three-point shooting centred system. This system did not just change the Warriors but it also changed the landscape of the entire league.

Every team in the NBA has now adopted the system of having three-point shooting as a fundamental need. The Houston Rockets, in particular, have stretched it into an extreme small-ball lineup that emphasizes perimeter shooting and nothing else.

The Warriors became even more successful when they managed to sign Durant to a contract. This was a relatively an unpopular move because people thought that Durant betrayed his team by joining the very team that eliminated him from playoff contention. Even though it was an unpopular move, it was a winning move. Durant managed to win back-to-back titles and Finals MVPs in his three-year stint with Golden State.

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It is not difficult to see why Kerr and the Warriors were confident heading into the 2016-2017 season. They possessed arguably the strongest starting lineup in the history of the NBA. That lineup boasted four high-profile All-Star players which had not been done before. You can argue that the 2015 Atlanta Hawks also did that but each individual player of that lineup pales in comparison to the 2017 Warriors.

That Warriors team had everything. They can easily score from the perimeter and in the paint with Klay Thompson, Curry and Durant. They also had one of the better defences in the league anchored by Draymond Green. Off the bench, they had two of the most reliable players that you can have with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. In addition to that supremely-talented lineup, they were coached by Steve Kerr.

Now, Kerr looks back on the 2017 season and how they felt during that time. He said, ‘Whereas in ’17 we knew we were the best team in the world, and we knew we were going to win the championship. We had the champion’s confidence for winning in ’15 and then we had Kevin Durant. So it’s like a totally different level of belief’.

Love them or hate them, the Warriors were definitely an NBA dynasty through and through.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA