The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of a historic season as they campaign to repeat as NBA champions.The Dubs have a blistering 40-4 record and have drawn comparisons to the winningest team in NBA history, the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls.
At the same point in the 95-96 season, the Bulls’ record was 41-3. With barely breathing space between the two teams, not only are the comparisons warranted but Chicago’s 72-10 record is in sight. But which team is better? Who would win in a head to head?
Not wanting to miss out on the fun, we've decided to compare both sets of the starting lineups to see who comes out on top. Stats shown are for the respective seasons in question, rather than career.
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Ok, fairly obvious here that the reigning MVP, Steph, wins the head-to-head. He is leading the league in scoring and, alongside his ridiculous handles, his incredible ability to shoot from anywhere has Curry cementing himself as the greatest shooter of all time.
Harper on the other hand, whilst no slouch, was a shadow of his former self on offense by 1995. Age and serious knee injuries had taken their toll on Ron but he excelled as a defensive specialist. His length and court IQ compensated for his lack of speed and, theoretically, he should have been able to hamper Curry (at least a little).
Thompson is the best two-way guard in the league right now. He’s long, athletic and is a great shooter even in Curry’s shadow. However, this is “the GOAT” Klay is matched up with.
In his first full season back from retirement, MJ had a point to prove to all his critics and boy did he do that. MVP, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive First Team and Scoring Champion. Need I go on?
I realise that Barnes has been injured for a lengthy portion of this season, but when healthy, he’s the first choice to start at Small Forward.
His athleticism and all round game fits perfectly with the Warriors' style of play, but he’s matched up against another Hall of Fame star in Pippen. Pip, having been exposed to the pressures of being the franchise player during Jordan’s hiatus, became the perfect complement to number 23.
The original point forward, Scottie was All-NBA First Team, All-Defensive First Team and even prised a player of the month award away from MJ. Pip takes this one hands down.
This is by far the most difficult and controversial match up in the head-to-head. On the one hand, Rodman led the league in rebounding and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. On the other, Green is one of the most versatile players in the league and a headache for every opponent.
Whilst Curry is the face of the Warriors, Green is their heart and soul. His performance this season has him stealing MVP votes from Curry, looking like a Defensive Player of the Year nominee and he’s on track to become only the eighth player in NBA history to average 14, 9 and 7. Pains me to say it but (based on their respective single seasons) Green wins this match up.
Finally, bringing the thunder from down under, we have two Aussie big men squaring off. Luc is ahead in scoring, but with Curry, Thompson and Green ahead of Bogut, that’s not a surprise.
Bogut has the nod on the boards, but he doesn’t have the Worm alongside him pulling almost 15 rebounds a game. So that leaves defensive capability and athleticism, which means I’m picking Bogut here.
Unbelievably, that makes it 3-2 to the Warriors versus the UntouchaBulls! But stats don’t give the whole picture. The Bulls were the perfect team and until Golden State take their crown, they remain my choice.
With a difficult schedule over the remaining regular season the Dub’s have their work cut out. Whether or not they break the record the Warriors need to keep their eyes on the bigger prize because, just as the Bulls said in '96, 72 and 10 don’t mean a thing without the ring.
NBA fans: What do you think, who has the better starting roster? Let us know in the comments below...