Create
Notifications
New User posted their first comment
Advertisement

5 reasons why Golden State Warriors' Big Three was better than Brooklyn Nets'

Klay Thompson (#11 )of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with Kevin Durant (#35) and Stephen Curry (#30) against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
Klay Thompson (#11 )of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with Kevin Durant (#35) and Stephen Curry (#30) against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
ANALYST
Modified 19 Feb 2021
Feature
Advertisement

Though the Brooklyn Nets' Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving is regarded as an amazing offensive group, the Golden State Warriors' Big Three featuring Kevin Durant was arguably better.

Much has been said about the Brooklyn Nets acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets in January 2021, adding him to a formidable core of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

However, let's find out why the Golden State Warriors' Big Three was a more potent Big Three than the Brooklyn Nets'.


Five reasons why Golden State Warriors' Big Three with Kevin Durant was better than the Brooklyn Nets' trio

LA Lakers' LeBron James has reminded some members of the media about the Golden State Warriors' Big Three from 2016 to 2019 with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

James would know that trio quite well, as he had to face them in consecutive NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, falling to them both times. James' Cleveland Cavaliers' team at the time was simply overmatched.

On that note, let us have a look at five reasons why 'The King' is right when he says Kevin Durant's Big Three with the Golden State Warriors was better than the current Brooklyn Nets trio.


Advertisement

#5 Kevin Durant was the only new in the Golden State Warriors trio

Kevin Durant won two championships alongside Curry and Thompson.
Kevin Durant won two championships alongside Curry and Thompson.

Kevin Durant's move to the Golden State Warriors in 2016 was clearly more shocking than James Harden's trade to the Brooklyn Nets. But that did not bring about a revolution in the Golden State Warriors' dynamic.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had shared the backcourt for five full seasons and already had an NBA championship ring when Durant arrived.

Durant and Irving played together for the first time at the start of the 2020-21 NBA season; Harden has played just six full games with the KD-Irving pair since he arrived at the Brooklyn Nets.


#4 The basketball fit between the Splash Brothers and Kevin Durant was better

Advertisement
Stephen Curry (#30), Kevin Durant (#35) and Klay Thompson (#11) of the Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Curry (#30), Kevin Durant (#35) and Klay Thompson (#11) of the Golden State Warriors.

Though they have been able to find their way offensively, Durant, Harden and Irving are not a better fit than Durant, Curry and Thompson were.

In Durant's first season with the Golden State Warriors, Curry's shot attempts per game were only lowered by 1.9, and Durant went from 19.2 attempts in his final year at OKC to 16.5 at Oakland.

Meanwhile, Klay Thompson averaged slightly more shots per game, with the team playing virtually at the same pace from the 2015-16 season without Durant.

With the Brooklyn Nets, Harden is averaging 15.3 shots per game, while he averaged 21.1 in his last five seasons at Houston. He has sacrificed some of his scoring ability to facilitate for his teammates as the team is looking to build chemistry.


#3 Playing alongside two of the greatest shooters in NBA history

Advertisement
Stephen Curry was the two-time reigning NBA MVP when Durant arrived.
Stephen Curry was the two-time reigning NBA MVP when Durant arrived.

James Harden is a former NBA MVP and one of the most impressive scorers in NBA history. Kyrie Irving is also a tremendous guard who can score from every offensive area and create make incredible shots.

However, Stephen Curry can be as good a scorer as Harden and Irving while being more effective. Harden has 44/36/86 shooting splits in his career, while Irving has 47/39/88. While those are stunning numbers from the two superstars, Curry still has better percentages in every level (48/43/91)

Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history. By the time Kevin Durant decided to join the Golden State Warriors, Curry had led the team to the title in 2015 and to the Finals in 2016.

Curry and Thompson's Golden State Warriors even went through Harden's Rockets in the 2015 Western Conference Finals in five games; Curry even led the team against Durant's (and Russell Westbrook's) OKC Thunder in the 2016 WCF.

Thompson is also supremely efficient in offense (46/42/85 shooting splits) and might even be the second-best shooter of all time.


#2 Golden State Warriors were a much better defensive unit than the current Brooklyn Nets

Advertisement
Klay Thompson (#11) usually guarded the best scorer from the opposing team.
Klay Thompson (#11) usually guarded the best scorer from the opposing team.

So far, it is quite evident that the Brooklyn Nets are not great defensively, and it starts with their Big Three. Though Kyrie Irving and James Harden can play good defense, they are not great defenders.

The Golden State Warriors' backcourt of Curry and Thompson was different. While Curry mostly played on the passing lines, Klay Thompson was a member of the All-Defensive First Team. That is something Irving and Harden are unlikely to accomplish in the current stage of their careers.

Moreover, while Kevin Durant still has the same impact in offense, he naturally was a better defender back then, as he is older now.


#1 Prior championship experience between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson

The Golden State Warriors celebrate their Larry O
The Golden State Warriors celebrate their Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy after winning Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals.

As a unit, the Golden State Warriors that added Kevin Durant to their roster in 2016 were already a proven team in the NBA Playoffs. Though they were coming off a huge loss in the 2016 NBA Finals, where they blew a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Curry and Thompson had already won the 2015 NBA Finals.

Advertisement

Durant's arrival at the Brooklyn Nets and his Big Three partnership with Harden and Irving is at a very different stage, though. The Brooklyn Nets are only getting used to playing together, and their Big Three has not even played ten games together so far in the 2020-21 NBA season.

The Golden State already had a system when Durant arrived, and it was a big reason why he joined the team in the first place and why they were so dominant.


Also Read: 5 active NBA players with the most triple-doubles.

Published 19 Feb 2021, 11:19 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now