Golden State’s “Death Lineup” proved fatal to every team they played last year. It was, in fact, the most effective lineup in the NBA. It seems that the lineup will only get stronger by adding former MVP Kevin Durant this past offseason. The Thunder, believe it or not, possess a lineup that could give the Warriors fits.
Golden State’s “Death Lineup” will consist of Steph-Klay-Iggy-KD-Draymond. How can OKC possibly matchup with that lineup? Put two of the league’s best defenders on the court at the same time. Andre Roberson has matched up with the NBA’s elite and has succeeded. Why couldn’t he guard the guy he has gone up against in practice for the past three years? Oladipo, the smaller of our two guards, would take on the challenge of guarding Steph Curry, the smaller of their two guards. Russell Westbrook would stick with Klay Thompson, and Steven Adams on Draymond Green. Anybody else wanna see this Adams vs. Green matchup again?
That leaves the last spot for OKC wide open, and someone to guard Andre Igudola. All do respect to Iggy, he is not necessarily known for his offensive abilities. This is why I like the thought of putting Alex Abrines out there to guard Iggy. This move will really space the floor and open up opportunities for Russ to drive and kick. Abrines doesn’t need to be an elite defender to stay in front of Igudola. If you want a small ball, Warrior killing lineup this is it. Russ-Dipo-Abrines-Dre-Adams.
This lineup will force Steph to pick his poison on which athletic freak he would like to guard, open up shooting for Abrines, and exploit Adam’s height mismatch in the post. Another lineup we’re likely to see from the Warriors would be their projected starting lineup, no Iggy, add Pachulia. If this is the case, the Thunder add Kanter, take out Abrines. It would be really challenging for an aging Zaza Pachulia to shut down an offensive minded Enes Kanter and all the post moves he brings to the table. Russell will have his way against almost any lineup the Warriors have, due to their lack of a true shot blocker, and, really, because Russ will have his way against anyone.(#WhyNot?)
The Thunder have the perfect set up with two all-around stars at guard and an outstanding defender in Roberson. OKC matches up as good as anyone with the Warriors, and is well equipped to give them quite the run for their money. One may think there would be double teams coming Russell Westbrook’s way because of Andre Roberson’s lack of offensive ability. But, The Brodie said it best, “You better bring three.”