What do you need to be a Championship Team?
Believe it or not, there’s a formula for every NBA team to follow to become a Championship Team. And there are only 5 key components. A prime example of the product of this championship formula would be the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors.
First, you need a superstar. Someone you can get the ball to at any point in time and they can get a bucket. This superstar must also be able to hit clutch shots with the game on the line.
Take Stephen Curry as an example. He solidified himself as a superior scorer and someone who could hit a shot from anywhere. Most people don’t view him as a classic “clutch” player but Curry has put his team on his back and delivered wins for his squad.
Second, you need a secondary star: someone who can ease the load off of the main superstar. Every great team had its own co-star. MJ had Pippen, Bird had McHale, and Curry had Klay Thompson. Klay is a microwave. Out of nowhere, he could light up a defense for 60 points.
This then makes teams overcompensate by defending Klay Thompson, leading to easier shots for Steph Curry. Not only was Klay spectacular on offense but his defense was another bright spot that benefited the club.
The third component is a pure defensive anchor: someone the team can trust to make a crucial stop. What’s also important is for that defensive anchor to be able to guard all 5 positions well.
When you think of a player like that there’s only a few that come to mind. Draymond Green should be at the top of the list. He’s the perfect glue guy for a championship team.
Green has proven to lock down all five positions on a consistent basis. He hyped up the team and encourages the players to play the hardest they can.
The fourth is a solid 6th man: someone who can come in and give one of the starters a rest but still not lose a lot of talent in the substitution. For most of the 2014-15 season, that person was Andre Iguodala.
Iggy could do it all that season. He came off the bench for the majority of the season up until the finals when he was tasked to guarding LeBron James and eventually took home the Finals MVP. The Warriors could sub any of their wings out and replace them with Iguodala and would not lose a step on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.
Finally, one of the most overlooked keys to a championship team is a competent coach. The coach needs to know and trust his players. He or she needs to be someone who has a good relationship with his/her players and have mutual respect.
One of the most perfect examples is Steve Kerr. He took over for Mark Jackson in 2014 and built upon his system. He has a great relationship with all of his players which is crucial for success. If there’s no trust on the team then there is no team.
Can a team win by not using this formula? Sure. But that team has to be loaded with star power and also needs luck on their side.
More general managers should try and follow this formula. Some teams are very close, and we are all eager to see what those teams can be like.
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