The Golden State Warriors look borderline unstoppable, especially in their own conference.
The Warriors destroyed the Blazers by 29 points in Game 2 without Kevin Durant, because when you're this loaded, you don't need a former MVP to blow out a playoff team.
Indeed, it's becoming harder and harder to envision any one team beating Golden State in the West. But what if the other seven playoff teams on the Warriors' side of the bracket decided to join forces?
Ignoring all the lawsuits that would be filed as a result, we decided to parse through the rest of the postseason rosters to come up with our best superteam to try to take on Stephen Curry & Co.
If you can't beat them, join together and try to kick their butts. That's the NBA way, as the Warriors know all too well.
NBAE/Getty ImagesGarrett Ellwood
Before we get to the roster, let's talk strategy.
Trying to out-small-ball the Warriors is moronic. You can't beat Golden State by playing its own game. Instead, being able to outrebound and outdefend the Warriors is key, as the Cavaliers showed in Games 5 through 7 of last year's NBA Finals.
So with that in mind, we're going big against Golden State's starting lineup, plus adding two elite ballhandlers who can shoot the 3 and the best perimeter defender in the game.
We want to set the tone early and force the Warriors to make the first adjustment.
If they want to match big for big, great. If they want to go small, so be it. We'll have a stretch-four on the bench and a slew of wings and guards who can shoot 3s while defending bigger positions.
We also want the single greatest sixth man in NBA history — a guy who will channel his rage over not starting straight into the heart of the Warriors' defense.
Finally, rim protection is key. We need a center who can lock down the entire area under the 3-point line on his own (and yes, there's a guy who fits the bill). A backup who can more or less do the same should our starter get in foul trouble is crucial, too.
So which 10 players would we pick? We're glad you asked ...
Thomas SheaThomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
PG: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul's defensive tenacity is an absolute necessity against Curry and the Warriors, and his ability to control the pace of a game will help keep our superteam from engaging in a shootout with Golden State.
SG: James Harden, Houston Rockets
The Rockets unleashed Harden by turning him into a point guard, true, but he'd be just fine playing off the ball as a secondary playmaker and catch-and-shoot specialist.
If he can get the Warriors' guards in foul trouble early, even better.
Sergio EstradaSergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
SF: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Leonard is a no-brainer as our nominal small forward. He can play up to defend Kevin Durant when the Warriors go small or prevent Draymond Green from acting as the focal point of the offense — and in a pinch, he can smother Curry if the two-time MVP starts to get hot.
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PF: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
The most controversial choice on our roster (probably), Gasol's basketball intelligence and passing skills as a big man would prove invaluable against Golden State.
And if our dual big-man lineup fails, we'll be sure to have a quick hook for Gasol.
C: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Gobert is long, he's skilled at hedging or dropping back against screens, and he's a monster on the boards.
If we were building an ideal team to take on the Warriors, we'd start with Gobert over any player other than LeBron and build around his presence in the middle.
Bench: Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
In reality, you could never ask Westbrook to come off the bench. He'd laugh in your face and check himself into the starting lineup.
In this purely theoretical exercise, though, we're unleashing Westbrook as the greatest sixth man in NBA history. May the basketball gods take mercy on the soul of whoever has to guard him as he rises from the pine with devastation on his mind.
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Bench: Patrick Beverley, G, Houston Rockets
Beverley is a pest. We mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.
Being able to throw the Rockets guard at a red-hot Curry would be a luxury on this star-studded team, yet defense might be the most important facet of the game if you're trying to beat the Warriors.
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Bench: Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
We're not sure Griffin would see the court much with this roster. On the other hand, he's still one of the best forwards in the NBA. Having him on the bench isn't the worst thing in the world.
Bench: Ryan Anderson, F, Houston Rockets
Every roster needs a stretch-four. Anderson is about the best we can do in the Western Conference, even though he's a liability on defense.
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Bench: DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers
Jordan is the third big on our roster, just in case both Gasol and Gobert need to sit at the same time. He can patrol the lane and hunt for lobs against the smaller Warriors team — as long as they don't turn to intentional fouling, anyway.
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