Warriors have every team rethinking its strategy, especially the Cavs

Steph Curry and the Warriors have made this season a laugher.

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How do you beat the unbeatable? That’s the question facing the 29 NBA teams not named the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State is sitting pretty at 48-4, though you could point out that the Spurs are only 3 1/2 games back. But has 3 1/2 games ever felt so insurmountable, especially after the Warriors crushed San Antonio by 30 points in January?

Even the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili thinks it’s a lost cause — at least for now. When you face what feels like a never-ending barrage of 3-pointers from a team that’s shooting 42 percent from deep, it must become overwhelming. And that’s exactly what the Warriors have done to the opposition, beating teams by an average of 12.5 points.

It felt almost like a victory for the Thunder, who reportedly picked up guard Randy Foye on Thursday, to lose by only eight earlier this month. Of the Warriors’ four actual losses, only one came against a team they might face in the playoffs — the Mavericks.


Many felt Golden State would face a real test when it took on Cleveland, Chicago and San Antonio during a seven-day stretch in January. The Warriors beat those three by a combined 95 points.

So how do you beat them? The Cavs reportedly brought in Channing Frye — a stretch 4 — to team with Kevin Love — another stretch 4. Why make this move? It’s all about matching up against the Warriors, surrounding LeBron James with enough shooters to keep up with the Dubs.

This is somewhat of an about-face for the Cavs, who during last season’s trade deadline acquired big man Timofey Mozgov. The Frye move allows the Cavs to go small against the Warriors, pairing Frye with Love in a frontcourt that can spread opposing defenses. But what about the other side of the ball?

What makes the Warriors special is their commitment at the defensive end, most notably from deep. The Warriors allow the lowest percentage (.314) from deep, negating the opposition’s ability to beat them at their own game.

And as special as Steph Curry is — and there’s no denying that — Draymond Green is the real matchup nightmare on this team. His ability to guard bigs while also stretching the floor and running the offense in certain situations makes him one of the unique players in the league. Love can space the floor for the Cavs but is a defensive liability. Green is arguably the Warriors’ best defender and the player who makes the Warriors really unique.

It also helps to have Curry knock down shots from the logo.

The Cavs are virtual locks to make a return trip to the NBA Finals, so Thursday’s move was an obvious reaction to the Warriors’ dominance in case they emerge from the West. But does Channing Frye really get Cleveland any closer to Golden State’s excellence?