NBA fans have debated all season: Is there anything that can keep the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors from meeting in the Finals for the third straight year?
So far the answer is no. But John Calipari said this week that he believes an All-Kentucky team would be capable of beating either of those teams — or both — and win the NBA title this year. And not surprisingly, John Wall agrees with his former Wildcats coach.
The Washington Wizards point guard told FS1’s Chris Broussard that a team with a starting five of him, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins could take home the title, because “all those guys have a lot of heart and they have pride in defending. I mean, that’s the key. When you have a lot of talent, can you defend? Can you get stops and get everyone to play the right way and play together?”
Article continues below ...
Good question. Though Colin Cowherd’s guess would be no.
Wall and Davis were second-team All-Defensive Team selections in 2014-15, but Booker’s Suns are allowing the second-most points (112.4) in the league this season (with a Wildcat-heavy backcourt including Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis). Towns hasn’t entirely bought into new Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive principles, and Minnesota is middle of the pack defensively, as is Sacramento.
Then there’s this more significant statistic: Wall has 12 playoff wins under his belt; the other four have zero. In fact, Davis is the only other one with playoff experience. And a team with those five is going to beat the Cavs and/or Warriors?
Cowherd says that while Calipari’s Kentucky stars all are tremendously talented, they wind up in two categories when they get to the NBA. Check out his take in the video below.