Since the 2018 NBA champions were crowned Monday night as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 7, let’s have some hypothetical fun involving the Oakland Raiders and Golden State.
And sorry Cleveland, you have no chance of winning the 2018 NBA finals. So you did read that correctly.
As such, who on the Raiders most closely resembles each of the five players from the Warriors’ dominant Hampton’s Five that is about to win its second championship in as many years.
Stephen Curry = Derek Carr
DC and SC may not the best players on their own team, but they are the most important.
Everyone remembers what happened to the Raiders after Carr broke his leg against the Indianapolis Colts. The team completely fell apart. Last season, Carr was nowhere near 100 percent and his team’s play suffered mightily.
When Curry is out, the Warriors do not become inept like Oakland but they do go from an all-time great team to just very good.
In 2016, Curry was battling injuries throughout his entire playoff run. He averaged just 22.6 points per game, 7.5 points per game less than his regular season average. And with a few unlucky events, Golden State blew a 3-1 lead to LeBron James.
Curry has experienced injuries throughout this season and the Warriors have shown their first flashes of mortality with Kevin Durant as the Rockets were 24 minutes away from eliminating the Warriors twice.
In addition to being the most important player, both Carr and Curry were overlooked coming out of less notable colleges, have religious backgrounds and had a family member make it to the league before them.
Kevin Durant = Khalil Mack
After reading above, Kevin Durant’s match seems to be fairly obvious. He and Khalil Mack are easily the best players on their respective team but are not the most important.
Both teams would be in trouble if they lost one of these guys, but everyone knows the Raiders have a shot to win any game with Carr under center and Curry can ignite Golden State to almost any victory with his deadly sharp shooting.
In terms of play, Durant and Mack are both once in a generation talents. Mack is the total package with elite strength and speed making it so any pass rush move can be added to his arsenal. As such, Mack will be among the best pass rushers in the NFL for the foreseeable future.
Durant stands at almost seven feet with a remarkable shooting ability, ball handling capabilities similar to a point guard and the athleticism of a two-guard. Something the NBA has never seen.
All in all, both are arguably the best at their positions in their respective leagues and will be dominant for nearly the next decade but still aren’t the most important player on their team.
Klay Thompson = Gabe Jackson
In the same way Klay Thompson came up with Curry and Draymond Green in the NBA, Gabe Jackson came into the league with Carr and Mack and is the last link to an excellent homegrown trio.
Jackson, who rarely gets national attention, has quietly turned into one of the best guards in the NFL. He just plays his game at a pro bowl level.
Those who watch Golden State regularly know Thompson shows up to work each day, grinds and then performs at an impressive clip. He doesn’t say much and keeps a calm demeanor but racks up respect from those around the league.
Both are special talents and teammates who just play their sport without needing immense recognition (Amari Cooper also works here).
Draymond Green = Kelechi Osemele
Let’s put it this way. If you were an NBA or NFL player and you just cheap shotted a Raider or Warrior who is the last person you would want to see in that moment? Obviously, Draymond Green or Kelechi Osemele.
They are the heart and soul of their team and bring a level of toughness that often borders on the line of dirty.
Andre Iguodala = Bruce Irvin
In what might have been the hardest player to find a match, Bruce Irvin most closely resembles Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala and Irvin are both veterans who have plenty of playoff experience from other organizations. They aren’t quite part of the foundation of their current teams but are still extremely valuable by becoming leaders and providing excellent plays on defense.
In addition, they often come up with clutch moments. Iguodala has always been the LeBron stopper in the NBA Finals and Irvin has had a nose for the football tallying 10 forced fumbles in just two seasons in Oakland.
Comment below if you have any other Warriors that closely resemble a Raider or if you disagree with any of the matches for the Hampton’s Five.