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All-Time Lakers Team vs. All-Time Warriors Team: The Duel Of Two Powerful NBA Franchises

All-Time Lakers Team vs. All-Time Warriors Team: The Duel Of Two Powerful NBA Franchises

Two of the most storied franchises ever are the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are the most successful franchise ever, joining the Boston Celtics with 17 NBA titles. Being a Laker means that flashy, style, and expectation are at an all-time high; and many players have not been able to handle that pressure throughout NBA history.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have had some elite Hall of Fame talent throughout their history including Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, and Chris Mullin; before current stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant changed the game with the franchise. A franchise dedicated to success, the Warriors are also one of the most well-run sports organizations in the world.

But which all-time great franchise would come out on top in a 7-game series? It is time to pit the Lakers’ all-time starting five against the Warriors’ all-time starting five in a matchup for the ages, where only one team can come out on top. In a hotly contested series, here is how the series is broken down and who eventually edges the other.

Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry

Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry

Magic is a unique point guard because he had the size to punish smaller defenders and also control the pace of the game. We have seen some incredible Hal of Fame talents at the point guard spot throughout NBA history, but none compare to Magic because he was simply special.

Stephen Curry will struggle to defend against Magic in the post because the Lakers star could take him one-on-one with ease in the post, and also shield the ball over him to make passes. But Steph will give Magic headaches when he moves around the perimeter, getting open looks at times and spacing the floor.

Kobe Bryant vs. Klay Thompson

Kobe Bryant vs. Klay Thompson

Kobe is a killer, and will be a massive factor in the 7-game series. The Black Mamba will relish the challenge of playing against Klay Thompson, a talented defensive player who is not quite as talented as him. Bryant will love one-on-one matchups and will come through in the clutch as well.

Meanwhile, like Steph, Klay will find a way to get open by running through the bruising screens of Wilt Chamberlain. Thompson will not have the most dominant series against Kobe Bryant, but he will still be a crucial factor in getting the series to 7 games.

LeBron James vs. Rick Barry

LeBron James vs. Rick Barry

LeBron James perhaps will never be honored as an all-time Lakers great because he played the majority of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he is still one of the most talented small forwards to have ever played for the franchise. In fact, he is better than Elgin Baylor and James Worthy as an all-around talent.

Younger Warriors fans might not be aware of how dominant Rick Barry was, a superstar small forward who won Rookie of the Year, a scoring title, and an NBA title (with Finals MVP) with the Warriors. Barry is one of the greatest scorers of his era, and a Hall of Famer who will not back down against LeBron in the series.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Kevin Durant

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Kevin Durant

The Lakers will have to find a way to incorporate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into their all-time lineup alongside Shaquille O’Neal because he had the single most unstoppable move ever: the skyhook. Along with that, Kareem was a winner and will dominate the paint against a much smaller and weaker Kevin Durant.

Just like Durant will get beat in the post, he will take the beating to Kareem from the perimeter. KD is one of the greatest perimeter scorers ever and has a jump shot that will cater perfectly to the presence of Wilt Chamberlain down low. Durant joins the “Splash Brothers” trio on the court and will give the Lakers the most problems in the series.

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Wilt Chamberlain

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Wilt Chamberlain

Is there anyone else who would start at the center position? Shaquille O’Neal will be critical to battling with Wilt Chamberlain down low and will take the game to the dominant big man. O’Neal loved games against other superstar players, and there will be a legitimate Battle of the Titans in the paint when he bangs against Chamberlain.

Wilt vs. Shaq will be one of the most storied matchups in the series because Chamberlain finally competes against a player with similar strength. Wilt was not only powerful but extremely long and athletic and will give headaches to the Lakers bigs over 7 games.

Team Lakers Advantages

The Lakers have plenty of size and clutch ability, something that normally results in wins. Magic Johnson is the greatest winner at the point guard spot and is also 6’9”, giving him the ability to see over Steph and make his teammates better. Kobe is the greatest clutch player in his position after Michael Jordan, and will be a big factor at 6’6”.

LeBron, Kareem, and Shaq are all massive players with size and strength; giving the Warriors a legitimate problem when it comes to physicality. The Warriors have the luxury of Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry was no slouch at 6’7”, but the Lakers have much more size in their lineup.

Team Warriors Advantages

The Warriors will rely on their shooting, unsurprisingly. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the greatest shooting backcourt ever, and joining them is Kevin Durant who is the best scorer on the team. That trio proved that they are impossible to beat when they are all on the floor, and the presence of Wilt Chamberlain will only make this tougher.

Golden State will struggle to deal with the Lakers’ size, but they will more than make up for it with shooting and floor-spacing. The Lakers’ losses will come down to their inability to handle the Warriors’ shooting throughout the series because the Warriors will live and die by the three.

Which Team Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?

Game 1 goes to the Los Angeles Lakers, in a difficult 120-119 victory. In the most competitive game of the series, there are 15 lead changes throughout the game with both sets of stars going off against each other. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson combine for 15 threes made, a big factor in the game. But the Lakers sneak by a victory thanks to an incredible Kobe Bryant game-winner over Klay Thompson at the buzzer.

The Warriors exact revenge in Game 2, as Wilt Chamberlain finishes with a near triple-double with 32 points, 20 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 blocks. The Warriors center gets Shaquille O’Neal in foul trouble, leaving Kareem to focus on defending Wilt. That means Durant has a chance to dominate, and chips in 38 points to secure a 110-101 victory.

The Lakers win Game 3 on the back of a fantastic performance from Magic Johnson, the point guard controls the pace of the game and finishes with 17 assists. Thanks to Johnson’s ability to use his size on defense against Steph, he sets his teammates up for success as James and Bryant combined for 67 points in a 100-88 route.

Golden State bounce back in Game 4, as the shooters find their range again. Steph is the player of the game, dropping 33 points on 7 threes made. Magic struggles to keep up with Curry, who happens to have the hottest hand in the game. Rick Barry also contributes 25 points and 15 rebounds, outplaying the duo of James and Bryant. Warriors win 118-103 in a convincing display.

The Lakers feel embarrassed by their putrid showing in Game 4, especially since Bryant (17 points on 42% shooting) and James (20 points, 4 assists) fail to show up. But they find the hot hands early, combining for 20 assists as Shaq and Kareem dominate Wilt in the post. Shaq drops 30 points and Kareem adds 29, meaning the Warriors cannot compete. For the first time in the series, the Lakers bigs control the series.

Game 6 is a must-win for Golden State, and they respond. Wilt is a monster again with 22 points and 26 rebounds, and the “Splash Brothers” trio combine for 16 threes made. With that amount of shooting, the Lakers find little hope besides Bryant’s 34 points and James’ triple-double. The game ends in a 130-125 victory for the Warriors. A Durant three-pointer and a Steph layup prove to be the difference over the last minute of the game.

The time has come for a Game 7 of the ages. The game is tight until the 3rd quarter before Shaq and Kareem impose their size. The Diesel drops 15 points in the third quarter, and Kareem adds 15 of his own in the fourth. The Lakers do not attempt a three in the fourth quarter and force-feed Shaq and Kareem instead. Both bigs combine for 70 points and 22 rebounds, leaving Durant helpless on defense. With Magic controlling the pace and letting the bigs eat, Bryant and James take a backseat in a monster 120-99 victory to seal the series.

Final Result: All-Time Lakers vs. All-Time Warriors 4-3

Finals MVP: Shaquille O’Neal 


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