The 2016 NBA Finals continue tonight with Game 5, as the Golden State Warriors look to close out the Cleveland Cavaliers and take their second straight NBA Title.
What can you learn from the Warriors about talent? Pretty simple, actually - look to evolve how you view
talent as the rules of your game change, and after you reset what you value most, think about what behavioral characteristics matter most to make your team a group of interchangeable parts that can successfully work as a team.
Oh yeah - almost forgot - after you accomplish that, make sure you retain the talent for long stretches.
Is that all?
Yeah, that's all. Let's go though it via a nice piece Zach Lowe did over the weekend at ESPN. First, load up on talent that takes advantage of industry changes with the biggest advantage. For the Warriors, that means the 3 point shot:
"If the Warriors seize history Monday, it will be viewed as the closing argument in the bombastic, warped debate about whether a "jump-shooting team" can win at the highest level. The two pivotal games of this Golden State sequel -- Game 6 against the Thunder, and Game 4 in Cleveland -- will rightfully go down as watershed moments when even the skeptics realized how much more three is than two.
The Warriors in those two swing games outscored the Thunder and Cavs 114-27 combined from 3-point range. At some point, the math becomes overwhelming. Almost nothing else matters. Three isn't just one more than two. It is 50 percent more, a gargantuan bonus in a game of finite possessions."
That number in two huge games is crazy. But getting to that number is not only about shooting, it's about defense. That's where Lowe shows how roster construction and probably a bit of luck has made the Warriors not only flashy, but a "grind it out" group of teammates you'd love to have working for your company:
"Pigeonholing the Warriors as a "jump-shooting team" has done them a disservice, and frustratingly boxed in much of the discourse surrounding their rise. Talk to almost any Golden State player or coach, and they will say the same thing: "We are a defense-first team." The Warriors ranked No. 1 in the whole stinking league last season in points allowed per possession. They slumped to No. 5 this season, in part because they were so good, they destroyed teams without having to defend at anywhere close to peak intensity.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a team communicate and switch who they're guarding so seamlessly. The Warriors swap assignments on the fly without even a millisecond of finger-pointing confusion that might open scoring windows.
By the way: that switching is a big reason LeBron has struggled at times attacking the basket. A lot of the folks screeching about LeBron "not taking over" miss the point that it's hard to "take over" when the defense doesn't even have to rotate. LeBron is a freight train going to the rim. He makes it look easy, and a lot of his critics hold that against him when it gets hard.
You don't get a head start when Iguodala just passes you off to Livingston. You've covered no north-south ground, and the Warriors have ceded no territory. You just face another like-sized defender, with his feet set, squaring up to wall off the paint. LeBron can't just run over those dudes. He has to work his crossovers, squeeze around them, search for crevices opening toward the rim."
Whether you're a hard core basketball fan or just passively watching the game tonight because someone in your family wants to watch, don't get suckered into believing the success of the warriors is all about shooting. Outscoring your opponents 114-27 from 3pt range over two games is as much about organizational development and coaching on the defensive end as it is about individual talent in an area like shooting.
Watch how in synch they are on defense. In doing that, you'll understand that Golden State has more than talent - they have an organizational plan.
And yes, you'll probably get a glimpse of Riley Curry tonight after the Warriors take the title.