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Barnes picks starting five to compete with 2017-18 Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors had a number of historic teams throughout their five straight years of NBA Finals appearances from 2015-2019. 

One of the most notable was the 2017-18 “Hamptons Five” consisting of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. That year the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals for the second year in a row, claiming the third and final championship of their historic run. 

Former Warrior Matt Barnes joined Grant Liffmann on a recent episode of “Dubs Talk,” where he was asked which of his former teams would stand the best chance of competing against the “Hamptons Five.”

“There’s three teams that come to mind,” Barnes said. “The first one would be the ‘We Believe’ team with Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, Monta [Ellis], myself and Al Harrington. I think that small-ball Nelly team could run with that team. The Laker team, this would be a real contrast of styles, but Kobe [Bryant], Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol. Then the ‘Lob City’ team, which you know, was our rival for a little while with Chris Paul, me, J.J. [Redick], Jamal Crawford can all be exchangeable and then Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.”

Of the three teams, Barnes was then asked specifically which of his former teammates (of any team) would he pick to build a starting five that would stack up the best against the Warriors. 

“I would take Chris Paul at the point, Baron Davis at the two, Kobe at the three, Blake Griffin at the four and Pau Gasol at the five. I come off the bench on that team.”

Barnes’ starting five of Paul, Davis, Kobe, Griffin and Gasol would not only stack up well against the Warriors at their peak but arguably would be one of the best teams of all time. The Warriors, though, had one thing going for them that many other superteams lack and that’s chemistry.  

“On paper, it’s always a good (team) but what’s always made the Warriors good is their chemistry,” Barnes added. “From the time we started playing them when they were younger, to their runs, to them rebuilding now. What always gives me hope — obviously there’s Steph and Draymond and Klay — but their chemistry is second-to-none and unless you really played in this league you don’t know how important it is.”

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The Warriors’ five-year run of Finals appearances came to an end after a crushing loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Since then, Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson sustained both ACL and Achilles injuries and the Warriors failed to make the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. 

This season, however, Golden State (27-6) is riding high as the NBA’s best team and appears to be on the brink of yet another championship run. Without the star power of the “Hamptons Five,” an NBA title this season would certainly be impressive.

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