Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala believes the Oklahoma City Thunder were the best team to participate in the 2016 NBA playoffs, which included Iguodala’s record-setting Warriors and the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Now that we got (Kevin Durant), I can say it: They were the best team last year in the league in the playoffs,” Iguodala said, via ESPN. “They were better than us. They were better than Cleveland. They were the best team in the playoffs. They should’ve won a championship.”
The Thunder went up 3-1 on the 73-win Warriors in the Western Conference finals before losing three straight games and missing out on the NBA Finals. The collapse included a blown lead at home in Game 6 and an eight-point loss at Golden State in Game 7.
The Warriors followed suit in the NBA Finals, blowing a 3-1 series lead over the Cavaliers as LeBron James willed Cleveland to the city’s first championship since 1964.
Despite the Cavs’ historic come-from-behind win, Iguodala still thinks Oklahoma City was the better team.
“They played us better than anyone,” Iguodala said. “They played us better than Cleveland. Some of the stuff they was doing, it’s like … ‘Oh, man. We gotta play perfect.'”
The Warriors won’t need to worry about playing perfect against Oklahoma City in future matchups. Durant bolted the Thunder for Golden State, and there’s now rumors and rumblings about Oklahoma City entertaining the idea of trading Russell Westbrook before the start of next season.
Essentially, Golden State’s biggest rival in the Western Conference has crumbled this offseason.
It’s amazing how one series changed the entire landscape of the NBA. Had Oklahoma City finished off the Warriors and went on to beat the Cavs in the NBA Finals, there’s no chance we’re talking about Durant in Golden State. Alas, the basketball world is still feeling the ripple effects of the “best team” failing to win the game’s biggest prize.