The Utah Jazz are better than the Golden State Warriors. Bold words. The Warriors are flirting with the all-time highest single-season win total this 2015-2016 season. They romped to the NBA Championship in 2014-2015. And for their storied seven decade history they have four titles, though three of those happened back during the time period between WWII and when Disco Music was still cool. Utah has zero titles and are just barely keeping their heads above water, sitting at .500 after yet another difficult season. So where do I get off by saying that the Jazz are better than the Warriors?
Well, like almost every single person on the planet, my personal experiences are more meaningful to me than information gained through second (or worse) hand sources. I saw the Warriors beat up on a horrible Cleveland Cavaliers team that was missing many of their major parts (like their best point guard , best bigman in , and long-time starting center ). I didn't see and crew go up against Michael Jordan. I did see the Jazz do that, though. And when I look at, ostensibly, the life-time of every single person who will read this . . . despite recency bias the Utah Jazz are better than the Golden State Warriors.
If you look at the last decade alone that is false. But if you even extend it as far back as the last five decades the Utah Jazz average 45.86 wins (regular season and playoffs combined) a year, while the Dubs only 39.50. This time period, five decades, includes THREE Warriors teams that went to the finals (two wins), and TWO Jazz teams. If you look at the decade by decade groups they break down as follows:
|Average Total Wins per Season|
If you just look at the lifetime of MOST of the people who can even load up a blog, the last four decades, you see this!
You see a big blue mountain looming over the Warriors from 1983 till 2012. That's thirty straight years (save for 2005 where Golden State's 34 wins was more than Utah's 26 wins) of the Utah Jazz being better than the Golden State Warriors. There would have been one more season of 50+ wins for the Utah Jazz if the 1999 lockout didn't happen.
If you care about wins, including playoff wins, then there's no way that you can look at the big picture and proclaim that Golden State has been regularly better than Utah. So that's where the introspection has to come in and where we get sad.
If the Jazz are better, why did Golden State go from a team that won fewer than 20 games twice in the 90s to being unstoppable now? Furthermore, why (save for this last time in 2007) have the Warriors bounced the Jazz out of the playoffs every time they have faced each other? Lastly, how have the Warriors found a way to stay ahead of the curve -- especially with their defense and the adoption of the three point shot -- while the Jazz have not? Over decades and decades of basketball?
This season Stephen Curry is out-performing video game simulations of him. Magic Johnson. Andrew Bogut was supposed to give teams trouble, but not Festus Ezeli. If if they are missing guys to injury, former Utah Jazz castaways and can be plugged into their system and change games. I didn't even get to mention , , , , and Marresse Speights yet -- a five man team that could probably beat our starters in a pick-up game.is a genius on offense who may be the best "second banana" ever -- in the olden days he would be the best player on a playoff team. is a triple-double machine, effectively he's a huskier version of fellow Michigan State product
Golden State is achingly good right now. And they won a title in the most non-Jazz way possible. They played fast. They played small. They shot a lot of threes. Their guards were the guys who took the most shots, and they almost never looked to post guys up. They build their team in the non-Jazz way too. Sure, they did scout and draft well, but they picked up players in free agency and made a number of smart trades. They were a draw. Nothing was a band-aid or reactionary move. Heck, they even had high profile head coaches and got rid of them time after time after time over the last few decades.
As a Utah Jazz fan between the age of 20 and 50 it's hard to see the Golden State Warriors be such an overt success right now. They were pathetic for such a long time, and then as quickly as possible, overtook and ultimately surpassed our team.
For someone my age the little-big picture of my life leads me to the conclusion that the Utah Jazz are better than the Golden State Warriors, overall. But as of the last 36 months -- these Warriors truly have no peer in the Jazz. Or possibly in the world.