Jeff Van Gundy went full-bore in backing the Warriors to win the 2017 NBA championship.
The ESPN analyst gushed about Golden State on Thursday, saying there need not even be an NBA playoffs: The Dubs should simply receive the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
“Golden State is your champion. It won’t be close,” the former Knicks and Rockets coach told ESPN’s The Lowe Post podcast. “No one is gonna push them. It’s over. It’s over.”
Van Gundy expanded on that stance with ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell.
“It would be a great time-saver if we just gave (the Warriors) the trophy now,” Van Gundy said. “The playoffs are over — we just don’t know it yet. I mean, we haven’t seen the results, but if they avoid an incident this year and they are healthy, the playoffs are over. I don’t think the Warriors will be challenged. … They are that much better than everybody else. I’d be surprised if any series went to a seventh game.”
Van Gundy scoffed at the idea of any opponent bouncing Golden State.
“You really could see some team beating the Warriors in a series? Which team? Which team has enough firepower to score with the Warriors?” he said. “The only thing that could derail them is an incident — a suspension at the wrong time in the wrong series — or an injury. Durant’s injury, if it happened later in the regular season, could have had a profound impact on the playoffs. I just don’t see how any team would have the combination of a Top 2 offense and a Top 2 defense. I mean, that’s unheard of, and they have it.”
As for who Van Gundy thinks Golden State will face in the Finals, count him among those who foresee Warriors-Cavaliers Part III.
“I think they will find their way back to the Finals,” he said of Cleveland. “I think they’re the best talent and will evolve into the best team in the East.”
However, Van Gundy just doesn’t see the Cavs topping Golden State.
“This is a three-year run that’s been incredible and (the Warriors) got better this year,” he said on The Lowe Post podcast. “The only thing that I think could make them stumble is another incident, or an injury. They had the incident last year with Green … Now that they’re whole and healthy — somebody trying to even get them to a seventh game, it’s hard for me to fathom.”