When the Golden State Warriors organization bought the North Dakota D-League franchise a couple years ago, I’m not sure anyone saw the possibility of them winning two Championship trophies in one year, but it now has the chance to happen after their affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors defeated the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBADL Finals. This year the Warriors organization is at the top of the list when it comes to top-to-bottom talent and its showing in the Playoffs.
After a season in which both clubs finished with the best record in their respective leagues, both have kept up the hustle in the Playoffs. Santa Cruz manhandled the other D-League teams in the Western Conference and finished off a talented, yet surprising Ft. Wayne squad in the Finals.
Elliot Williams made the most of his time in Santa Cruz(he was called up to the NBA five times this season) and earned D-League Finals MVP. NBA bloodline talent like Seth Curry, Mychel Thompson, James Michael McAdoo and Taylor Griffin helped NBADL Rookie & Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Craft and the Warriors dominate for coach Casey Hill, who may see some interest from NBA squads, including the parent club in Oakland.
Because the NBA Warriors swept New Orleans in the first round of the Playoffs, they now sit back and wait for their next opponent with a couple familiar faces taking in the Finals victory and celebration in Santa Cruz. With likely-MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the BeerCityHoops pick for Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, Golden State is our pick as the best team to watch “after our team gets swept” and is the favorite to win the Larry (Josh) O’Brien trophy.