Can teams who play "small ball" win an NBA championship?
The Warriors proved the answer is "yes."
On Tuesday night, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside took to Twitter to weigh in on the growing trend around the league.
"Small ball only works on centers that can't score #factsonly I wish you would put Someone that 6'6 on me #careerhigh #highschooldays."
A little over two hours later, Draymond Green sent out the following tweet:
"Can you score doe? Bigs becoming dinosaurs."
This prompted a middle-of-the-night response from Whiteside:
"2 dribbles in the post they going to cry for a double team FOH just watch go small ball #lightdoubledouble #getyourweightup #dontflop"
On Wednesday morning, Draymond (who signed a 5-year, $82 million extension this offseason) fired back:
"82 million reasons to flop and the d league ain't never been 1!!!! But keep wearing shirts chasing that 2k rating #thefinerthings"
With the Warriors trailing 2-1 in the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr elected to bench Andrew Bogut and start Draymond Green (a 6'7" small forward/power forward hybrid) at center in Game 4.
Golden State evened the series at two games apiece, Kerr started Draymond at center again for Games 5 and 6, and the Warriors captured their first title since 1975.
Whiteside is a conventional 7'0" center, who was selected in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2010 draft.
He appeared in just 19 games over his first two NBA seasons, totaling 29 points and 39 rebounds.
During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, he bounced around between the D-League, Lebanon and China.
He opened the 2014-15 campaign in the D-League, before signing with the Heat in late November. He saw limited action at first, but something clicked on Jan. 3 at Houston when he registered 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Over his next 38 games (32 starts), he averaged 13.7 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per contest, while shooting almost 63 percent from the field.
He finished fourth in the Most Improved Player of the Year Award (Draymond finished second), and received one third-place vote for Defensive Player of the Year (Draymond was the runner-up).
Draymond and the Warriors host Whiteside and the Heat on Jan. 11, and square off in Miami on Feb. 24.
Mark your calendars...
Can you score doe? Bigs becoming dinosaurs— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) August 26, 2015
82 million reasons to flop and the d league ain't never been 1!!!! But keep wearing shirts chasing that 2k rating #thefinerthings— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) August 26, 2015
Twitter fingers will turn into basketball fingers & one players game is going to speak louder than the other. Jan 11. Mark your calendars— Mrs. Whiteside (@RawanZbib95) August 26, 2015
If only Draymond Greens game will speak louder than his mouth— Mrs. Whiteside (@RawanZbib95) August 26, 2015
Let's all watch Draymond try to guard Hassan. That would be the laugh of the season— Mrs. Whiteside (@RawanZbib95) August 26, 2015
Whiteside wasn't even talking about Green in the first place tho. Talk about insecurity— Mrs. Whiteside (@RawanZbib95) August 26, 2015