There isn’t much to criticize when it comes to the Golden State Warriors these days. They stand tall at an impressive 12-0 with Steph Curry going supernova on what seems like a nightly basis. Curry’s unprecedented skill set fits perfectly with the motion offense Steve Kerr improved upon last season, which allowed the Warriors to overwhelm teams on the offensive end. Not since the 1994 Houston Rockets started 15-0 have we seen a team get off to such a dominant opening month. There doesn’t appear to be much anyone can do to slow down the Warriors, but Charles Barkley thinks he would’ve had a solution, even if it’s from a quarter century ago. Here’s what he told Colin Cowherd:
We would have just mauled them. You’re not gonna let guys come off those picks. They changed the rules—it’s kind of like the NFL where you can’t touch the wide receiver. The defense is at a disadvantage, all these cornerbacks in the NFL are really at a disadvantage. And a guy like [Stephen Curry], who is amazing, you can’t put your hands on him, you can’t hand-check him. It’s a totally different game.
Barkley has a known affinity for physical basketball, because it suited his personal playing style. Some of his points hold water, in that the Warriors wouldn’t get nearly as many open looks coming off screens. But the hand check rule wouldn’t affect Curry nearly as much as he would like to believe. Curry’s combination of quickness, ball-handling and basketball IQ make him an impossible cover 35 feet from the basket. A defender can’t be physical with Steph if he can’t stay in front of him. It’s an interesting hypothetical by Barkley, but, unfortunately, it’s one we’ll never get to see play out in real life.