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Watching two stacked rosters in the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers and undefeated Golden State Warriors square off in the NBA Finals for a third straight time just reaffirms the notion that it takes a “super team” to truly be a legitimate title contender these days.
Miami Heat veteran and captain Udonis Haslem doesn’t believe that’s the case, though, as he’s of the mindset that in order to challenge the very best the league has to offer, you simply have to compete hard and avoid being lazy, while having at least some talent to roll with.
“You don’t have to have a super team. The problem is the majority of the league doesn’t play hard,” Haslem told the Miami Herald’s Ira Winderman Saturday while at the Mountain Dew NBA 3X tournament in Bayfront Park.
“You’ve got to 20 percent of the NBA that does play hard. You take a super talented team that actually plays hard and that’s what you get. We’ve got a lot of talented teams in this league that don’t play hard. So when you take a super talented team that actually plays hard and plays the game the right way you get a team like Golden State.
“They’ll be other talented teams. The question is will they play hard like Golden State? Will they play together like Golden State? That’s what separates them from other talented teams. It’s the way they approach the game.”
Haslem was a part of one of the more storied “super teams” in recent memory when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh helped the Heat capture two championships over four Finals appearances in a row.
Neither Golden State or Cleveland faced much of a challenge en route to the rubber match in their historic trilogy this year, with the two squads combining to go 24-1 through the first three rounds. Would the Heatles fare any better in a seven-game series against those two juggernauts?
“It would have been fun to see man,” Haslem said. “Of course I’m going to pick our Big Three and the guys we had. That’s just my opinion. But I’m biased. But it would have been fun to see. It definitely would have been fun to see.”