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Former NBA all-star forward Charles Barkley took to the media this week to share his opinion on the constantly streaking Golden State Warriors. Golden State (25-1 at press time) has been chasing history ever since the 2015-2016 season started, aiming for the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ all-time best mark of 72-10. Golden State set the NBA mark for best start to a season by jetting to a 24-0 start before they lost on the road Dec. 12 against the Milwaukee Bucks.Barkley’s take on the record-setting Warriors in comparison to the Bulls wasn’t favorable. “That Bulls team would kill this little team,” Barkley said Dec. 17 on ESPN Radio’s Waddle & Silvy show. “Come on, man. Who is going to guard Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan? What about Dennis Rodman?”

The Bulls was one of the best teams in NBA history – if not the best – however, the Warriors have flat-out dominated over the last season and a half. The Warriors are doing some unprecedented things along their way to chasing Chicago’s record, but could they beat the historic Bulls in a seven-game series? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.

Riley: The ’96 Bulls were the most dominant team of all time, but this current Warriors roster might be the most difficult to defend of all time. The team passes, rebounds and plays defense as a unit before it unleashes an embarrassment of riches on the offensive end. Their starting backcourt has range out to the half-court line and their starting power forward can grab a rebound, push it down court and either pass with precision or shoot from deep. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green form a dominant trio that keep the floor spaced and every player involved with their penchant for passing, and when you add in multi-position guys like Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa, the Warriors have the ability to transform into anything necessary to beat their opponent. And big men such as Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights and Andrew Bogut all have length and contest shots as well. It’s a dynamic team with flaws that are difficult to exploit when the team is passing and shooting the ball with amazing accuracy. The ’96 Bulls would have a tough time.

Green: Since Charles Barkley shared his opinion, there have been several additional confirmations from celebrities and basketball pundits agreeing with him—and I also have to agree. It wouldn’t be close, Riley. That ’96 Bulls team was a scary-good defensive team, and if there’s any unit that could combat the offensively-charged Warriors it would’ve been the defensively-obsessed Bulls. Jordan and Pippen led a team that would’ve stymied some of the best offensive teams in NBA history and then forced them to contend with the best player in NBA history. I get that what the Warriors are currently doing is impressive but let’s not totally throw out history here. Until any team wins 70-plus regular season games in a season it’s silly to compare them with the Bulls. Golden State is on an incredible pace to match or best that mark, but they would’ve been too small and too light to knock out a top-heavy Bulls team in a seven-game series.

Riley: Every great basketball defense is taught to take away the paint and force players into taking jump shots. The problem with the Warriors is that jump shooting is their best trait. Players like Curry and Thompson aren’t slashing into the lane trying to dunk over defenders. No; they’re setting guys up with crossovers and running off screens just so they can get enough time to let off some shots. This Warriors team might be the best shooting team in league history and when you have players who can shoot from anywhere on the court, it’s almost impossible to defend, regardless of how legendary a team might be. Twenty years ago, Jordan and Pippen were lockdown defenders who could press out the top athletes at that time and disturb them on their shots. When you look at the top-tier guys on Golden State, Curry and Thompson are extremely comfortable making uncomfortable shots. You can force the Warriors into bad shots all game and they’ll still make a huge percentage of them. And while Jordan was a top flight scorer, the rest of his Bulls teammates weren’t as explosive, so devising a game plan to corral Jordan would probably look similar to the Warriors’ plan of attack last summer when they squared off against Jordan successor LeBron James, and we saw how that worked out.

Green: Stopping Chicago was not all about locking down Jordan. It was about the triangle offense that they ran to perfection. If trying to corral Jordan was as easy as you make it sound, Riley, then they wouldn’t have won six titles in an eight-year span. That Bulls team was sound offensively as well as on defense. They didn’t allow easy baskets and they scored in precision, making them the perfect double threat. Remember, although Curry and Thompson are perhaps the best shooting back court ever, MJ and Pipp were the best defensive backcourt ever. They strapped scorers on the perimeter. As a duo, Jordan and Pippen only lost one playoff series over their last seven seasons of playing together, so the feat wasn’t easy. Golden State has exploded on the scene and has a new generation of basketball fans going crazy over their every move but let’s not forget about the best team in history, who during the 1995-1996 season, was the most dominant team in NBA history.