76 Suns vs 21 Suns

Larry Schweikart

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Just for giggles I watched the last two games of the 1976 Western Conference Championships vs the Golden State Warriors with Rick Barry, Phil Smith, Gus Williams, and Jamaal Wilkes. This was a year AFTER GS beat the Bullets to win the NBA championship.

What was instantly stunning was how much more aggressive the defense is today. They didn't even pick guys up at half court much of the time, and certainly didn't have to fight through the picks that today's players do.

When you throw in the change in the size of bodies? Fuggedaboudit. Clifford Raw---who was a very big guy back then---now looks lean and lanky. Dennis Autry the Human Foul Machine was sleek. Adams looked like you could push him over with a feather. The only one who looked like an NBA player of today was Ricky Sobers, who only lasted a year.

The other odd thing that stood out was how animated the refs were. They really thought it was their show too. Oh, and Jerry West sucked as a color commentator.
 
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