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I think you’re underestimating how important the change in hand-check rules have been to the way the game is played now. Curry wouldn’t be nearly as big a threat to drive to the rim if defenders with four inches and 40 pounds on him could keep a hand on him, and he’d probably end up looking more like Reggie Miller (at a much higher shooting volume) than anyone else.

The answer to who wins your various time travel scenarios is almost entirely based on which team has to step into the time machine. If the 86 Celtics or 96 Bulls traveled to 2017, Parrish wouldn’t have any place on the court, and Rodman would give the other team a free help man on defense, because no defender would feel the need to stay on him. Send the 2017 Warriors back to the 80s, and the physical play and illegal defense rules would work against them — and that’s assuming they don’t have to play the Pistons, in which case Bill Laimbeer “accidentally” stomps on Curry’s ankles about 5 times in the first half. Great teams are built for the rules under which they play.

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