As of this writing, the Warriors lead Denver 112-96 with just over two minutes to play. Unless Golden State encounters a rare collapse, they’ll move to 15-0 almost a month into the season.
By the time April 13 rolls around—the final Warriors regular season game—we’ll be looking at a historic squad that has broken Chicago’s longtime record of 72 wins, set back in the 1995-96 season. And it might not even be close.
Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault (USA TODAY Sports)
The only card stacked against Golden State is the fact it resides in the Western Conference. But as I scroll down their upcoming schedule, the Warriors could be walking into a date against Cleveland on Christmas at 28-0. It’s a weak Eastern Conference-heavy slate coming up, which includes meetings with the lowly Nets, Celtics and Bucks (twice). Toronto and Indiana could potentially cause a slip up, but it’s highly unlikely. Then you got the Lakers, Suns (twice), Kings and Jazz (twice) in that stretch. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.
Health is a big piece of any season-long record. If the Warriors can stay fresh and off the injury list, they’ll be atop that coveted list of 70-win teams. Even if there is an unexpected unfortunate injury—other than one to the reigning MVP Steph Curry—the Warriors will be in most games because of their depth. Klay Thompson is still one of the best sidekicks in the League. Draymond Green has turned into Andre Iguodala 2.0. Not to mention Iggy is still in Oakland himself. Then you got Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli rounding out Golden State’s starting lineup, with key reserves in Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Marreese Speights and Shaun Livingston at disposal. But it starts with Curry, who is averaging a ridiculous 33.6 points per game, a 34.2 PER and 44 percent shooting from 3-point range.
And when you have the reigning MVP, who is probably more capable of scoring 50 on any given night than Kobe is able to hit 30 nowadays, you have a chance to win. Curry leads an offense that pours in 114.3 points per game, leading the second-best team by a mile (OKC, 109.2 ppg). We’ve seen that offense trigger a comeback win against the Clippers just a few days ago to erase a seemingly impossible hole to keep that unbeaten streak alive. When you have an offense as dynamic as this one, one that is all but unheard of, there’s little room for opposing defenses to have lapses. And when three-quarters of the league can’t keep up with Golden State’s scoring, they’re already behind the eight ball.
The defense in Oakland is just as dominant, and the Warriors have proved they can win with that style. They’re giving up 98.4 per game (13th in the NBA), but opponents field goal percentage is at 42.6 percent (7th).
Steph Curry might not be in the same breath as MJ (yet), but he’s running away with his second MVP award in as many seasons. No one is stepping up to the plate to give this man a run for his money. And when Golden State finishes with the best record ever in a regular season, it’ll be all the more proof why the 27-year old continues to reign supremacy in a NBA world that is trying to keep up with his dominance.