Can the Warriors do it?

By now every NBA fan should be aware of the beating that the Golden State Warriors are putting on the league. After last night’s demolition of the Spurs, the Dubs are sitting pretty with a 41-4 record. There hasn’t been a team that has looked this dominant since the record setting ‘95-’96 Chicago Bulls. Now over halfway through the season, their only real clunker has been a 113-95 loss to the Pistons (their other losses came to the Bucks after a 24 game win streak, to the Mavs in a game where they were without Stephen Curry, and to the Nuggets by two points). Naturally, this raises the question: Can the Warriors beat the Bulls’ record mark of 72 wins?

Up until yesterday, this blogger’s answer was a staunch ‘no.’ The NBA season is a long, grueling journey in which even the best teams tend to have stretches of mediocrity. I assumed that the Warriors would start dropping games as the season wore on. This would only be natural, considering they have to take the opposition’s best effort every night. I assumed there would be mental lapses and games where the shots wouldn’t fall. I assumed the other top teams in the league would be able to take the occasional game off of them, simply because that’s how the NBA works.

I was wrong.

These Warriors are like no team I have seen in my lifetime. They don’t just beat teams. They emasculate them. They eviscerate them. They beat them so bad that they cause teams to fire their coaches (‘sup Cleveland). Last night the Spurs – a team that is shaping up to be historically great in their own right – allowed the Warriors to shoot 52% from the field and 42% from three. That was all I needed to see. If they can do that to the Spurs, especially after doing the same thing to the Cavs a week before, consider me to be on the bandwagon. At this point it’s hard to imagine the Warriors losing more than two or three games to the other top teams the rest of the way, even on the road. Add that to their seeming inability to play down to lesser opponents, and they’re looking very, very good as far as 73 wins are concerned.

In the Spurs game Steph Curry scored 37 points through three quarters, before getting his usual rest in the fourth. And this may be the largest reason why I believe the Warriors can beat the Bulls’ record. The Warriors can only go as far as Curry goes. If he wears down as the season goes on, the Dubs can kiss the record goodbye, and I’m sure they are exceedingly aware of this fact. So how do they counter this? They simply get up by so many points that Curry doesn’t even have to play in the majority of fourth quarters. He is only averaging 33 minutes per game, an amount that should ensure that he will not be exhausted by season’s end.

I could go on for days gushing about Curry and his season (I firmly believe he is putting up the best offensive season of all time), but I will instead note that his supporting cast has been nothing short of incredible. Draymond Green has turned into one of the most versatile players in the league, and Klay Thompson continues to be solid as the lesser splash brother. With Harrison Barnes’ return from injury and Steve Kerr’s return to the bench in the wake of a back surgery, the Warriors only seem poised to improve as the season goes on.

And I, for one, am looking forward to it.

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