Everyone in attendance tonight at Oracle Arena knew that they were going to be witnessing history. Only two teams in the history of the NBA have reached 15 straight wins to start the season (Houston in 1993 and Washington in 1948), but no one has been able to take that next step. Until now.
The Golden State Warriors are unstoppable. Even when the team is playing well below their best, they are still easily taking care of some of their top challengers in the league. They have made easy work of Memphis, Houston and the Clippers, and it’s scary to think that they still have room to improve.
Speaking on how the team has been handling the added attention before the game, Warriors coach Luke Walton said “I think our guys like this. This bigger the stage for them, the more excited they get. It can obviously be a distraction. I even have people calling me me like crazy asking for tickets. You never want to get out of your routine as a player, but I think they are excited about this opportunity and looking forward to it.”
On Tuesday night, facing a rebuilding Lakers team, breaking the record for the best start to a season was never in doubt. Even with a rough start missing a number of easy shots early in the game, it only took around five minutes before the game had started to feel the same way that you might be feeling if you were to watch a cat play with a mouse before killing it. Despite the Lakers young guns in Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell showing a lot of potential, this game was never even close to being in reach of this straggling Lakers outfit.
After the game, Luke Walton talked about the teams selfless play and what reaching this milestone means to the team.
Outside of breaking the record for the most wins to start a NBA season, the Warriors are also edging closer to another record. They now have 30 straight games with eight 3-pointers, which is the second-longest streak in NBA history.
Comparisons between this Warriors team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls lead by Michael Jordan are already flying around internet, and the Stephen Curry vs Michael Jordan debate is raging. Curry has been unguardable this season and has been breaking records of his own, but it’s his team that’s on track to set some pretty big records of their own.
The ’96 Bulls team finished the season with a record of 72-10. The 72 wins saw Jordan average 31 points (at age 33) on over 50% shooting. Stephen Curry is currently averaging 32.7 points this season shooting over 50%, and his team are not looking like they will be dropping any games in the near future. They have that 72 games in their sights.
This Warriors team plays a very different brand of basketball to that of the Bulls, but there are a lot of similarities. Both teams have a number of contributors, but are lead by one player. The Bulls scored 105.2 points per game leading the league in ‘96, whereas the Warriors are averaging 114.5 points per game leading their next closest rival by more than 10+ points per game. One key note from the games that the Bulls lost back in ’96 was that in those games, Jordan had a bad night.Curry has had a few bad nights this season, but at the moment a bad night for Curry still involves adding at least 25 points to the score line and a Warriors win.
While it is fun to sit back and look at all of these stats, these are both incredible teams that have done, and are doing amazing things, in the league. Comparing past legends of the game is becoming common practice though, and this week LeBron James even weighed in on the issue.
“I think what we get caught up in, in our league too much is trying to compare greats to greats instead of just accepting and acknowledging and saying, ‘Wow, these are just great players,'” James said. “I think in the NFL when you talk about great quarterbacks, they don’t really compare great quarterbacks. They say, ‘Oh, Joe Montana is great.’ You know, ‘Tom Brady is great. Aaron Rodgers is great. Steve Young is great.’ (Terry) Bradshaw, all those great quarterbacks they never compare them as much, but when it comes to our sport we’re so eager to say, ‘Who is better, Oscar or (Michael) Jordan?’ or, ‘Jordan or LeBron or Kobe (Bryant) or these guys?’ instead of just accepting greatness.”
No matter what your opinion is, all basketball fans know that they are witnessing something special at the moment, and even though the year is still young, we are going to be in for one hell of a ride for the rest of this season!
Feature Image: NBA.com
Story Image: Rant Sports