Confetti falls down, and the fans go wild!
Last Tuesday, defending NBA champs the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-77. But it wasn’t a typical win.
The Warriors set the record for the best start in league history by going 16-0. And from there they’ve extended the record. Heading into Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz, Golden State’s historic mark stands at 18-0.
The previous best-start record of 15-0 was set by the Washington Capitals in 1948-49. The Houston Rockets tied it in 1993-94. It took Steph Curry and Dub City to break it. “Nobody has accomplished what this team has tonight,” Curry said.
The Warriors look unbeatable right now. But what should put a scare into the league is that this lineup is playing even better as a team compared to last year when they won the title.
The Warriors are a young team with many great players. Curry is the reigning MVP and an All-Star. They also have All-Star shooting guard/power forward Klay Thompson and former All-Star and current Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. But Golden State is not a team that is built around a couple of stars. They run deep and get contributions from players like Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes.
But let’s look at the season Curry is having so far. The point guard is averaging 31.9 points, whereas last year his average was 23.8 points. He has also already made 90 three-pointers, which puts him on pace to make almost 400 threes. That would crush his own record 286 three-pointers in a season.
This year’s Golden State squad is being compared to the Chicago Bulls team of 1995-96, which holds a 72-10 regular season record. Last season the Warriors were 67-15. As it happens, that Bulls team from 20 years ago and this season’s Warriors have something in common. Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors, played for that Bulls team. So if anyone can help Curry and his teammates match the Bulls, it’s Kerr.
First, the Warriors need to keep their historic winning streak alive. The next two matchups are against teams that did not make the playoffs last year: They play the Jazz on Monday, and then Curry’s hometown team the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. So there’s a good chance of the team running its record to 20-0.
Golden State’s next serious matchup is against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day. The last time the teams met was in the NBA Finals. And while the Warriors won the title, the Cavs pose a serious threat now that all their star players —LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving — are healthy.
"We're a young team, very hungry and we've got great veterans that won't let us be complacent," Thompson said. "Hopefully it sends a message throughout the league that we're here to stay for a while."
The Warriors’ 18-0 start is great news for Thompson, his teammates, and their fans — and really bad news for the rest of the NBA.
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images