In 2015, the Golden State Warriors blew the roof of the NBA in record setting fashion. They won a blistering 88 games. They began the year averaging 116.2 points in January. They ended the year averaging 112. 2 points in December. Against 40% of the league they were too powerful, winning every matchup: Celtics, Hornets, Pistons, Rockets, Heat, Timberwolves, Knicks, 76ers, Trailblazers, Kings, Raptors and Wizards. They dominated the Eastern Conference, losing only 6 games, one of which was a game in overtime.
They lost back to back games twice in the regular season and twice in the playoffs. They had winning streaks of 7 games, 12 games and 24 games. They never lost more than three games in one calendar month. They were brilliant on the road, 37-14 (72%). They were spectacular at home, 51-3 (94%) and haven’t lost a home game since June 7th against the Cavaliers, a two point loss. They haven’t lost a home regular season game since January 27th against the Bulls in overtime.
The Warriors 88 wins since January 1st is the most of a NBA champion this past decade. Their 17 losses is five fewer than the 2013 Miami Heat who were 85-22 that year.
|Best Team Records (Calendar Year)||W-L|
|2015 Golden State Warriors||88-17|
|2013 Miami Heat||85-22|
|2008 Boston Celtics||84-28|
|2009 Los Angeles Lakers||81-25|
The Warriors 16-5 playoff record is surpassed in history only by iconic teams, the 1996 Bulls (15-3) and the 2001 Lakers (15-1).
This year when the Warriors made their mark in the NBA, they did it surrounded by critics and skeptics who doubted their style of play would be successful in the post-season. It was. In a reversal of fortune, the Warriors are the ones everyone wants to copy and emulate.
There is no such thing as a perfect year or a perfect team but the 2015 Warriors were as close as you could get to sublime perfection. The Steph Curry injury at year’s end is a dark cloud to be sure, and Steve Kerr has yet to coach a game. Harrison Barnes is still out. It’s a reminder of how fragile all of this is and that the pendulum can swing the other way real quick. The game is about chemistry, timing, talent and health. In 2015, the Warriors had it all.
No worries. The footprints have already been dug in the sand for 2016: move the ball, rotate and defend, make open perimeter shots and have a hell of a good time while doing it.
photo via llananba