It was a Tuesday night in Cleveland the last time the Golden State Warriors lost a NBA game. 24 weeks later, the Warriors don’t know what losing feels like. They take the floor tonight in Oracle with all eyes set on the NBA record for consecutive wins to start the season.
The Warriors 16th win of the year, their 16th in a row, their perfect season intact, will come at the expense of the second worst team in the NBA. Despite how this game is being sold, there isn’t much drama and intrigue about what is going to happen tonight.
Steph Curry will run circles around D’Angelo Russell. Klay Thompson will shoot over Jordan Clarkson. Harrison Barnes will overmatch and overwhelm an aged please-retire Kobe Bryant. Andrew Bogut or Festus Ezeli will have their way on the inside. Draymond Green will have a stress free night. There’s not much Lakers front court talent for him to break into a sweat for.
And so it is, the Warriors will notch their collective names in same random page of the NBA history book. From there, they will keep on going.
If things go the right way, meaning no injuries, the Warriors could win 22 games in a row set by the Tracy McGrady/Yao Ming Houston Rockets in the 2007-08 season.
After that, the next record in line to fall is the Big Three of the Miami Heat who won 27 in a row in 2012-13 and months later won their second title in a row.
And then there is the mother of all win streaks, the ’71-’72 Lakers record of 33 in a row courtesy of Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West. Like Wilt’s 100 point game, that record was never going to be broken. Ever.
So tonight is just the beginning of what could be a history making year for the defending champions no one thought much of. The best part about it is that the Warriors want the consecutive wins record and are not shy about saying so.
No pretending it doesn’t matter, or they don’t care. The Warriors are openly looking forward to getting the record and doing so by thrashing the Lakers which will have even greater meaning for the franchise. Not only did they snatch Lakers legend Jerry West as their consultant, all the years the Lakers did the exact thing to the Warriors, giving them consistent beatings, is now an exercise in karma. The Warriors can return the favor and have it noted forever in history books. Now that the tables have finally turned, the Warriors are living it up.
Tonight there will be a lot of chest bumping and high-fives and congratulations akin to a championship win. But no champagne. When their careers are done, none of the Warriors will ever say they didn’t extract the most joy as possible from this crazy, unpredictable ride.
After the Warriors tied the record in Denver on Sunday, Steph Curry said:
“This is special. To get to 15-0 and tie a record that’s been standing for a long time is a huge accomplishment. We want to take it to the next level on Tuesday back at home.”
The Warriors are the best offensive team in basketball. They are the best shooting team in basketball. They are the best 3-point team in basketball. They are the best defensive rebounding team in basketball. They are the best assist team in basketball.
The Warriors are spectacularly good. And they love themselves a whole lot. Tonight they will coronate each other because they have beaten 7 teams who currently have losing records, 2 teams who have broken even on the season and 3 teams with winning records.
But 16-0 is 16-0.
photo via llananba