Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are off to a blistering start to the 2021-22 NBA season with a league-best 15-2 record. They are steamrolling through all their opponents. This includes some statement victories over two heavy pre-season favorites the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State owns the best defense in the NBA, as well as the second-best offense across the Association.
Seeing the Warriors atop the NBA standings and leading in nearly every statistical category is giving flashbacks of their golden years through the latter half of the 2010s when they absolutely dominated the league. While this current iteration isn’t comparable to that star-studded juggernaut that had Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green on the same team, this 2021-22 squad certainly gives that pre-KD Warriors vibes that won an NBA championship in 2015 and won a record 73 games in the 2015-16 season. With that said, does this modern-day “Strength in Numbers” 2021-22 Warriors even have any shot at duplicating or even breaking the historic 73-9 record they set six seasons ago?
Mathematically, of course, it’s very much possible. But considering the overall talent and the strong competition around the NBA, it will definitely be tough to lose just six more times in 65 more games. Golden State also had a pretty favorable schedule to begin the campaign, so it’s only going to get tougher from here.
Comparing Golden State’s 15-2 start to their start in the 2015-16 season, the Dubs did not lose their second game of 2015-16 until Game no. 31. In fact, they went on a 24-0 tear to begin that historic campaign. So if the 2021-22 Warriors want any chance of breaking that record, they might need to go 14 more games without a loss if that’s going to become a real conversation.
This 15-2 start is more in line with Golden State’s starts in the 2014-15 season and the 2016-17 season. The 2014-15 Warriors actually shocked the league at the time by winning 21 games before losing their second game of the year. That season, they ended with a still-impressive 67-15 record. In 2016-17, the first year of the KD-era Dubs, the Warriors started their campaign 16-2, which is what Golden State’s record will be should they extend their current 4-game winning streak against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. That team, like 2015 championship squad, also went 67-15 and eventually ran through the postseason with a historic 16-1 mark.
All things considered, even if any kind of window opens up for that 74-8 possibility, these 2021-22 Warriors probably won’t go for it. They’ve learned their lesson. The last time Golden State chased history, they ended up not reaching their ultimate goal of winning a championship. That 73-9 season is still an impressive feat that they’ll cherish forever. But the fact that they did not win the title that same season will always taint that accomplishment.
At the end of the day, hoisting that Larry O’Brien trophy in June, no matter what happens in the regular season, is the most important thing. For the Warriors’ old heads Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala, they probably won’t prioritize winning not-so-meaningful regular-season games at the expense of getting worn out by the time the NBA Finals come.
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