November 26, 2015 Louisville, KY (Analyzed Sports) By: Charron Elliott
The Golden State Warriors- Respecting Greatness
We are a few weeks into the 2015-2016 NBA season and not a lot has changed for the Golden State Warriors, except maybe they got better? I know it is virtually impossible for fans and basketball analysts alike to believe that such a thing could come from a defending NBA champ, but for me I it is the truth! The Warriors are currently on a historic 16-0 run, as they have opened this young NBA season undefeated. No defending NBA champion has ever done that and technically speaking no team in NBA history has ever started off a season 16-0 so the question is why have the Warriors been so successful this early in the season?
Well it all starts with the stellar play of the NBA’s regular season MVP from last year, Stephen Curry! Curry is the best player on the Warriors roster and the case can be made that since he hasn’t slacked off his teammates haven’t either. He has managed to have four games already this season in which he has scored 40 plus points, including 53 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on opening night. Curry is averaging nearly 32 points a game for the Warriors, making him the NBA’s top scorer. Not only is Curry scoring, but he’s scoring efficiently shooting nearly 51% from the field and 43% from behind the three-point line. Curry is also averaging nearly five rebounds and six assists, while being second in the NBA in steals per game. Lastly he is still embarrassing the defenses of opposing teams with no remorse!
Aside from Curry let us not forget that this Golden State Warriors team is loaded with great role players as well. Draymond Green has been playing some nice basketball at the four spot and sometimes at center, averaging nearly 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists per game. Harrison Barnes has been playing some efficient basketball as well, shooting nearly 50% from the field and 40% from behind the three- point line. Klay Thompson, who is Curry’s running mate in the Warriors backcourt, is averaging 16 points per game and shooting nearly 40% from three -point range. The Warriors bench led by last year’s NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodola, is averaging nearly 42 points per game and is one of the best second units in the NBA. Collectively Golden State is leading the NBA in points per game (114), assists per game (nearly 30), and field goal percentage (nearly 48%). Oh and the Warriors play defense too as they rank third in defensive rating allowing 96 points per game from their opponents.
So of course now the question is how many games will the Warriors win? A lot of people are stuck trying to compare this year’s Warriors team to the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls of the 1995-1996 NBA season who won 72 games. I don’t think that is a fair assessment to do considering the rules at that time and the level of competition. We have to keep in mind that more coaches are subject to resting players toward the end of the regular season in fear of risking a star players injury. I am not sure what Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s philosophy is on resting players, however with the level of competition that could come from a first round opponent in the playoffs, who knows what Kerr will do. Also not only did those 96 Bulls win 72 games, they won the NBA championship so that’s another thing to keep in mind. Even with all of this said ultimately if Golden State remains healthy I believe the Warriors have a legit chance to break both the Bulls regular season record for most wins and conquer another NBA championship. I believe this largely because they shown no signs of “success hangover” and their team chemistry seems even better than last year’s. For head coach Steve Kerr, who was a part of that 1996 Bulls team, it would also be a chance to be a part of history again! Lastly, even if the Warriors don’t make it to 72 I think that NBA fans and basketball analysts should enjoy the “Greatness” that has been Golden State Warriors basketball to start off this NBA season!