OT: Golden State remains on pace to set NBA victory record

Submitted by snarling wolverine on February 27th, 2016 at 4:10 PM

With 25 games to go in the regular season, the Warriors are 52-5, which is a game ahead of the '96 Bulls' record pace.  They've got some tough matchups to come (multiple games against San Antonio and Oklahoma City) but at this point, 73 wins seems like a legitimate possibility, especially since 17 of those final 25 games are at home, where they're undefeated.  

I find it incredible that they could set the record, given that the '96 Bulls had two key advantages over them: the central location of Chicago meant less travel time, and they competed in an expansion year, which diluted the league's talent pool.  If the Warriors set the record, they will have earned it, that's for sure.  

Do you think they'll pull it off?

 

Comments

snarling wolverine

February 27th, 2016 at 4:20 PM ^

There were 29 teams in 1995-96, with the addition of Toronto and Vancouver.  Since then the U.S. population has grown by over 50 million people and the sport of basketball has become more and more global - but only one team has been added, and that was 14 years ago.  

So yes, the league's talent pool is deeper now than it was in the 1990s.

drjaws

February 27th, 2016 at 4:48 PM ^

"It's ok to be wrong."

Good cuz you're wrong. You couldn't win a title with 2 stars, a couple decent dudes and 7 scrubs back in the 80s and 90s like you can now. Everyone had to be quality, solid roll players back then.

Also, it's impossible to play defense nowadays, traveling and carrying/palming are apparently no longer illegal, and what used to be a simple foul is now a flagrant 1. People get fouls called on them for jumping with a guy even though they never make contact. Refs are blowing the whistle for a foul based on expected contact. It's stupid and ruining the game.

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snarling wolverine

February 27th, 2016 at 6:17 PM ^

Big, big difference between the 1980s NBA of 23 teams and the 1990s NBA of 27/29 teams.  

The '80s was the decade of tons and tons of offense.  Lots of games with scores of 130-118.  The Bad Boy Pistons revolutionized the league by emphasizing tough, physical defense at the end of the decade.

The '90s was the polar opposite.  Expansion spread out the talent thin and the average team didn't have that many scorers.  The Bad Boy model was copied by almost everyone as it was easier to find a bunch of athletic guys who could defend than it was to find a lot of skilled scorers.  Games became slow-paced defensive slugfests.

Today's NBA is a mix of the two.  There is more emphasis on defense than in the '80s but more skill than in the '90s.   Teams also now take full advantage of the 3-point shot, which was still something of a novelty 20-30 years ago.  

 

 

jmblue

February 27th, 2016 at 5:55 PM ^

Not sure where you get the idea that "everyone had to be quality" in the NBA 20 years ago. That was the era of lots of ugly 85-80 victories where teams struggled to shoot 45% from the floor.   Expansion definitely watered down the league.

Even the '96 Bulls, as good as they were, were pretty top heavy.  They had a great trio of Jordan/Pippen/Rodman and that not that much else beyond them. They started Luc Longley at center and an old Ron Harper at point guard.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

jmblue

February 27th, 2016 at 10:19 PM ^

I think you mean role players.

But anyway, that sounds like a description of the '96 Bulls.  Two superstars (Jordan/Pippen), two other good but one-dimensional guys (Rodman/Kukoc), and very little else.  Back then that was enough.

Your mistake is lumping in the 1990s era with the 1980s.  The '80s contenders had a lot of depth.  But then the league added the Charlotte/Orlando/Miami/Minnesota quartet, and then Toronto/Vancouver a few years later.  Suddenly there were 72 more roster spots in the league and that was too much, too soon.  There were a lot of guys in the league in the '90s who just plain didn't belong.

 

 

 

snarling wolverine

February 27th, 2016 at 4:41 PM ^

I do think the 1980s NBA (which had only 23 teams) was awesome.  Put the '96 Bulls in that era and I'm not sure they'd have broken the old record (69 wins).  

Going from 23 to 29 teams was a huge change and really watered down the '90s NBA.  Now, after 20 years, I think we're finally getting back to the level of overall league depth that we had in the '80s.

UMinSF

February 27th, 2016 at 5:20 PM ^

Overall west has 20+ more wins than east, and If you look at the west teams relative to their east counterparts (based on current standings), the west still stacks up as much stronger IMO - especially at the top, where the west teams are much better.

West over East:

Warriors over Cavs 

Spurs over Raptors

Thunder over Celts

Clips over Heat 

Griz over Hawks

Blazers over Hornets

Pelicans over Magic

Suns over Nets

Lakers over Sixers

 

East over West:

Pacers over Mavs

Bulls over Rockets

Pistons over Jazz

Wiz over Kings

Knicks over Nugs

Bucks over T-wolves

You might disagree with one or two of these, and the East is definitely catching up, but most of the very best teams are still in the west. 

bacon

February 27th, 2016 at 4:28 PM ^

Good for them. Records are made to be broken and Steph Curry is a likeable guy. I hope they end up with 5 losses on the season and another ring.

Also, they're likely to pull it off given their dominance at home and their schedule only has 8 road games left. Two are vs the Spurs, but the rest are ones they should win.

drjaws

February 27th, 2016 at 4:33 PM ^

Technically on pace to win 74.8 games. That would be 74-8 or 75-7 if they stay at that pace.

It's obscene how much better they are than everyone else. And fun to watch. As my second favorite team since the Baron Davis and Biedrins days, I like to see GS kick ass. If the Pistons can't win it, let it be GS.

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Lie-Cheat-Steal

February 27th, 2016 at 4:55 PM ^

San Antonio is right there with them, and OKC has the talent to beat them.

I would not be surprised if the best coach in the league (Popovich) figures them out in a 7 game series.  They are good, but the difference between them and San Antonio is not nearly that of the Bulls and the next best team in the league that year (Sonics?, Knicks?)

UMinSF

February 27th, 2016 at 4:53 PM ^

They are really fun to watch. Their ball movement is fantastic, they hustle and play solid defense, and of course Steph and Klay are just sick.

I know some people don't like their style (too "soft", too many 3-pointers), but I really enjoy it.

Their system really resembles Michigan's - at least when Michigan has an athletic big and better defenders. Watching the W's really points out what's missing from this year's Michigan team.

I think they break the record.

 

FGB

February 27th, 2016 at 4:55 PM ^

It's difficult to compare the eras, since I would agree that the talent pool is deeper now, but the game is also reffed to be way more free flowing these days, which works to a guy like Steph's advantage.  In rougher, grittier, slower games (like how it used to be played) the GS system wouldn't be quite as dominant.

Also, the thing about travel time is a nonfactor, if you're going from Chicago to Detroit or SF to Houston, you're getting on a plane either way, the total travel time/hassle of packing/airports/hotels is all the same, the only difference is you spend maybe an extra hour on the plane itself.

But GS is obviously an all-time team, Steph is the best shooter ever, and they are built perfectly for the way the game is played today.

snarling wolverine

February 27th, 2016 at 5:07 PM ^

I don't have the stat in front of me, but I remember reading that Eastern Conference teams spend significantly less time in air travel than West teams do.  Also, for a lot of people, jetlag tends to be worse when you're heading east and losing time than it is to go west and gain time.   Chicago never has to travel more than one time zone east, whereas GS sometimes has to go three.

 

 

kalamazoo

February 28th, 2016 at 2:21 AM ^

I started to look at the scheduled start times and, in general, Golden State players never have to get up earlier than normal -- many games are 7pm or after East Coast time, 4pm Pacific, so players can stay on west coast time.

Yes, the flight times can be long to the East Coast, but think about game-time energy...Golden State can make it work going East better than East Coast teams going West.

For East teams going West to Golden State, they have to play games with a 10:30pm Eastern / 7:30pm Pacific start time. In other words, East Coast teams have to deal with the long flight plus games go past midnight Eastern time.

Golden State has 5 of these games remaining with East Coast teams. At some point the body has to be thinking it should be slowing down for the evening for those East Coast players.

Games with a 9:30pm Central / 7:30pm Pacfic start time will still occur versus San Antonio, Memphis, and Minnesota. Still kind of late for these teams by the time the 4th quarter hits.

The earliest AWAY game remaining is not East Coast at all, but actually at the Lakers (12:30pm Pacific) so at least the flight time is short.

jmblue

February 27th, 2016 at 5:21 PM ^

Earlier, I didn't think they'd break the record because I figured they'd run away with the #1 seed and go on cruise control for the final month or so.  But the monster season San Antonio is also putting on leaves them no alternative but to keep going full throttle.  At this point I think it's probably 50-50 they set the record.