A Golden Season For Golden State


The Warriors win their 73rd game, an NBA record. Photo from goldenstateofmind.com

On Wednesday, April 13, the Golden State Warriors stepped out onto their home court at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. for their final game of the regular season against the Memphis Grizzlies. While traditionally a team in their position, sitting atop the Western Conference and NBA standings, would rest their star players for this virtually meaningless game so that they have fresh legs for the upcoming playoffs, reigning MVP Stephen Curry and company took the floor, determined to make history.

With fans decked out in matching blue shirts that read “Not On Our Ground,” the Warriors took the court ready to make history. Stephen Curry dropped an easy 46 points, including hitting 10 out of 19 shots from behind the three point line, which made him the first player to ever make 400 three pointers in one season and also put him over the 30 points per game average for the season. Even after reaching this historic milestone, the Warriors know the season is not over. “This record doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t take care of business in the postseason,shooting guard Klay Thompson said afterward.

This wasn’t any ordinary game, the Warriors aren’t any ordinary team, and this hasn’t been any ordinary season for them; with a record of 72 wins and nine losses, this game would determine whether or not the Warriors would finish with the best regular season record of all time. The previous record, which was set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls at 72-10, stood for 20 years and seemed immortal until this season, when the Warriors did the unthinkable.

Led by Curry’s breakout MVP season, Golden State cruised to a 67-15 record in the 2014-2015 season and easily won the NBA Finals. As convincing as their season was, people still were unsure of whether or not this team was for real. The Warriors responded by winning the first 24 games of this season. The question soon shifted from “Does this team have what it takes to repeat as champions?” to “Does any other team have what it takes to stop them?” Even after they lost their first game of the season to the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 12, about two months after the season had begun, they kept their momentum going. Even after an occasional loss, the Warriors showed their ability to regroup for the next game, becoming the first team in NBA history to go an entire season without losing back-to-back games.

After two quality wins against the second place San Antonio Spurs, including one that shattered their 39 game home winning streak, and a thrilling one-point victory against a gritty Memphis Grizzlies team, the Warriors were at a record of 72-9 on April 13 with one more game against the Grizzlies in front of their home crowd.

The Warriors shocked the world with their dominant regular season and postseason in 2014-2015, and then backed it up in this year’s regular season, and are almost certain to repeat as champions as well. Assuming they breeze past the playoff competition, one can only ponder: Is this the next NBA dynasty?