Don’t look now but the Golden State Warriors are right where they were last season.
Following a season in which they set an NBA record for wins and fell one victory shy of hoisting back-to-back titles, the Warriors retooled by signing the biggest free agent on the market. With Kevin Durant, many believed they would pick up right where they left off and be even more dominant. Some simulations projected them to win 83 of their 82 regular season games – impossible, we know – while just about everyone pegged the Warriors to win the entire thing once again.
The hype started to cool down when the Warriors dropped their first game of the season in embarrassing fashion to the San Antonio Spurs at home, which started the jokes about Durant asking for a trade to the Spurs. They then lost to the Los Angeles Lakers four games later by giving up 117 points to a team nobody expected to be competitive this season, which prompted concerns about how their defense would survive without Andrew Bogut.
However, now that they’re riding a 12 game winning streak, they’re back to having the best record in the NBA at 16-2. Also, as For The Win pointed out, they’re quietly on pace again to win 73 games with a 88.9 winning percentage. It may not be the 24-0 start they got off to last season before the Bucks spoiled their party, but it all counts the same in the end.
I can’t believe in back-to-back NBA seasons we got the Warriors making a run at 73 and Russ making a run at Oscar.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 29, 2016
Of course, it’s not like winning 73 games guarantees them the championship or anything. We learned that last season. But it’s scary to think how much better the Warriors can get considering they’re still working Durant into their system on both ends of the floor.