Warriors are chasing destiny and the NBA odds makers are also contemplating their chances of dethroning the Chicago Bulls and their 72 win record. Let’s see if history will be made.
Greatest NBA Record of All Time
There are old-timers who recall the great Celtics’ dynasty led by Bill Russell who championed Boston to a staggering 11 titles in 13 seasons. Or some out there (not me) can harken back to March 2nd, 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in the Philadelphia Warriors 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks. No video footage of the game remains, if any was taken, and only audio recordings of the fourth quarter exist.
Let’s switch sports to the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” when the New York Giants’ Bobby Thompson crushed Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitcher Ralph Branca’s fastball for a ninth inning three-run homer to capture the NL pennant in October of ’51. Or how about the fact that fans in Boston still gush over Bobby Orr’s game winning, Stanley Cup clinching, iconic goal that memorializes No. 4 sailing through the air after he slipped one past Hall-of-Fame goaltender Glenn Hall back in May of 1970.
Certainly there are plenty more memorable games, seasons and players that have sports fans reminiscing decades and even generations later. The Golden State Warriors want entry into this exclusive club and if they win seven of their last nine games then their place in the Mount Rushmore of the greatest teams ever assembled will be etched. The ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls currently hold that distinction having won 72 games, a record many thought would never be matched.
Yet, the Warriors currently have 66 wins under their collective belts and a very real chance to break the record. But it should be noted that the ’95-’96 Bulls may have the record for regular season wins but had no title to show for their efforts that season. Whether or not the 2015-2016 Warriors suffer the same fate is not our concern at this moment, only the NBA odds and their chances of achieving sports immortality concern us now.
Will They or Won’t They?
DATE OPPONENT WARRIORS’ WIN PROB
3/29 vs. WAS 90%
3/30 vs. UTAH 61%
4/01 vs. BOS 88%
4/03 vs. POR 90%
4/05 vs. MIN 95%
4/07 vs. SA 66%
4/09 vs. MEM 81%
4/10 vs. SA 32%
4/13 vs. MEM 92%
WINS AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS
Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have both emphatically stated that the record does indeed occupy their minds and that it is a goal the entire team wants to achieve. Though coach Steve Kerr is aware of the possibility that winning at all costs could take a toll on his players and adversely affect their chances of successfully defending their title, he has relented somewhat and let the players decide. But Kerr’s opinion today may not be his opinion tomorrow and as injured players return, their need for minutes must be taken into account.
The two games against the Spurs, both home and away, are the tipping points in all of this calculus. According to the chart the Warriors have a 66 percent chance of beating them at home but only a 32 percent chance of defeating them in San Antonio. If they win both of those games their prospects of breaking the record get a whole lot better. If you are looking to bet for or against Golden State to get to 73 in your NBA picks, don’t let your optimism fleece your bankroll.
The fact is that every team, heretofore, will want to spoil the Warriors’ party and let’s not forget it was in fact the lowly LA Lakers that beat Golden State not that long ago. Can they go 7-2 down the stretch? Absolutely. But can they go 6-3 or even 5-4? Yes to that as well. The San Antonio Spurs will most likely decide this question but if I’m a betting man I have to believe that like our fathers and grandfathers before us who witnessed generational sporting events, we will bear witness to one as well. Go Warriors!