April 9 should be marked on the calendar of every Warriors fan. No exceptions, no excuses.
That’s the soonest Golden State can break the record for most wins in a season. The caveat is that it will come on the road, unless the Dubs carry it down to the wire. Or it never happens.
Getting close doesn’t carry bad odds.
Golden State plays the Jazz, Wizards, 76ers, Mavericks, Celtics, Timberwolves and Blazers during the span, with eight of the team’s final games at home and only three on the road. They host San Antonio and face the Spurs on the road as well.
It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to phone in a reservation to any Las Vegas hotel still taking prop bets on whether the Warriors will streak to 73 wins. Finding one, though, could be as difficult as breaking a record set by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman — not to mention the 1995-96 Bulls’ deep bench.
Golden State can afford three losses and still break the record. Their undefeated stretch at home can be pointed to when arguing that the Warriors will get there — with only three road games, one at Utah and another versus Memphis.
Curry and company are short their best defender, Andre Iguodala, though there’s still not much concern to this point that Golden State will fall short of being crowned the best regular season NBA team of all time.
Even with some uncertainty regarding center Andrew Bogut‘s availaility down the stretch. Or the possibility that head coach Steve Kerr sits starters if the Warriors clinch a first seed in the Western Conference.
We’re still talking about a team whose most competitive individual is the shot caller. Kerr wants it. He may be focused on another ring. But this is still the guy who didn’t miss a game for four straight years, and was coming off the bench for Chicago when the record was set.
And with the Spurs only four games back at present day, it behooves the Warriors to play their starters when they visit Oakland this April. Because they have a ton of winnable games left, albeit, a ton of road games.
Even if starters begin to let go of the lead they’ve carried so well this year, and the minutes dwindle down as Kerr has mentioned as something desirable, Golden State’s bench has proven to be more than capable of maintaining.
Especially against a nine-win Philadelphia squad or a middling Wizards team that never seems to fail at finding ways to lose games.
Or Utah, Dallas and Portland, who hover around .500 like a news helicopter over a gory car crash.
Those five games, on paper, could be won with Warriors starters riding pine for 24 of 48 minutes. Philadelphia’s roster is hardly competitive — which their record clearly indicates.
The dream of 73 wins is looking more real with every pass, back cut and three pointer. If the Warriors prove that their defense is capable of shutting teams down once again, forget about it.
Or, as the late James Gandolfini would say:
So, Warriors fans. Mark your calendars. Becuase this is happening.
The town with some government on a hiatus, one of the highest murder rates in the country, and two of the most outdated facilities in sports is going to be the host of basketball’s best team.