When the Warriors started 21-2 last season, Steve Kerr strongly dismissed the idea Golden State could match the 72 wins of the 1995-96 Bulls, a team he played for. As the Warriors coach put it, Michael Jordan just willed the Bulls to wins in a way nobody else could.
Kerr was right. Golden State finished 67-15.
Flash forward a year, and the 4-0 Warriors look even better. Stephen Curry is doing his best Jordan impersonation, scoring the most points through four games since Jordan.
Could they tie Chicago’s record this year?
That’s going to be a tough one. We’ll try. There are so many good teams. We’ll try. We did get 67 wins last year, which was an amazing feat. We might be able to get 70. It’s going to depend a lot on health, obviously, and a lot of lucky bounces that go our way. Seventy-two wins, that’s a lot of wins, man. I don’t know if that will be done again, but hey man, we might be the team to do it just because we reached 67 last year, and if we stay focused and we take every game serious, we should have a chance to reach 70. It won’t be easy. It will be extremely difficult, but you know what? Why not?
Winning 70 games in a season takes incredible talent. It takes players avoiding injury. It takes a strong mental focus to get up for so many games over a long regular season.
The Warriors have the first trait, but who knows about the rest?
A strong four-game start – with the fifth game pending against the Clippers right now – doesn’t prove Golden State will remain healthy and energized. Especially once Kerr returns, the Warriors might willingly take the foot off the gas to preserve themselves for the playoffs. Even if they don’t intentionally, there’s still a lot of luck in health.
That the Warriors are legitimately in the discussion for 72 wins says a lot about them. That Golden State probably won’t get there says even more about the 1995-96 Bulls.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in the Bay Area, you can stream tonight’s Warriors-Clippers game here.