Sunday night the Golden State Warriors dared try to steal a couple of headlines away from the NFL by equalling the fastest start in NBA history. In case you missed it because your significant other had the remote control and put on the AMAs, here are five things you need to know from Sunday around the league (and consider breaking up with anyone who wanted to watch the AMAs).
1) I, for one, welcome our new Warriors overlords. I don’t see a likely end for this streak. It’s going to happen, but the when is not easy to spot. The Warriors are a relentless machine that is now 15-0 to start the season after beating Denver Nuggets on Sunday 118-105. That ties the all-time mark for the fastest start in NBA history — a record they will break Tuesday night when the Warriors host the Lakers (unless Kobe Bryant travels to that game in a DeLorean with a flux capacitor in the back, I’m not even sure that contest is interesting).
When do the Warriors lose? Here are their next dozen opponents after thrashing the Lakers Tuesday: Suns, Kings, Jazz, Hornets, Raptors, Nets, Pacers, Celtics, Bucks, Suns, Bucks, Jazz. A few teams in there are certainly playing well, but are you predicting a loss? Complete that little run and Golden State would be 28-0, having passed Miami for the second-longest win streak in NBA history. Sure, that’s jumping the gun, on any given night and all that — but these Warriors have come out with a real “call us lucky, will ya?” attitude. Their small-ball lineup is destroying teams by better than 60 points per 100 possessions. They have the best offense in the NBA, the fifth best defense, and are outscoring teams by 15 points per 100 possessions. I could nitpick and say I’d like to see a little less shooting and more running of the offense by Stephen Curry, but again 15-0 and flat-out destroying teams, so who am I to judge. They own the league at this moment.
2) Even if you’re 15-0, Draymond you cannot just hang on the rim. Nobody is above the law, or the rules of the game —and that includes you Draymond Green. You can be 15-0, you can have a new contract that makes you rich, you can be one of the game’s top defenders — you still can’t hang on the rim and do a little pull-up or you will get a technical.
3) Frustrated Clippers get in screaming match in locker room after game. The Clippers are below .500 at 6-7. They have lost seven of their last nine. They looked terrible in the first half Sunday in their loss to Toronto. I should not be writing those sentences about a team with a healthy Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but here we are.
All that spilled over into a loud post-game argument that the media could hear the next room over. Part of it was Josh Smith arguing with an assistant coach — that would be 4.7 points per game and shooting 35 percent Josh Smith. There are a lot of problems in L.A., and Doc Rivers’ the GM’s off-season moves have not had the desired impact. Lance Stephenson is falling out of the rotation because of his play. Paul Pierce has to come off the bench because he looks old and slow trying to guard starting threes in the league. The Clippers defense is 22nd in the league, allowing 104.3 points per 100 possessions. The offense is down 5.4 points per 100 possessions from a year ago. You get the idea, things are bad. The Clippers should be frustrated. The better question becomes, what are they going to do about it?
4) About those top contenders in the West…. Going into the season most of us forced to make predictions said any one of five teams could win the West. It hasn’t played out that well at all. Here are those five.
Golden State 15-0
San Antonio 10-3
Oklahoma City 8-6
LA Clippers 6-7
Meanwhile a number of us thought Dallas would fall out of the picture, they are 9-6 and the current three seed. It’s early for sure, but the West isn’t what we thought — and it’s not as good as it has been.
5) Russell Westbrook just doing what he does — putting up ridiculous numbers. The most entertaining game of the day by far was Oklahoma City beating Dallas 117-114. Kevin Durant is still out (although he could return early next week), so that meant more of the Russell Westbrook show — 31 points and 11 dimes. He is just fun to watch.