LOS ANGELES — “It’s honestly surreal,” was the first thing Klay Thompson said about the Warriors’ 33-2 record so far this season.
“It’s crazy, that record is pretty insane,” coach Luke Walton said of his team’s record fast start to the season.
That’s it. That’s as close as the Warriors will get to discussing chasing the Chicago Bulls record of a 72-win season. As quickly as they spit out a sentence about thinking their record is good, to a man the Warriors revert to “just trying to get better every day” cliché comments.
Look at what Walton said right after he called their record insane.
“We don’t focus on that, we don’t think about that,” he continued. “We focus on what we do well, what we need to improve on. We’re watching the Spurs, Cleveland, Houston, Oklahoma City, the teams that are at the top of the league and focusing on what we have to do to beat them. We have to keep our focus on playing at a level that will allow us to win another championship.”
Right now, the Warriors are on pace for 77 wins. However, so many things can throw off that fragile balance — like the injury to Stephen Curry‘s leg, which was aggravated in the win over the Lakers Tuesday. He is now questionable for the Warriors game Friday.
Golden State would love to break Chicago’s record. The Warriors have one ring and were hailed by many (including myself) as ushering in a new era of the NBA, altering the style of play we will see by most teams going forward. However, that kind of legacy cannot be built on just one season, just one ring. They know they need multiple rings and a string of great seasons — getting 72 wins or more would become part of that legacy.
Just don’t expect them to talk about it.
“We’re in a good spot, obviously, but for us it’s not just talk — our mindset is we haven’t played our best yet,” Curry said. ”We’ve had some 36-minute performances where we just played out of our minds but we have struggles and stagnant periods. We just want to keep growing while we’re winning, and that’s what we’re doing.”
The Warriors are aware of the record, but they are not yet going all out to get it. As the season goes on, they plan to rest players as they get tired and take other maintenance steps to have guys healthy and rested for the postseason, even if it costs them wins.
The Warriors know their record is a bit fragile — they have the point differential of a team 29-6, according to basketball-reference.com. The Warriors are playing over their head a little, and often that kind of luck evens out over the course of a season.
But if we get to mid-March, with just about a month left in the season, and that record is still within reach, how hard will they go for it? That question remains to be answered, but it could lead to an interesting chase down the stretch of the season.