At 34-2, the Golden State Warriors are on pace to go 77-5 this season.
That has a lot of fans asking “can they break the Michael Jordan/Bulls record of 72-10?”
The Warriors dodge that question when asked. But after his team became the latest Warriors victim, Trail Blazers’ coach Terry Stotts answered it for them — yes they can. Via Sean Michael Meagher (hat tip Eye on Basketball):
If they can stay relatively healthy, the Warriors have a chance — but things are going to get harder as the season wears on.
The Warriors have the fourth easiest schedule in the NBA so far — they have played the Cavaliers once (Christmas Day) and have yet to face either the Thunder or Spurs. They have eight games still ahead against those other serious contenders. Also, the Warriors trust the body/health monitoring analytics gear that players wear during practices, and at some point later this season it will tell them to rest guys like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson for nights, making the Warriors more vulnerable.
The Warriors have the point differential of a team 30-6, according to Basketball-Reference.com, meaning the Warriors have been a little bit lucky so far. That kind of luck tends to balance out over the course of a season.
The Warriors to a man say they are not focused on the outcome yet, just the process. But this is also a team trying to establish its legacy up their with some of the great squads of all-time, and breaking the win total would be another significant step on the way to doing just that. My guess is that if the Warriors get to mid-march, with a month to go in the season, and they have a good shot at the record it will become more of a priority.
But for now, they know their ultimate legacy will be determined by rings more than regular season accomplishments.