Warriors’ win over San Antonio should concern the rest of the NBA

There have been over 1,300 teams suit up since the NBA’s inception in 1946. Prior to Thursday night, only one of those teams (the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls) won 70-plus games.

After Thursday, we can put the Golden State Warriors on that list of two teams.

By virtue of their 112-101 blowout home win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors now stand at 70-9 on the season. They also clinched the top seed out west for the second consecutive season. With wins in its final three games, Golden State will break the single-season record for wins.

These are all alarming statistics for the rest of the Association heading into the playoffs.

However, what Steve Kerr’s squad did to what has been a dominating Spurs team on Thursday should be much more alarming for rival squads moving forward.

After putting up just 79 points against the Spurs in San Antonio back in March, a game that saw the Warriors shorthanded after playing the previous night, they tallied a total of 67 combined points in the second and third quarter alone Thursday night.

The 112 points San Antonio yielded represents the fourth-most points it has given up on the season. This comes on the heels of the Warriors putting up 120 points in a 30-point win over San Antonio in Oakland earlier this season.

All said, the Spurs have only yielded 100-plus points 19 times this season. When factoring in the fact that Golden State has failed to score triple digits just six times this year, it becomes readily apparent that its strength defeated the Spurs’ strength at every turn.

Including a game-high 27 points from Stephen Curry, 11 of the 12 players that suited up for the Warriors scored on Thursday night. The team shot a ridiculous 54.3 percent from the field, including a 57 percent mark from the starters.

TheĀ scariest proposition for potential playoff opponents is just how much the Warriors changed their strategy in what amounted to as nothing less than a chess match between Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich.

With Spurs’ defenders running him off the three-point line, Curry converted on 8-of-12 shots from two-point range, including a 6-of-7 clip from inside the lane.

Simply put, Spurs’ interior defenders failed to act as a second line of defense behind their wing players.

It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. If defenders sit back and give Curry space on the outside, he will bury you alive from three-point range. When they get in his face, his superior driving ability will take apart defenses, especially if that second level is incapable of stepping up.

Even scarier, when the Spurs did force Curry to dish after driving, he found wide open teammates for perimeter shots. Four of Curry’s nine assists in the game came on shots that were nailed from 17-plus feet, including three triples. The other five were either on layups or dunks. Think about that for a second.

All said, Warriors’ players not named Curry and Klay Thompson shot 54 percent from beyond the three-point line.

When Golden State’s offense is clicking like this, there’s not a single team in the Association that can stop it. Even going up against a Spurs squad that ranks first in the NBA in points allowed (92.5 heading into Thursday), the Warriors proved to be superior.

More than simply remaining alive for the single-season wins record, Golden State needed to prove that a recent funk wasn’t going to turn into a trend.

In a game that saw the team hold a 23-point lead at one point in the second half, the defending champs did just that.

In this, the rest of the NBA should be extremely concerned.