Warriors Start Among the Best in NBA History

By Vincent Frank

After disposing of the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday afternoon, the Golden State Warriors have now won 15 consecutive games and are a ridiculous 20-2 on the season.

A total of 14 of those wins have come by double digits, as the Warriors lead the world in point differential at +11 points per game. Equally as impressive as this, 13 of the Warriors 22 games have come on the road. They are 12-1 in those matchups.

Of the top-five players in terms of plus-minus around the NBA, all five are Warriors. To put that into perspective the other five players in the top 10, have a combined plus-minus is 874. Those five Warriors who stand at the top are a combined +1,290.

Yeah, it’s been an amazing start to the season for the best team in the NBA.

But how does this compare to some other starts to the season from teams around the Association in recent history?

If Golden State wins its next three games, starting Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, it will tie four other NBA teams for the best 25-game start in the history of the Association. The most recent team to accomplish that feat were the 2008-2009 Boston Celtics who ended up winning 62 games. Before that, it was the 72-win Chicago Bulls club of 1995-1996.

After taking on New Orleans, the Warriors will travel to Memphis to square off with the Grizzlies before hosting a tough (and healthy) Oklahoma City Thunder squad.

Even if the Warriors aren’t able to pull off those three victories in order to move their winning streak to 18, what they have done this season is absolutely amazing.

Remember, two-time All-Star David Lee has played a total of one game (seven minutes). Meanwhile, Andrew Bogut has missed the last two outings with some minor issues in one of his knees.

Despite this, Golden State stands atop the Western Conference with a ridiculous 20-2 record. A Western Conference that is, by all definitions of the term, the “toughest” conference we have seen in recent history.

In terms of said history, the signs are pointing to a great remainder of the season for the Warriors. According to ESPN’s statistics department, the Warriors are the 12th team to start a season with a 20-2 record. Six of the previous 11 have won the NBA title. 

One of the many impressive aspects of this start is the fact that Steve Kerr’s bunch isn’t really being challenged right now. Since falling to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs at home back on November 11th, this team has not lost a game. More than that, it seems to be going through the motions against opponents that are nowhere near up to snuff.

A 27-point win against New Orleans, double-digit destruction of the Bulls in Chicago and a 12-point win over the Rockets. This all prior to a game against the Mavericks that saw the Warriors open up a near 30-point lead against Dirk Nowitzki and Co. in Dallas.

As a first-year head coach, Kerr isn’t just getting the most of his club, he’s showing everyone why this unit was under-performing under former head coach Mark Jackson. Outside of adding a Shaun Livingston, this team isn’t much different than the unit that won 50-plus games last season before losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.

It may only be December, but the Warriors have to be seen as the favorite to win the championship. And by all possible standards, their start to the season has been among the best in NBA history.

Photo: USA Today