All the preseason talk regarding the Warriors’ good fortune on the way to winning the 2014 title overlooked a rather relevant detail: Golden State’s historically dominant team was anchored by stars who had yet to reach their playing prime. It stood to reason in theory that Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, and thus the Warriors on the whole, could actually improve upon their 67-win season and all-time notable point differential.
Thus far Golden State has lived up to the theory. On Monday night, the Warriors hosted the Memphis Grizzlies at ORACLE Arena and proceeded to thump their former playoff opponent, 119–69. That 50-point margin made for the biggest loss in Memphis’s franchise history, inching past the 49-point defeat the then-Vancouver Grizzlies suffered to the Spurs in 1995. More sobering notes from Golden State’s latest:
• Stephen Curry had yet another quarter of 20 points or more—his third in four games. His 37 points per game are the best in the league to date while his raw plus-minus (+19.3) trails only behind teammate Draymond Green. As was noted by ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Curry has thus far registered 148 points on 84 shots in just 127 minutes. If you have even the slightest clue of how to stop him, please advise—29 coaching staffs are eager for your input.
Otherwise, Dallas’s Chandler Parsons has a plea:
• To put Memphis’s offensive woes in context: The Grizzlies’ final field goal percentage in this game (27.1%) ranks as the 26th-worst by any team since 1985. This was also, as one might expect, the single worst field-goal percentage game in the Grizzlies’ franchise history.
• Incidentally, this was only the second-biggest win in Warriors’ franchise history. A day after trading Mitch Richmond to the Kings in November 1991, Golden State eradicated Sacramento with a 153–91 victory.
Indiana’s Lavoy Allen seemed confounded:
• Between the second and third quarters, Memphis shot a dreadful 9-of-48 (18.8%) from the field to score 27 total points. In that same span, Golden State hotdogged its way to 72 points on 28-of-46 (60.9%) shooting.
• Golden State led the league last season with a net rating (pace-adjusted point differential) of +11.4—one of the best marks in NBA history. In a tiny, four-game sample this season, the Warriors’ league-best net rating comes in at +26.6. The usual asterisk of non sustainability applies, but even in a short span that margin of victory is bonkers.
• Memphis led, 22–21, after the first quarter. They would make just 17 shots through the remainder of the game.