The Warriors’ carnival came to town and extended their winning steak to 22–0 with a win over the Brooklyn Nets. They hold serve at the top of this week’s NBA Power Rankings.
We’re back with another set of Power Rankings, the Warriors are still undefeated, and to start the week off we checked out Golden State’s traveling carnival, which left Brooklyn Sunday night with a convincing win over the Nets. For the sake of history-in-progress, some quick observations on literally everyone’s No.1 ranked team:
1. Can we please kill the “Steph is just a normal-looking guy who plays basketball” thing for good? He hit one 35-footer from behind a screen on which I probably had a better view of the rim from the stands. It’s insane how much space he still finds in transition after a year or so of extended dominance. Curry created 13 straight Warriors points and flipped a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead that all but sealed the game at the end of the third. These are not normal things for anyone else on this planet, although Curry did miss three (!) free throws and flung a bizarre half court inbounds pass directly to Brooklyn’s Shane Larkin. Shane Larkin, normal guy, can do everything Steph Curry can, you just have to squint hard enough.
2. Someone asked Curry, who scored 28, if for him, in his mind, there was such thing as a bad shot. He responded yes, because “there are circumstances like time and score,” which is a really nice way of saying “no.”
3. The Warriors really do not appear worried about this streak (now at 26 games dating to last season). During a very, very crowded postgame scrum, Curry kept getting asked about history, and reiterated how difficult those types of questions were to process in the moment. Discussing the streak, Draymond Green put the group’s resiliency above all else. And Luke Walton said the idea of pressure might actually be helping.
“I don’t think there is [any burden] with us … would we be winning all these games if we had a loss already? I don’t know,” Walton explained. “On a 14-day road trip out of our time zone, it [would be] natural to just not have it. Our guys don’t want this first loss … the bigger the stage gets, I’ll keep saying it, the better our guys play.”
4. Said stage has ballooned. Fans showed up to the Barclays Center 90 minutes early to watch the Warriors warm up. Golden State’s half of the floor was filled with cell-phone-wavers hoping to catch a glimpse of Curry’s pregame cookout. Through a highly-scientific eye test, I counted more Steph jerseys than Nets jerseys from my seat.
5. The machine has become self-aware. Draymond Green was asked about the circus-like nature surrounding games. “It’s not going away,” he said, “so it is what it is. We rock out how we rock out.”
Coincidentally enough, “we rock out how we rock out” is also the motto of Sports Illustrated’s weekly Power Rankings.
(All records and stats through Dec. 7)