- The Warriors are having more fun and playing a lot like the 73-win team from 2015-16. The Open Floor podcast offers their thoughts on Golden State's tremendous start and answer if they should chase the NBA regular season wins record.
The Warriors are having more fun and are breaking records along the way. For the first time in years, the pressure is not on them. Stephen Curry is having perhaps his greatest start to a season yet. Kevin Durant is dialed-in more than ever. And it is safe to say Klay Thompson has found his rhythm after exploding for 52 points and hitting an NBA record 14 threes. Draymond Green's presence on defense has been spectacular. Oh, and they have DeMarcus Cousins in their stable as he rehabs from an Achilles injury.
While Golden State has said they won't focus on breaking the regular season wins record again, the Open Floor podcast debates if they should really chase 74 if the opportunity is there.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Ben Golliver: Do you think the Warriors should go for 74 wins?
Andrew Sharp: I don't think they will. They should. I almost feel like the Warriors would avoid going that direction just for superstition's sake. I think, after the way 2016 played out they just don't really want to be anywhere near a season record, and they don't want to be anywhere near the conversation that kind of weighs everyone down as the season unfolds.
It's more realistic that they would at one point this season try to break the 36 wins in a row Lakers record, which is doable also. In general, I'm just thrilled with what they have done so far. This is the Warriors team that's impossible to root against, because watching them at this level is just so much fun and so outrageous that you can't even be upset. And it's a sharp departure from the team that we've been dealing with the last two years.
Golliver: Listen to you respecting greatness. I love it, Andrew. It makes my heart melt. I have a counterpoint to something you said, though. Is it possible that rather than looking at the chase at like a burden, they're looking at the Eastern Conference and just kind of chuckling and being like, 'Jayson Tatum? Jalen Brown? Really? Kyle Lowry? Really? Giannis is going to knock us out in the Finals? Are we really worried about conserving out energy for that?'
I mean, one big dynamic shift of LeBron going West is they very well may might have to face him in the playoffs, whether somebody else knocks the Lakers out or—as you predicted—they just don't even make it. Who else scares them? And I know Sam Amick did a piece about that for The Athletic, but if I'm the Warriors looking around, I'm not scared by Denver. I'm not scared by Utah, they've taken care of them pretty handily in the playoffs. They've completely wiped New Orleans and Portland out of the playoffs in recent years? Houston, I would not be scared of them right now. I'm not scared of the Lakers under any circumstances, and Iook at the Eastern Conference teams and not even your true Boston green Celtics pride is going to be enough to get me scared of them.
I think the trickiest team, honestly, for them, probably is Toronto just because of the Kawhi factor. But even then, Toronto's got to make it there first, and if I'm Golden State this is a completely free-wheeling season. I feel like there's no pressure on them. Kevin Durant is playing out of his mind, Stephen Curry is playing out of his mind, Klay Thompson is finally back on track. I think they should gun for everything, that's what I'm saying.
Sharp: Yeah, I'm with you, and I would add two final points here: No. 1: What I'm talking about here when I say this is the Warriors team we always wanted all along is now we get to see them hitting on all cylinders and blowing teams off the court and making the whole league look helpless, rather than kind of just going through the motions while also having enough talent to render the entire season a formality.
And No. 2: I think if you're going to do that, we at least deserve a show, and they're giving us a show and a lot of that comes back to Steph. This is the best Steph Curry has looked in the last three years.
Golliver: No, no, stop there. Ever. He's never played better than this. If you look at his shooting splits, his scoring average, just for a two-week stretch I think this is the best Steph we've ever seen.
Sharp: And it has been true all along in Golden State that they're highest ceiling comes when Steph is the guy that's starting everything, when he's the catalyst on offense they become a completely unstoppable machine. And it's been true at various points in the last two seasons as well, but the parternship with Durant has been in kind of a strange place at times and so far we've seen Curry just kind of take the wheel and then Durant has found his spots, Klay has found his spots, Draymond is still doing his thing. But it's Steph, and when that's true the Warriors become the most entertaining team on the planet and maybe ever. I think that's a win for everybody, because if we have to sit through this goddamn Warriors era it might as well be fun. We might as well see Klay Thompson go off for 40 points in a half and blow our minds.
The one record that I really do care about from them is, if this is going to be the last year for Durant and Golden State and this version of the dynasty, I really want to see them go for 16–0 in the playoffs. Because I think at some point we deserve to see them kind of show exactly how dominant they are and show history how much better they were than anyone else in the league at this time, and I think it's very doable for all the reasons you laid out and that's the one that I'd love to see them get.
Golliver: Look, KD, if you go 16–0 in these playoffs you better not leave. You better run that back.
Sharp: Come on, man. It's a good kind of parting shot from KD, and then he can go to New York or Philly or wherever.