29 Nov Golden State Warriors: Reign of Threes
As the basketball world is slowly running out of superlatives to describe the Golden State Warriors, the NBA’s defending champions keep on pushing the gas pedal. Their record-breaking NBA start is now at 17-0 after beating the Phoenix Suns on 11/27/15. Let’s breakdown the stats and take a look at where this could magical ride could be headed to:
I’ve always believed that a team that lives by the three point shot dies by the three point shot. The Golden State Warriors have proven me very wrong, game after game last season, and in every single game so far in the 2015-16 NBA season. The Warriors have made a total of 221 three pointers in 17 games against just 101 by their opponents. Because of the three point shot, the Warriors have scored at least 100 points in every game so far and are averaging a league best 115.5 points per game.
Not Even Close
If you translate the three point field goal numbers to points, the Warriors already have a 663-303 scoring margin over their opponents. Thru 16 games, the Warriors’ average margin of victory is 15.6 points, which is way better than their average winning margin 10.1 points per game last season and which is the biggest winning margin to start the season since the 16.0 point differential of the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls who went on a 15-1 start. The Warriors beat the Suns by 19 on Friday. They have four wins with at least a 20 point winning margin, including two by at least 30 and that near improbable 50 point win over Memphis last November 2.
King of Threes
Reigning MVP Stephen Curry has scored at least 30 points in 10 of their first 17 games. The only game where he failed to top 20 points this season was win #15 against Denver but that was because he sat out the entire fourth quarter. Curry had 41 points against the Suns on Friday and he didn’t even play in the fourth period. He made 9 three pointers thru 3 quarters and has a total of 87 for the season, more than the team total of the Nets and Wolves. If he continues this pace, he will make a total of 419 three pointers in 82 games. That would be 146% of the record 286 threes which he just set last season.
What’s Next for the Golden State Warriors?
Only two teams in the four major US sports have started a season better than 16-0. The 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the defunct Union Association (baseball) won 20 in a row. The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are 17-0 and counting. If we include the four-game winning streak to end last season, the Warriors have won 20 games in a row. Including the Warriors, only six teams in the history of the NBA have won at least 20 consecutive games, with the last one being LeBron’s 2012-13 Heat who won 27 in a row. The longest winning streak in NBA history is 33 by the 1971-72 Lakers and although that is still too far away, it is the next NBA record that stands in Golden State’s path to greatness. Interestingly, should the Warriors start the season 32-0, win #33 will have to come against the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Christmas Day.
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