The Warriors must win all of their remaining game to beat the 95-96 Bulls record of 72 wins
It has been the heavily repeated question throughout this 2015-2016 NBA season: can the Golden State Warriors break the single-season record in which the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls currently hold at 72-10?
The Minnesota Timberwolves may have complicated things going forward, as they defeated the Warriors in overtime at the Oracle Arena 124-117 Tuesday night. That marked only the second time this season the Warriors have lost a game at home, and are now 1-2 in their last three games. With four games remaining, they will need to win out to go 73-9 to break the all-time record.
The four remaining games they have left will feature two playoff teams in the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs will travel to Oakland on April 7 for the Warriors’ next game, followed by a two-game road-trip to Memphis on April 9 and San Antonio on April 10. Golden State will play their final game on April 13, as they play host to the Grizzlies.
Miraculously, the Warriors are yet to clinch the best record in the Western Conference as the Spurs have been hanging around with an impressive 65-12 record, along with an undefeated home record of 39-0. It is highly unlikely the Warriors will lose the rest of their remaining games, barring a tumultuous meltdown.
The Spurs will be the toughest match-up without a doubt, especially if head coach Gregg Popovich decides to not rest his players the rest of the way. Point guard Tony Parker was first led to believe Popovich would rest most of the starters beginning with the Utah Jazz on Monday, but instead Pop utilized the entire roster in San Antonio’s 88-86 win.
It would only make sense to play everyone at this point, as the Warriors are on the cusp of losing out on their chances for history. It is unlikely for the Spurs to play everyone when there really is no reason to, but in a time like this, it looks like San Antonio is going to give Golden State all they can handle. The Spurs match-ups will be the ones to watch, but the Grizzlies should not be overlooked.
Memphis currently holds the fifth spot in the Western Conference with a 42-36 record, and they will not be able to move up in the standings with the lack of games remaining. Even with that being the case, it should be interesting to see if the Grizzlies will rest their players.
The Warriors cannot overlook teams, as they found out the hard way against Minnesota. With all the preparation they will need for San Antonio, it may become a factor when they face Memphis of being less prepared. With the Spurs garnering most of the attention because of their historically great season, the Grizzlies will be the team that could surprise if the Spurs don’t do it first.
Of course, this is the Golden State Warriors we are talking about. Forward Draymond Green told CBS Sports the team is ‘exhausted’ and ‘ready for the regular season to be over.’ It is quite imaginable how long of a season it must feel like for a team trying to win at least 89 percent of their games, as the pressure has continually built up throughout the year.
What will be left to answer are a few questions: if the Warriors do break the record, will they have enough in the tank to win another NBA championship? If they don’t break the record, will it inspire them or show the rest of the NBA they are gassed out? Better rested teams could be a problem for the Warriors in the playoffs, but this is history in the current moment in front us and it is still possible for them to make it happen.