The Golden State Warriors (72-9) are going for history in Wednesday’s season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies. Having already tied the NBA’s single season record for wins and conquering the west with consecutive No. 1 seeds in the NBA playoffs, the Warriors have nothing to prove. However, they have everything to gain in their next 48 minutes of action.
See, with another win, the Warriors get to gain the pressure of breaking the Chicago Bulls record of (72-10) in the 1995-96 season. As they were approaching the record, the Warriors had many detractors trying to take away from their historic start to the season. The better they played, the louder the dissenters became. Now the Warriors have an opportunity to quiet the critics for at least 48 hours, maybe.
During Tuesday’s TNT NBA telecast, Charles Barkley double-downed on his disdain for the Warriors. He was adamant about the Warriors not winning the NBA championship for the second time. According to SB Nation, Barkley said he’ll “get on his knees and congratulate” the Warriors if they win back to back NBA titles. It’s not the first time Barkley picked against the Warriors.
As most people tend to forget, the Warriors won the NBA championship last year. Obviously, it was because injuries left other NBA playoff teams depleted. Remember, when everybody cared about the injuries to the Warrior’s front court in previous playoff years?
Let’s forget about last season’s record of (67-15). If the Warriors were going to be better this year, breaking the 70-win mark shouldn’t have been a surprise. From the start of the season, the Warriors internalized all of their slights and unleashed a lethal weapon on the NBA in the first couple months of the season. They started an NBA record 24-0. Fifteen of those wins came by double figures, setting the stage for a monumental season.
The Warriors haven’t lost back to back games this season. Averaging 114.8 points per game, the Warriors only failed to reach the 100-point mark seven times this season. They lost five of those games. Due to the nature of the playoffs slowing down, Barkley might think he’s onto something, but in their last game, the Warriors defeated the Spurs 92-86. They only scored 35 first half points. Yet, it wasn’t enough to keep the Warriors from defeating the No. 2 Spurs 3-1 in the season series.
With the NBA wins record on the line, the Warriors also have an opportunity to complete the season sweep of the Grizzlies. After two blowouts early in the season, the Warriors had to mount a late comeback to keep 73 wins possible. The 100-99 victory had some controversy towards the end, but Golden State made critical plays down the stretch. So far, the Warriors have won the three games by a 22.3 average over the Grizzlies.
One more win and they’ll lay claim to the best record in NBA history. Then they’ll have to get started on another NBA title quest.