The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors 87-79 to (amazingly) close to within just 3 games of the NBA’s best team. After trying to match the Warriors at their own game back in January (and being blown out by 30 as a result) Gregg Popovich decided to play his way, slow the game down and pound the ball inside where Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge would have the advantage. The end result? Aldridge ends up with 26 and 13, Leonard ends up with 18 and 14… Spurs end up with the W.
So with their record now at 62-7 needing to go 11-2 to surpass the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls as the greatest single season team in NBA history… can they do it? For most teams winning 11 out of 13 is miraculous but almost seems pedestrian for the 2015-16 Warriors. And it looks even more likely when you consider the following…
- 9 of their remaining 13 games are at home.
- 6 of their remaining 13 games are against teams with sub .500 records (as at March 19, 2016).
Sounds like nothing more than a formality, right? Here are the cons…
- 2 of their 4 road games are against San Antonio and Memphis.
- They also hame games against the LA Clippers, Boston and Portland (who have already beaten the Warriors this season).
So… maybe not so much a formality. Let’s break down the remaining schedule 1 game at a time.
March 21 – Warriors at Timberwolves
Don’t see any problems here, they have a day to recover from their loss to the Spurs and prepare for the lowly T-Wolves who own the NBA’s 5 worst record. Warriors have already beaten them once this season, prepare for their second. (63-7 record).
March 23 – Clippers at Warriors
There’s some real danger here, the Clippers are playoff bound and have played the Warriors well with losses of 4, 7 and 3 this season. I think they (finally) put it together in a nationally televised and give the Warriors their first home loss since January 27, 2015 against Chicago. (63-8 record).
March 25 – Mavericks at Warriors
Warriors won in Dallas just 7 days prior, no reason to think they won’t win again at home. And coming off a (predicted!) loss they’ll be hungry to beat someone up. Warriors in a blowout. (64-8 record).
March 27 – 76ers at Warriors
Best team against the worst… Warriors win (65-8 record).
March 29 – Wizards at Warriors
The last of their 4 game home stand gives them another win, Wizards will be fighting for a playoff spot but totally outmatched here. (66-8 record).
March 30 – Warriors at Jazz
Utah played them close in their home game but were blown out in 2 Warriors home games. Might be close again but another Warriors win (67-8 record).
April 1 – Celtics at Warriors
It took 2 OT’s in Boston for the Warriors to eventually get the win but the safe confines of Oracle Arena will see them home. Also Boston will have played in Portland the night before, tough game on the end of a back to back on the road. (68-8 record).
April 3 – Trailblazers at Warriors
The Warriors have already returned the favour from their February 19 blowout loss at Portland and they’ll do the same again this time around, Golden State win (69-8 record).
April 5 – Timberwolves at Warriors
Nothing to see here, big win at home to give the stars some 4th quarter rest. The only celebration will be to crown the 2nd team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season (70-8 record).
April 7 – Spurs at Warriors
With a 1-1 regular season tie between these teams there’ll be a lot of juice in their remaining 2 games. Warriors have been unbeatable at home (until their loss against the Clippers, see March 23) so this will be another win, albeit a hard fought one (71-8 record).
April 9 – Warriors at Grizzlies
Even without Marc Gasol, Memphis is still within reach of a top 4 seed in the West which is remarkable. They have terrific perimeter defenders that can cause problem for the 3 point shooters but the class of the Warriors will win out, Golden State in a close one (72-8 record).
April 10 – Warriors at Spurs
The final regular season meeting between Ali and Frazier and it promises to be a beauty. Based on the above games the Warriors will have a chance to win their record 73rd game… but my money is on Popovich to have his guys ruin the party and send them packing. Warriors also playing in Memphis the night before will prove taxing. Spurs hold home court (72-9 record).
April 13 – Grizzlies at Warriors
So… it all comes down to the 82nd and final regular season game. They’ve had 3 days to rest and prepare and won’t want to leave the home fans wanting. Maybe Michael Jordan should plan a west coast visit, he can watch in person the team that will have removed his 1995-96 Bulls from the top of the list. Warriors win and secure their historic 73rd regular season victory (73-9 record).
I’m glad this is only one persons opinion… much more excited to see it unfold!
Keep your eyes on the NBA over the next 3 weeks, it’s going to be FANtastic (throwback to an old NBA promo for those that are old enough!).