By: Louis Prejean
The Warriors are off to a historic start to the NBA season. The recently had their 28-game winning streak snapped by the Milwaukee Bucks, but still remain on pace to end with the best record of all time and break the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record. While the Warriors are dominating the NBA with a 24-1 start, they are also relieving some pressure off of other teams. Maybe not it is so much the Warriors as it is the media relieving other NBA teams. While the Warriors are making headline after headline, the other top teams in the NBA are flying under the radar.
Flying under the radar is not such a bad thing. The teams playing well are almost forgotten about by the media and casual fans of the NBA. The teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are free to do what they do best, play basketball. The Spurs and Thunder are not dealing with nearly as much attention as the Golden State Warriors are. They may just like it that way. The Thunder are currently on a four-game winning streak and appear to be one of the hottest teams in the league right now. The combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may have never played better than how they are performing this season, yet they are somewhat being overlooked by the world. The San Antonio Spurs have the best defense in the NBA and with their main players growing older, that is unexpected. Kawhi Leonard is quietly putting together a MVP-type season together in terms of his play of both sides of the basketball. No other NBA player is playing as well as Kawhi Leonard is when it comes to scoring the basketball and defending the best opposing team’s best player. While Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs are off to a scorching start of 20-5, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are the ones getting the media’s attention.
Obviously the Warriors did not ask for this. The Warriors are the best team in the NBA and all they are doing is playing some of the basketball the NBA has ever seen. Naturally the spotlight will shine on Golden State the most, but this may be drawing unnecessary expectations for the Warriors. Golden State seems locked in and focused, however. They are handling the media hype extremely well for a franchise that was not this good a few seasons ago. On the other end, the other NBA teams have to be loving the lack of media attention. The Cavaliers are making some headlines with their inconsistent play, but there would be a whole lot more criticism for Cleveland if it were not for the Warriors historic start that we are all privileged to witness. The struggles of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets would be more under the microscope. However, they now have less attention and more freedom to solve their problems without everyone watching their every move.
It has to feel nice for both sides, though. The Warriors are gaining positive attention, yet face unfair expectations to end this season with the best record in NBA history. The Warriors are striving to be the best team they can be. Golden State may start to worry less about the regular season with their winning streak snapped and start to worry about the postseason. With recent injuries to two starters in Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, the Warriors main focus will be to make it into the playoffs at full strength. Meanwhile, the rest of the NBA can carry on with their seasons without any real expectations. The Spurs, Thunder, Cavaliers. and the other teams do not have to worry about answering questions concerning any problems or hear about how they need to win it all this season. All of those questions are going to the Golden State Warriors. As the season progresses, the media will slowly turn their attention to other NBA teams, bit right now 29 teams only have to worry about playing basketball.