By Chris Molicki
In the storyline of the season, and probably the century so far, we’re heading into the final stretch. After soundly beating the Clippers on Wednesday night, the Golden State Warriors are 64-7, needing a 9-2 record in their remaining games to clinch the record for most regular season wins. This would be an incredible feat, and literally unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. But how likely is it?
Injuries, back-to-backs, wear-and-tear, and just general regression to the game has hurt the Warriors at times. Yet they still own a 9-2 record in their last 11 games, a stretch that was slightly off of their supernova pace. They’ve displayed consistent greatness for so long, and we’ve gotten to the point that seemed unreachable: the record is within Golden State’s grasp.
With all of that being said, let’s break down the remaining games and see if the Warriors will break the record.
Friday, March 25 vs. Dallas: What really helps the Warriors is that eight of these 11 games are at home, a place where they haven’t lost all season. What hurts is that it’s still a tough schedule, starting with the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA who might have a chance at slowing down Stephen Curry and the boys from the Bay. Dallas is one of the few teams to beat the Dubs this season, but the last two contests were Golden State wins by an average of 19 points. Win
Sunday, March 27 vs. Philadelphia: I know the Sixers almost beat the Warriors, but let’s face it, it’s not happening. No way Golden State loses a home game to the worst team in the league with this record on the line. Win
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Washington: The Wizards didn’t beat the Warriors, but John Wall and company did give them one hell of a fight back in February. This team is fighting for a playoff spot, but they’ve underachieved all year. Sure, their guards can go toe-to-toe with Golden State’s on their best nights, but I don’t see this happening as part of a West Coast road trip for them. Win
Wednesday, March 30 @ Utah: Utah has been up and down all season, but they gave Golden State a true test earlier this season. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert are a frontline that could cause the Warriors to play different than the way they want to play. Of course, that’s easier said than done. If there was a game that the Dubs would fall flat, it would be this one, on the road after a back-to-back against a tough opponent. Loss
Friday, April 1 vs. Boston: With only one more loss to give, you’d think the Warriors will be walking on eggshells. But pressure has never really fazed this team before. Another tough team comes to Oracle in the Celtics, who are playing some of the best basketball as any team in the league. However, in a playoff-like atmosphere, their talent will likely be outmatched by Golden State’s. Plus, if you told me the Warriors lost back-to-back games, I’d think it was an April Fool’s joke. Win
Sunday, April 3 vs. Portland: Another team that already beat Golden State, Portland comes to town, and Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum look to unseat the champs yet again. On one hand, it may seem like the schedule is tougher because the Warriors have to play a bunch of teams that beat them. But on the other hand, wouldn’t that make Draymond Green and his teammates more motivated? Win
Tuesday, April 5 vs. Minnesota: I don’t want to waste too much time on this one. This is the easiest non-Sixer game on the remaining slate. Maybe in a few years, Karl-Anthony Towns and Minnesota’s young talent will be able to compete with the Dubs. But not today. Win
Thursday April 7 vs. San Antonio: This is a big one. Golden State will surely want revenge after the Spurs handed them their most recent loss. They’ve heard everyone talking about how after that game, the Warriors should fear San Antonio. But those kinds of things only fuel the Dubs. Plus, they should be healthier and won’t be playing on back-to-back nights. Win
Saturday, April 9 @ Memphis: Normally, the Grizzlies would be a tough game for anyone. But despite continuing their winning ways, they’re throwing out no-name lineups with guys like Chris Anderson, Ryan Hollins, and JaMychal Green, just to name a few. Golden State should have no trouble handling them here. Win
Sunday, April 10 @ San Antonio: Finally, we’ve arrived. With a win needed to break the record, the Warriors, on a back-to-back, face the Spurs at the site of their last defeat (and where the Spurs have never lost this season). No one would blame the Warriors for coasting in this one and sealing the record in their finale against the Griz. But that’s not how the Warriors roll. I expect Golden State to come out on all cylinders and make a statement. Yes, it’d be under tough circumstances. But if they win this game, they’d prove that nobody can hang with them in a seven-game series. And they may prevent San Antonio from finishing the regular season undefeated at home as the cherry on top. Win
Wednesday, April 13 vs. Memphis: With the record wrapped up, Steve Kerr decides to rest his players to prepare for the playoffs. This doesn’t matter at all, unless another team comes along to challenge the Warriors’ record one day. I don’t really see that happening, and I also can’t see the Warriors ending their season, or me ending this article, any other way than this: Win