It's hard to imagine that the 2015-2016 version the Golden State Warriors could possibly be better than the championship squad of 2014-2015. But that just might be the case. Although it is still early in the season the Dubs have yet to lose a game and are five victories away from the best start by any team in NBA history. Lets not forget this is all being done without their head coach Steve Kerr patrolling the sidelines. If the San Antonio Spurs haven't made it clear enough already, do not underestimate the power of a team's continuity.
Speaking of NBA history, Steph Curry's Player Efficiency Rating through eleven games is brain numbing. If the season ended today, Curry's 35.4 PER is about four points higher than second place Wilt Chamberlain's PER of 31.8 in 1962-1963. The stilt averaged 45 points and 24 rebounds per game that season. If current all time single season leader Wilt Chamberlain had Curry's current lead of 3.8 points, that would mean 56th place Kevin Garnett's 2004-2005 season PER of 28.2 would be considered second, which is absolutely ridiculous.
It will be interesting to see if both Curry and the Warriors can keep up their dominating play throughout the course of 82 games. Three weeks into the season the Warriors are the consensus top pick by all major media outlets. Let's look at what they have to say, starting with NBA.com breaking down Golden State's pace:
Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
Pace: 102.6 (4) OffRtg: 110.6 (1) DefRtg: 94.1 (3) NetRtg: +16.5 (1)
John Schuhman of NBA.com (Rank: 1)
There were signs of vulnerability last week. The Warriors let the Wolves climb back to within five late after leading by as many as 21 on Thursday, and they should have lost Saturday's game against the 1-9 Nets. But the record is still perfect, Stephen Curry is still producing ridiculous highlights, and he's been the league's best shooter (73 percent) on at least 50 attempts in the restricted area
It's fair to even question just how dominant the Warriors have been. Yeah, they're 11-0 and have outscored their opponents by 16.5 points per 100 possessions, but they've played just one game against the other 12 teams that currently have winning records.
They'll play three more games against that group this week, when we might get a little more separation elsewhere in the rankings.
Mark Stein of ESPN.com (Rank: 1)
Which will happen first?
That's suddenly Question of the Month in the NBA, with the 11-0 reigning champs now just four wins shy of matching the best start in NBA history, while the 0-10 Sixers yet again rank as the league's last remaining winless team.
ESPN's trusty Basketball Power Index gives Golden State only a 28.1 percent shot to become the first team of all time to uncork a 16-0 start, but the Warriors are in an understandably buoyant mood these days given what's happening around the rest of the West, where several teams that were considered preseason locks to finish in the conference's top seven -- Houston, Memphis, New Orleans and even the Los Angeles Clippers -- are either dealing with a curious disappearance of form or serious health woes.
No word on when the head coach will be back on the bench. No sign -- yet -- of last season's Klay Thompson. And really no letup at all from the Dubs, who have to have at least two All-Stars if they keep rolling like this. I'd expect Draymond Green to join Steph Curry in Toronto in February; his all-around game has never been better.
Jeremy Woo of SportsIllustrated.com (Rank: 1)
The Warriors, Cavs and Spurs are the league's only teams with top-10 offenses and defenses and are in a class by themselves thus far (although you could argue Golden State remains a cut above everyone). Watching the Warriors roll over the league is how Shia LaBeouf must feel screening three days' worth of his movies: the script is just too familiar. One new wrinkle: they're five straight wins away from the best start to a season in history.
Hard to say what was more shocking: Ronda Rousey being upset or the Warriors nearly losing to the hapless Nets on Saturday night. But the champions keep punching, and with Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli making strides, it's nuts to think this team has gotten even better.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com (Rank: 1)
That said, this year is nuttier than most. There's a crazy amount of parity this year, outside the Warriors, who are the class of the league, the best team in basketball, on pace for a historic season, blah, blah, blah.
The Warriors haven't played well in over a week, and they are undefeated in that time. They have a very rare and special combination right now of health, mojo, chemistry and the ability to win when they don't play well. That's the real mark of a great team, and the Warriors are so far ahead of the pack, it's honestly hilarious.
USA Today (Rank: 1)
USA Today took a vote of the following writers:
USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick, Kevin Spain and Jeff Zillgitt; HoopsHype.com's Jorge Sierra and Raul Barrigon; The Indianapolis Star's Candace Buckner; The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic's Paul Coro; The Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis; USA TODAY Sports Weekly's Howard Megdal.
So far, they're better than last season