As the 2015-16 season comes to a close, The Golden State Warriors have dominated the regular season. Countless accolades, and records have been given to the coaches, players, and team as a whole. There is one big record being chased as well, the elephant in the room until about a week or two ago. The Warriors are chasing the most regular season wins in NBA history. A record that would put them in the record books for the foreseeable future. But breaking down whether they do in fact need the record, shows why they really don't.
We all know the regular season is meaningless. Teams chase championships, which aren't given out at the end of the regular season. There is another season ahead, a tougher season. The only season that really matters. The team and coaches have mentioned numerous times the records don't mean anything without a championship. They have never been more right, and now is the most important time to follow that ideal.
Festus Ezeli, he has been out for what seems like most of the season now. Getting him back would be a big boost for a team with currently only one real "big" in Andrew Bogut. Sure Mo Speights has come up big in Ezeli's absence but shooters can be streaky, and sometimes rebounding and defense are more important in the toughness that is Playoff Basketball.
Andre Iguodala, a key player to the Warriors success has been out recently, and what looks to be a bit more time. What he brings is much needed for Playoff Basketball. The ability to lock down the opponents best player, a high basketball intelligence that brings calmness and fire when each is needed respectively, a veteran leadership, the player to have the Small Ball Death Squad perform in full force. He is much needed for the playoffs.
The good news is Ezeli and Iggy are getting healthy, and resting. The bad news is even more of a load is being placed on the active players in their absence, not a great thing heading into the grueling playoffs. We all know how devastating one injury can be to a team, Brandon Rush is now day to day. What if that becomes a Bogut, Klay, Dray, or Curry. What if Barnes were out again, a player who is coming back into his own and we all know playoff Barnes is a different player, and he will be this year too. The Warriors need to rest the starters more, and make sure they are healthy, and rested for the Playoffs. Risking a chance of injury or even fatigue heading into the playoffs is not smart, regardless of the history books.
The Warriors have faced each opponent's best shot on a nightly basis this year just so they can say they beat the almighty Dubs. This in itself has been a grueling season, and the playoffs are still looming. The Thunder and Spurs are still waiting at a chance to ruin the Warriors magical season. This can only be attained in the playoffs, not getting the regular season record won't ruin any magic, because alas the magic is still there to be made starting April 16; 16 wins is all that matters then.
Locking up the number 1 seed was the goal, this has all but been officially done. Let the starters get some rest, protect them at the cost of protecting the true meaning of this season, not records but rings. Getting back to back championship is THE most important part of this season, and perhaps even while resting the regular season record will come.