clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Golden State Warriors and Immortality

The Golden State Warriors are the second team in NBA history to reach 70 wins. Only one team stands in their quest to become the first team ever to win 73 in a single season. Immortality, one San Antonio Spurs win away.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

"When you're talking only two teams in the history of this game? You're talking about all the great Celtics teams, the great Lakers teams, obviously the great Bulls teams. Only one team has done it before us? That's incredible. That's something you have to feel good about but we have unfinished business.

"When you think about it, we're sitting here with three games left, needing all three to break the record. Think about the year we had, started 24-0, haven't lost 2 in a row all year, had several win streaks of 7 in a row, yet we're still sitting here needing 3 in a row. That tells you how hard it is to do. So to get this far, and kind of tanking it and saying never mind, let's face it, we're probably never getting to this point again. That's why it's only been done one time. I think most guys in the locker room are all in. We'll figure that out this weekend. There's no right or wrong answer. If guys need a rest, take a rest. But if you wanna go for it, we going for it."

Draymond Green just made my job writing here pretty easy, doesn't he?

As the Golden State Warriors dominate the San Antonio Spurs to the tune of a 112-101 home victory, the players in turn start to crystallize what is truly in front of them. Klay Thompson, in his normal nonchalant attitude, giving PR a hard time about doing media interviews two seconds before walking through the door, expressed confidence he will play the rest of the way. Harrison Barnes noted his age and the lack of need for rest. Stephen Curry took the final word and essentially said they've gone too far to stop now. No matter how much coach Steve Kerr frets like any logical coach in this situation, the Warriors aren't pulling the foot off the proverbial pedal now.

There are three games left but in reality, only one remains in doubt. And fittingly, it's the one team that stands as the final obstacle before the Golden State Warriors can officially place themselves atop Mt. Rushmore. Lose to the San Antonio Spurs on the road one more time, like so many years before, and they still have a chance at one of the greatest seasons of all time. Defeat the Spurs in their house for number 72 and then vanquishing them in the postseason for a back-to-back title?

Sunday's game for number 72 (barring a loss in Memphis the night before) might be the difference between one of greatest seasons of all time and THE greatest season of all time. It always came down to this. Even during the championship run, many were bemoaning the proverbial Warriors' Achilles heel. What would they do about Gregg Popovich's coaching adjustments? How about Kawhi Leonard on Stephen Curry? How real is championship experience and prestige?

And as the Warriors sneak closer and closer to immortality, towards a record and season that will ring into the halls of history for the next century, only one team stands still alive and not yet fully solved.

The Los Angeles Clippers simply don't own enough wings or crunch-time players to stop the Warriors as Curry has surpassed Chris Paul to make things bleaker. The Oklahoma City Thunder can't play consistent defense for 48 minutes and still have yet to find good decision-making when it counts. The Cleveland Cavaliers are dealing with their own problems and their third-best player can't stay on the floor against GSW. Every team has been and will fall with a single Warriors adjustment.

The Spurs are the only team that always seems to remain a few tweaks from stealing one here and there, making a 7-game series interesting enough. On Thursday night, one theme seemed to run true consistently: the Spurs cannot score on the Warriors. With Boris Diaw, without Boris Diaw, going small or not, the Spurs' post-up-centric offense cannot untangle itself from the vice grip the Warriors defense has on them.

Forget for a second that Curry can solve most defenses, and this one by simply exhibiting a rarely seen floater game. Forget that Harrison Barnes finally decided it's time to get paid. Forget the fact that Andre Iguodala isn't fully healthy and in the flow of the bench offense yet. No matter if Andrew Bogut and Iguodala are sitting out or if the offense struggles, the Spurs simply cannot find easy baskets against a locked-in Warriors defense.

As the Warriors streak towards something we've never seen, it's the opposite of what they're most known for that's leading the charge. This team's record, streaks, and its offense might live forever ensconced in entertainment and fame. But don't forget the defense, because we might be seeing the greatest of all time. Now isn't that fitting?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind