The Golden State Warriors have won 67, 73, and 67 games the last three seasons. They’ve been to the Finals all three years, winning twice. They’re one of the best teams ever, and have always taken pride in their effort in both the regular season and playoffs.
They’ve also played a lot of games, traveled a bunch, and had some injury issues. Playing so many games in the postseason is tiring on the body, and they’ll need to prioritize rest as much as possible.
The Warriors have looked sluggish early in the season, maybe due in part to a short offseason, the preseason trip to China, or lack of motivation. After three years of elite regular season records, it’s a fair question to ask whether the Warriors will try to maintain that level this season.
After all, this team has nothing else to prove other than the fact that they can continue winning championships. They’ve already broken the regular season record for most wins!
Even LeBron James, who has made seven NBA Finals in a row (most quite easily), has not always had the most stellar regular season records. His team has only finished above 55 wins once in the last four seasons. Most years, his team has coasted through the regular season and buckled down for the playoffs.
If the Warriors think that rest and good health are paramount, and try to develop their youngsters like Jordan Bell and Patrick McCaw, it’s not inconceivable they win only about 60 games. And although some team like Houston may be close, that will likely be enough to win the first seed and secure homecourt advantage for the entire playoffs.
The Warriors have always taken the regular season seriously, but now with so little left to prove there they could conserve their energy. However, their elite talent and drive might keep them firmly at the top of the standings. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter as much as the most important goal of the regular season: to be healthy and ready for the playoffs.