After starting off the season by winning 24 straight games (the most ever wins to start a season) the Warriors proceeded to win 73 regular season games, beating the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls record of 72 wins. The Warriors won their 72nd game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 10 in San Antonio, where the Spurs had been undefeated all season, and the Warriors won the 73rd against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 13. In Wednesday’s game, Stephen Curry scored 46 points on 15 of 24 field goals attempts and 10 three-pointers, exceeding 400 total converted three-pointers for the season.
Curry scored 402 total three-pointers all season, beating his own previous National Basketball Association (NBA) record of only 286. The person closest behind Curry is his own teammate Klay Thompson, who made 276 this season. Curry and Thompson together combined made 678 three-pointers, which is more than 13 other entire NBA teams for the season. Also, by scoring more than 37 points in his last game, Curry finished the season by averaging a league best (over) 30 points per game, and is in the elite 50-40-90 club. This means Curry averaged over 50% shooting from the field, over 40% shooting from three, and converted over 90% of his free throws. Curry’s performance this season, and that of the entire Warriors team, has almost certainly secured Curry as the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second year in a row, and ought to earn Head Coach Steve Kerr NBA Coach of the Year.
The Warriors’ success this season is particularly impressive after having won the NBA Championships the season before, a circumstance in which many other teams might have coasted. Instead of resting their players for the post season or taking it slow, the Warriors showed up to play every single night as if it would make or break their season. They were so determined and they did not lose back to back games all season long. The Warriors’ success is due to their attention to fundamentals, extraordinary teamwork, and prevention of injury. The combination of balanced playing time and exceptional training staff resulted in the Warriors’ three best players (Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green) missing together only six games all season. The reigning NBA Champions have actually improved from last year, with key players such as Thompson and Green named NBA All-Stars for the the first time, and Curry smashing his statistics from his previous MVP season.
This is not something that happens every year. Curry and the Warriors have broken NBA records left and right in the first ever 73 win season that will truly never be forgotten. It will be looked back upon for decades to come, yet we are here experiencing and living it near the very city it is happening in. We are witnessing NBA history, and that is not something to be overlooked.
Many students at M-A have great appreciation for Curry and the Warriors’ success. Basketball and sports play a big role at M-A, and the Warriors’ success is shown on the faces of the students and teachers at M-A. Many M-A students walk through the hallways chanting for the Warriors and wearing Curry jerseys. It is an incredible basketball accomplishment and we here are living in the very heart of it.
M-A alum and staff member Karina Flores explained that though the Warriors are all the talk right now, that is not how it use to be. She said, “It is definitely something that they have been working at for a very long time.” She remembers when nobody talked about the Warriors, and she feels the glory of the Warriors’ success even more so now “as someone who followed them even in high school here at M-A.” Flores stated, “I was part of that ‘we believe’ era back in ’06 and ’07” which celebrated a much different Warriors team than the one so many people know now.
After enduring so much loss as a long time fan, Flores is just happy to see them finally win. She said, “I think it is something very important that we get to share altogether.” She knows it is not something that happens often and said, “It’s the fact that we are finally living in that glory that makes it so special. Not just for one generation, but you have parents who had never seen them win… You are just seeing this pass on from generation to generation, and this is something that we will get to tell our children and grandchildren about.”
Flores also reflected on the impact the Warriors’ performance has had on campus, with a firsthand understanding of how different it is now than it was when she was in school. She said that the love for the Warriors is something we all have in common. “If you are wearing a Warriors shirt, it is something that you are going to automatically be able to talk about. Even if you don’t know a person in the hall, you can be like ‘hey Warriors!’” She believes the Warriors’ success unites us. “It’s just that great ambiance of community, and I think that that’s not only represented because it’s happening now and because it’s part of history, but I think it’s because we see them as a team” said Flores.
The accomplishment of the Warriors strikes home with many students as well. Sophomore Imahn Daeenabi said, “I think the Warriors winning 73 games is an amazing accomplishment that shows endurance and teamwork.” He explained the reason for the Warriors’ success: “The Warriors did very well because they have a balance of talented players, and [they] have a strong coaching staff and front office. They play as a team and they buy into [Head Coach] Steve Kerr’s system.”
Daeenabi is just as impressed with Curry as the rest of us. He said, “Steph Curry is definitely better than last year. The statistics simply prove it.” He acknowledged that this improvement is particularly impressive considering he was named MVP last year. He is also certain that “Curry will no doubt be the MVP. He has no competition that is even comparable right now. The statistics prove it and the vote should be unanimous.” Though bold, this is not an outrageous statement by any means. Despite the fact that no player in history has been voted MVP unanimously, this could very well be the year. It would be a fitting accomplishment for Curry to go along with his record breaking spree this season.
Daeenabi also talked about how the Warriors’ accomplishments compare to the 72 wins of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. He said, “The two teams played in different eras, but overall I think the Warriors are a better team, and statistics show that the Warriors faced harder teams.” This means the Warriors have warranted the better record, but the question remains: can they win a Championship? Daeenabi said, “Yes I think they will win the championship this year, but if they don’t, they won’t go down in history as being better than the Bulls.”
If they do not win, though the Warriors would hold the best regular season record, they would not have a Championship.The 1995-1996 Bulls did however win the Championship, along with many of the other teams. If the Warriors do not win the Championship, it could be said that they might have had more post season success if they had rested some of their more prominent players. It would be a very unsatisfying end, and could taint the Warriors’ record-breaking season. This ‘ought to win’ mentality could become a burden for the Warriors, but instead will most likely act as added motivation.
Sophomore Rod Ettefagh is not worried. He said, “Of course I have no doubt in my mind that the Warriors will win this year’s championship. The only thing stopping them is in the injuries of their teammates.”
The post season is nothing new to the Warriors of course, being that they won the NBA Championship last year. However, it is still no easy task, and they will likely have to face up against the San Antonio Spurs who won an impressive amount of 67 regular season games. It will certainly be interesting and undoubtedly exciting to see how the Warriors do this post season. We will all be watching.