When the Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant last summer, they knew they’d have to sacrifice a certain amount of depth. That was a trade-off they were willing to make. If we’re being honest, so would every other team in the NBA. So far, it’s worked out pretty well for them, that is until a brutal recent stretch that has cost them their grip on the No. 1 seed in the West.
Durant’s knee injury, along with dreadful shooting from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, has some wondering whether the once almighty Warriors are on the verge of collapse. These are troubling developments, to be sure, but the reactions among certain sectors has bordered on hysteria.
Michael Lee of The Vertical adds some sorely-needed context to the Warriors’ greatness and examines how, despite their recent struggles, they could end the season with arguably the most impressive multi-year run in NBA history:
After their 107-85 loss to the Spurs on Saturday night, Golden State remains on a 65-win pace. And here comes some perspective: There have been 19 65-win seasons in NBA history and the Warriors could potentially have three in a row.
Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls had the most incredible three-year stretch in NBA history, winning 72, 69 and 62 games in successive seasons. The Warriors would only need to go 12-4 the rest of the season to have a better regular-season run.
Of course, regular-season accomplishments don’t mean anything to this group after their historic 73-9 season ended with a Finals meltdown last spring. It’s precisely why Steve Kerr opted to rest his stars Saturday night at the risk of ceding the top spot in standings.
Still, it’s a sober reminder of just how dominant the Warriors have been, and that they’re still the team to beat in the West until someone else takes them out.