The 2015-16 Warriors solidified their place in the history books last night, defeating the Grizzlies 125-104 in the Oracle Arena. Golden State has surpassed the 1995-96 Bulls 72-10 season, a record that was previously thought to be unbeatable.
Steph Curry led the way Wednesday night, with 46 points, in only 30 minutes, shooting 10-19 from behind the arc. Curry finished the season with 402 three pointers made, passing his own single season record by 116. The NBA top-5 three pointers made in one season looks like this:
Can you think of any other teammates who set single season records together and won the most regular season games in the history of their respective sport?
The most recent instance of a team setting the regular season win record, while offensively dominating an entire league, occurred in 2007 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The 2007 New England Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season, the only team to do so since the NFL expanded its schedule to 16 games in 1978. They were the first team to go undefeated in the regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Tom Brady and Randy Moss also set incredible offensive records together, much like Curry and Klay.
In the 4th quarter of the final game of the regular season, during which the Patriots barely escaped beating the Giants, Brady and Moss set individual offensive records. Brady threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, to give him 50 passing TDs on the year. This passed Peyton Manning’s 49 TDs in 2004. The throw and catch also resulted in Randy Moss’s 23rd receiving TD on the year. Moss broke the previous record set by Jerry Rice in 1987. To be fair, Rice did so in 12 only games because the 1987 season was shortened due to a strike, but impressive by Moss nonetheless.
Brady, Moss, and the rest of the Patriots went on to defeat the Jaguars in the divisional round, and the Chargers in the AFC Championship. In the Super Bowl though, New England faltered.
In one of the greatest upsets in sports history, the New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14. The Giants didn’t even win the NFC East in 2007, so the thought of them defeating one of the best teams in NFL history was nearly unfathomable.
Should this serve as a warning sign for the Warriors?
There isn’t definitive factual evidence to say Golden State won’t go on to win the NBA Championship, but the pressure will be tremendous.
Much like the members of 1972 Dolphins discredited the Patriots throughout the 2007 season, some former 1995-96 Bulls maintained throughout this season that their team was superior to the Warriors.
Outside of former Bulls, former players like Oscar Robertson and Stephen Jackson have taken shots at Golden State this year. Robertson said the Warriors success was a result of the lack of defense played in modern basketball (false) and Stephen Jackson said that his 2006-07 Warriors team would defeat the current one (definitely false). The ’06-07 Warriors went 42-40 and gave up the most points per game to opponents that season, before eventually losing to the Jazz in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Internally and externally, pressure has been around the Warriors all year. They’ve handled is exceptionally well thus far, outside of a few hiccups (looking at you Draymond). As the Patriots know, setting the regular season record for wins means nothing without a championship.
The Warriors have roadblocks in teams like the Spurs, and the Thunder, just to get to the Finals. If they escape the Western Conference, the Warriors will be NBA Champions and the best team of all time.
That being said, I’ll take the Spurs to defeat them in 7 games in the Western Conference Finals.
– David Hennessey
@DavidHennessey_ on Twitter