By: Joe Laland
NBA figures consistently stretch the importance of never underestimating an opponent. It’s a league where guaranteed wins don’t exist. Yes, even when playing those lowly 76ers. Despite, quality discrepancies varying drastically amongst NBA franchises. Every game contains too many uncontrollable variables that can dictate a final score. In addition, with the competitiveness to make any NBA roster it requires only the most skilled professionals. Considering such parody in this league, it makes the Golden States Warriors, start of the 2015-2016 season even more unfathomable. The Warriors 20-0 start is the hottest start to a season in NBA history. Even more intimidating, there are no apparent indicators the streak will be ending anytime soon. The Warriors have consistently dominated opponents. Winning by an average of 15.4 points per game. The Warriors have shifted their aim towards another record. Looking to top 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers long-standing record of the 33-straight wins. While that is an incredibly plausible feat the Warriors can accomplish. The Dubs will not finish this campaign at 82-0. Thus, I have circled three possible games where the defending champions streak could halt.
- December 5th (Game 21) @Toronto
The Warriors next contest appears to be one of the trickiest. The Raptors have already pushed the Warriors to the limit earlier this season. A contest played over 4 thousands miles away from Toronto. Which also happens to be the most hostile environment in the NBA. This time the Raptors will play the host role. Holding 66% win percentage when playing North of the border. The Raptors will carry in that confidence installed from that previous fixture. Additionally, the Raptors have an extremely versatile roster. Especially, with have signed Demare Carroll this offseason. The Raptors are one of few teams that obtain enough versatility to neutralize the numerous unique rotations the Warriors utilize. The Warriors are also in the midst of a 7-game road trip, and have starting forward Harrison Barnes sidelined to an ankle sprain.
- Dec. 12th (Game 25): @Milwaukee
While the Bucks are team failing to meet preseason expectations, multiple factors could help them in this game. To start, this is the finale of the GSW’s 7-game road trip. Completing off a perfect road trip of such length is always incredibly challenging. Fatigue over miles traveled and mentally preparing to return back to the Bay. This could an anticipated as a classic “trap game.” The Bucks carry incredible length at all position. Defensively, they are well enough equipped to switch on pick-and-roll sets; the Warriors rely on so often. The Bucks have been atrocious offensively this year, but do have compelling parts. A combination of stellar performances amongst Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker would also have to be in order.
- Jan. 18th (Game 42): @Cleveland
Golden State can thank the NBA schedule makers. Considering they don’t link up against San Antonio until late January. Traveling to Cleveland is the first potential time, where the Dubs could enter as underdogs. A finals matchup will also be held on Christmas Day. However, that game will hosted at Oracle Arena. Along with injury concerns still taxing Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are much more likely to prove victorious the 2nd time these teams matchup.
Despite, the utter dominance the Warriors have displayed this year. Just like any team. The Warriors can lose any game. Regardless of where this streak ends. This rare feat’s significance shouldn’t go unnoticed. This team is already cemented in the record books.