Stephen Curry and the Warriors are dominating the NBA right now and are currently on pace to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' 72 regular season wins record.
Breaking that record and sealing their reputation as one of the greatest teams to ever grace the court would be a phenomenal achievement, but they need to come back to reality. While they are having an incredible season, the veteran San Antonio Spurs are nipping at their heels.
The Spurs have one of the best rosters in the NBA, one of the best coaches ever in Gregg Popovich and are a mere four games behind the Warriors. When you compare that to Michael Jordan and his Bulls during the 72-win season, you see a much different story. The Bulls had the luxury of going for as many wins as possible because the team in second place in the Eastern Conference that season, the Orlando Magic, were a full 12 games back.
The disparity between the Spurs and the Warriors is not big at all, so the Warriors do not have that much breathing room. The Warriors have gotten the hype, but the Spurs are quietly having one of the best seasons in their franchise’s illustrious existence. They actually beat the Warriors 87-79 in San Antonio the last time they played.
On Friday, the Spurs announced that Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will be sitting out in upcoming games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder. Popovich is known to rest his veterans at the end of the season when their playoff spot is secure, so this is likely going to be a trend over the last few weeks of the regular season.
Steve Kerr is a great up-and-coming coach, but I really do not think he knows more than a five-time NBA champion like Gregg Popovich. This is an instance where being a follower would be a good thing.
The problem for the Warriors does not end at the Spurs, however. The Western Conference continues to be absolutely loaded with talent.
The Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, which makes them extremely dangerous because if those two are on the same page, they can beat anybody.
The Clippers have a stacked roster along with a fantastic coach in Doc Rivers who knows how to win championships.
Even the Houston Rockets, who are currently in eighth place, have enough stars to make for a seven-game series.
Curry recently went through a bit of a rough patch, and some have wondered if a nagging ankle injury along with fatigue were the cause of it, and while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are relatively healthy, taking a page from the Spurs championship blueprint by resting up is the best idea.
A team getting 73 wins in the regular season would be really cool to see, but it will all be for nothing without a trophy and another NBA Championship banner. When it comes down to it, that is all that matters. Fans of basketball and analysts all agree that championships are what separate the legends from the greats. Curry and crew need to come back to reality, realize it’s time to rest and get ready to win their second straight NBA championship.