OAKLAND – With the Warriors hanging 30-point beatings on three top-10 teams in a little more than a week, it’s plainly evident the defending champions can at least get a clear view of their very high ceiling.
This team’s ceiling is a win total somewhere in the 70's.
At 41-4 as they prepare for the Mavericks on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, the Warriors would be the second team in NBA history to reach 70. Only one club, the 1995-96 Bulls, surpassed that mark, setting the record at 72.
The Warriors can get there. A lot of things must go exactly right, none more important than consistently good health, but getting to 73 wins is within their reach.
“We’ve only got four losses,” Draymond Green said, “so it’s on the table.
“But it’s not our radar.”
Nor should it be, at least not in January, according to coach Steve Kerr.
“I don’t think that’s something – for me anyway – even worth thinking about at this point,” he said. “There is half a season left, and so many things can happen. It’s not anything that we talk about as a team and it’s not our focus.
“We’re just going to keep playing and, hopefully, stay healthy and worry about what really matters, which is getting better every day.”
There is considerable testimony that is happening. There is the 132-98 rout of the Cavaliers on Jan. 18 in Cleveland and the 125-94 burying of the Bulls on Jan. 20 in Chicago.
And, most impressive of all, there is the 120-90 shellacking of the Spurs on Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Kerr, who as a player on that fabulous Bulls team, did allow himself a moment to acknowledge a few Warriors-Bulls comparisons, beginning with the unique magnificence of each team’s superstar: Michael Jordan for the Bulls, Stephen Curry for the Warriors.
“There’s an aura that’s similar,” said Kerr, who was a reserve guard. “Steph is obviously a worldwide phenomenon now. You see 1,000 people watching him warm up. Or you see a couple hundred people at the hotel at 2 a.m. trying to get his autograph. That’s similar to the Michael phenomenon.”
There is more. Each team had former role player as its coach, Kerr with the Warriors and ex-Knicks forward Phil Jackson with the Bulls. Chicago had a highly regarded veteran assistant, Tex Winter. The Warriors have one, too, in Ron Adams.
Moreover, the teams share certain characteristics.
“The similarities are a good balance between offense and defense,” Kerr said. “Versatility. That’s similar. Confidence level. This team believes their going to win every night, just like that team did.
“But I don’t want to go too deep into this because it’s so hard to win that many games,” he added. “Everything has to go right. To me, it’s not really worth discussing until there are a few weeks left in the season and it’s actually a possibility.
“Right now, it’s kind of crazy.”
Well, yes, it is. But it’s not nearly as crazy as it was 10 days ago.