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The skepticism of the Warriors that was so rampant during the offseason has faded as they’ve piled up wins the first two weeks of the season. Talk of them being “lucky” has been replaced by commentary of them being historically great.
The Internet suddenly is abuzz with projections for the defending champs; one website on Tuesday, noting that the Warriors’ 8-0 start is better than that of the 1995-96 Bulls, wondered if they might surpass Chicago’s record 72 wins that season.
Warriors guard Steph Curry, as of Wednesday, wants no part of such discussion.
“I don’t want to talk about it much because it distracts you from focusing right now,” Curry said at shootaround prior to the game at Memphis. “We’re trying to win tonight and we’re trying to win tomorrow. At the end of the day, that will all hopefully add up to something historic.”
The conversation is alive not only because the Warriors own an unblemished record but also because they’ve been a dominating force. Their average win margin (17.8 points) far exceeds the record margin (12.28) accomplished by the 1971-72 Lakers.
Curry, however, does not wish to travel the road of projections or trying to meet them. Nor does the reigning MVP want the subject on the minds of his teammates.
“If you lose one game, and you’re like, ‘Oh, we can only lose nine more to try to get to 72.’ That’s not a good way to think,” he said. “We can obviously talk about it and stuff, talk about how hard of a task that is and how great that Bulls team was, but you’ve got to stay focused on now.”
The Warriors know how difficult it was to nab 67 wins, a franchise record, last season. They have consistently said they expect to improve, largely because they’re in Year 2 of the system installed by coach Steve Kerr and former assistant Alvin Gentry.
The Warriors also know opponents will be juiced to play them.
“We know how hard it was to win 67,” Curry said. “We’re off to a better start than we were last year and we’ve talked about we’re a better team. A lot goes into that. (73 wins) would be nice to hit and something we’d be very proud of, obviously. There’s still more to the formula of winning a championship.
“But we want to be the best we can be. If that’s 72 or 73 wins, then so be it.”