If the Warriors can’t quite comprehend the magnitude of their accomplishments prior to the All-Star break, it is because they entered this season with three primary concerns and all of them were legitimate.
They were coming off the longest season in team history, which also meant the shortest offseason in team history.
The head coach, Steve Kerr, who led them to their first championship in 40 years made it only two days into training camp before taking a medical leave of absence.
And, finally, there is the very real “championship hangover,” which often afflicts teams after being fitted for crowns.
Those concerns were rinsed away in a shower of victories, 24 in a row to start the season, and 48 in the 52 games prior to the All-Star Game.
The Warriors are winning at a historical pace and general manager Bob Myers, who always aims high, grapples to find an apt description for the season thus far.
“Pick a superlative that is a positive,” Myers told CSNBayArea.com.
“The adversity that we faced was on the coaching side,” he continued. “And we’ve dealt with that and met that challenge, and hopefully have overcome it. If you would have told me Steve would miss that many games, and that we would now be entering the break with him back and the record we have, we’d be very, very pleased. It’s been a good year.”
Most pleasing aspect of this season, according to Myers, is the way the Warriors have handled success – by stalking even more of it.
“We have to be really happy with the response coming off of a championship, as far as not resting on your laurels, not feeling yourself too much, just coming with the same competitiveness,” he said. “They’re respecting the game, respecting the process, working hard in practice, sharing the ball and the egos are not getting out of hand.”
Most of the roster was assembled by the current front office, with the most influence provided by CEO Joe Lacob, executive board member Jerry West, assistant general managers Travis Schlenk and Kirk Lacob and Myers.
They inherited only one player on the current roster, Steph Curry, who happens to be the league MVP and centerpiece of the franchise. Everyone else, coaches and players, has been drafted or acquired since Peter Guber and Lacob purchased the team in November 2010.
When Myers looks for reasons behind the improvement – the Warriors were 43-9 through 52 games last season – he points to two players in particular.
That would be Draymond Green and Curry, along with the coaching staff. Curry’s numbers in most categories are better. Green’s numbers, in every pertinent category, have risen.
“A lot of the improvement is our coaching staff,” Myers said. “They deserve some credit for putting them into position to succeed. The players certainly deserve credit for figuring out each other’s strengths and how to compliment each other on the floor.
“Draymond and Steph have developed a special camaraderie – along with Klay (Thompson) as well – that has them finding ways to help each other on the court offensively and defensively.”
All of which has resulted in a 48-4 record and conversation surrounding the Warriors posting the best record in NBA history. And, moreover, midseason routs of the Cavaliers and Spurs – the teams considered the biggest threats to the title – has put appreciable distance between the Warriors and the rest of the NBA.
No rational person could have seen this coming.
The Warriors have vanquished the doubts. The short offseason was a speed bump. The void created by Kerr’s absence was filled by interim coach Luke Walton, the rest of the coaching staff and the players, particularly Curry and Green.
And rather than suffering from championship hangover, the Warriors seem to have been energized by the achievement.
When picking a positive superlative, one comes to mind: Extraordinary.