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10 Times The Golden State Warriors Broke Records
With the regular season finished and the post season nearing an end, some amazing achievements have been made this 2015-16 NBA season. Even if you’re not an NBA fan, it’s hard not to be impressed by this year’s teams, especially the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors are last year’s NBA Finals winners. This year’s opponents are a rematch between Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Keeping in spirit with the Finals, this list highlights 10 times the reigning champs, the Warriors, destroyed records and broke hearts in the ‘15-‘16 season.
For 20 years, Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls held the record for most regular season wins with 72 wins. It was a magical number that many believed was unbeatable, and it wasn’t beatable, until the Warriors beat it. Golden State managed to squeeze out 73 wins for the 82 game season. They defeated the Bulls’ record by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies on April 13, 2016, the last game of the season. Golden State went from winning only 23 games in the 2011-2012 season to only losing 9 games during the entire 2015-2016 season. They went from zero to a hero. Impressive, indeed.
With 54 wins, the Warriors managed to upset yet another ‘95-‘96 Bulls record, who previously set it at 44 consecutive home wins in a regular season. The Warriors’ home winning streak lasted this season from January 31, 2015, to March 29, 2016. They kept the streak alive for nearly a year and three months. Like a bad April Fool’s joke, the Warriors’ home winning stretch was laid to rest at 54 wins by the Boston Celtics on April 1, 2016. Was it the luck of the Irish? No one knows, but we do know that the Golden State Warriors continue to hold the best home winning streak in NBA history.
No, this is not a Drake song, although the rapper is also a champion of no back-to-back losses, but the Golden State Warriors made a back-to-back record themselves. During the 2015-16 regular season, the Warriors set a record for no back-to-back losses. Once again, history was made as Golden State became the first NBA team ever to never lose two consecutive games. Head coach, Steve Kurr explained the secret to their back-to-back success, “lose one, get angry, win ten.”
It’s as if they become stronger after losing. The Warriors take a lose as a break. All they need is a 5-minute breather and then they’re back to destroying records and egos.
Beat me once shame on you, beat me twice.... Wait, that never happened to the Warriors this year. There is no twice, it’s just shame on you. Not only did they set the first and only record for no back-to-back losses, they also in the same season set a record for never losing more than once to the same opponent. Golden State only lost 9 times in the 15-16 season, and there are 30 teams in the professional basketball league, meaning that there are 21 teams that never beat Golden State. When they faced the San Antonio Spurs again, another historic championship team, instead of losing, Golden State just destroyed the Spurs very long home wins streak. Leave it up to the Warriors to break a record and break hearts.
The Golden State Warriors scored 1,077 three-point baskets this past regular season. That’s exactly 3,231 points for those who need to see the math. The Warriors became the first NBA team to reach the 1,000 three-pointer mark. Those types of stats are not unfathomable when two of the best three-point shooters in the league co-exist on the same team. Known affectionately by both fans and sporting experts alike as the Splash Brothers, teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hold the “top three” records for most three-pointers made in the history of the NBA. It’s not hard for Golden State to set three-pointer records when they have the Splash Bros splashing three’s all over the place.
This astonishing record of 402 three-pointers made in one regular season was set by none other than Splash Brother, Stephen Curry. It took another three-pointer legend, Larry Bird, NINE SEASONS to reach 455. Curry reached this historic milestone the same night the Warriors reached 73 season wins against the Memphis Grizzlies. In addition to, 402 three-pointers and 73 wins, Steph set another record for becoming the first to have a shooting accuracy over 50%. That means over 50% of the time, he can’t be stopped. He’s going to make his shot. Curry is ranked 1st, 2nd, and 5th on the NBA most three-pointers record list. The only person who can beat Steph Curry’s record is clearly Steph Curry. Only he can beat himself.
On May 10, 2016, Stephen Curry received his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player award. On the surface, this event is nothing extraordinary. He’s not the first player to receive MVP two seasons in a row, so what’s so special about Steph getting the award again? Well, his second MVP moment was especially significant because he became the first player in NBA history to win with a unanimous vote. That means 131 voters (130 NBA experts and one special fan) agreed that Stephen Curry is the undisputed, best basketball player for the 2015-16 season. Stephen Curry was able to beat out Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs and Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, both championship winners.
Stephen Curry is so amazing, his greatness cannot even be confined to one sport. With his unanimous MVP win, he “joins” the ranks of Tom Brady who was the 2010 NFL MVP, Wayne Gretzky who won the NHL MVP equivalent known as the Hart Trophy in 1982, and 17 MLB unanimous MVP winners.
After winning MVP, Curry said, “I never really set out to change the game. I never thought that would happen in my career,”.
Sure, Curry, sure.
Although he does not have the best overall record for the most triple-doubles made this NBA season (Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder holds that honor with 18), Draymond Green of the GSW deserves an honorable mention for setting a franchise record with 13 impressive triple-doubles. For those that are unaware, a triple-double is achieved when a player scores in the double digits in three different stat categories, such as points, rebounds, and assists. That’s a lot of work for one guy to do and Westbrook praised him for his achievement. “Getting that many triple-doubles is incredible, especially for a guy like Draymond at forward,” said Westbrook.
Another franchise record set this season was done by none other than the one and only Steph Curry. This Splash Brother made 22 three-pointers against the Phoenix Suns on November 27, 2015. Although it was early in the season, Curry got off to a hot start and the record was not broken until this year on May 4, 2016, during game 2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks Playoff series. The Cavaliers managed to make 25 three-pointers in a single game making them the season record holders, but Curry still hold his franchise record. It took an entire team of Cavalier players to break the Warriors’ season record, while all it took was one Curry to get the job done. We’ll see if he smashes the Cavaliers record next season (he probably will).
Out of all of these winners, the biggest winner of all is Anderson Verejao. Why you ask? Well, Varejao is the first NBA player ever to be eligible to win a ring no matter who loses the NBA Finals. He achieved this excellent position by no will of his own. Varejao was a Cleveland Cavalier for 11 whole seasons until he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers midway through the 2015-2016 season. After 31 games with the Cavaliers he was sent to the Blazers who “waived” on him joining their team. Because of the waiver, he magically landed in the Bay and became a Warrior. Not a bad deal.
Varejao is the first player ever in NBA history to play for both “finalist teams during the regular season." Not only is he the first player to play for both possibly champions, he can also become the first player to win a ring no matter who wins the championship. He will receive a ring if his current team, the Warriors, win, and if the Cavaliers win they can give him an honorary ring for being a part of the team at some point this season. It’s a pretty sweet spot to be in, and given the history of how other sports have handled this same exactly situation, there is a good change Varejao will get some bling.
When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, Nomar Garciaparra received a ring even though he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. Bengie Molina was traded from the 2010 World Series champions the San Francisco Giants to the Texas Rangers and still received a Giants championship ring. In a similar NBA situation, Elgin Baylor from the ’72 Los Angeles Lakers “earned” a championship ring after he retired and took an office job at the franchise after only “nine games into the season."
Varejao has most definitely earned his strips from the Cavaliers and deserves a ring if they win against the Warriors. Varejao is on the most winning-est team ever so it is doubted that the Cavaliers will give him a ring because Golden State is favored to win it all. Either way it goes, Anderson Varejao is the biggest winner this season. He gets to contribute to half of the Golden State glory and hopefully win a ring with them.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors have shattered record after record after record. They have broken records within records. They are a team that can only beat itself. One can see why they have made it to the finals a second time in a row and hopefully they will walk away from this season as the 2015-16 Champions, again.
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© 2016 Kasey Price