16 games, 16 wins. The Golden State Warriors have compiled the best start ever to an NBA season. And now they’ve got another record in their sights as we head into the pre-Christmas stretch.
The next target for the reigning champions is the 33-game winning streak of the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers. It remains, of course a long way ahead. But the way the Dubs are playing, who would bet against them pulling it off?
“We do a great job of just staying in the moment,” Steph Curry declared. “Nobody really talked about the 15-0 record until probably last week when we were around 12 wins, 11, 12 wins, because you can't really get too far ahead of yourself. There's so much that can happen in this league over 82 games. The great teams are the ones that can focus on each individual game.”
Next up is a visit to the Phoenix Suns (7-8) on Friday night but that marks the first stop of one of the Warriors’ toughest stretches of the regular season. Eight of their next nine games are on the road with four of those foes – Charlotte, Boston, Indiana and Toronto – currently sitting above .500.
Even though Golden State – now 3.75 to retain their crown - don’t meet an elite opponent until they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, the brutal schedule offers some opportunities to trip up, no matter the efforts of the best starting unit in the NBA.
The champs are currently 3.50 to better the Chicago Bulls 72-10 regular season benchmark – great value but also a push, given that – if they opt to rest up during the last few games of the campaign – they finish off with two double-headers with San Antonio and Memphis.
Curry is on target, however, to break the record for three-pointers made in a season after sinking 286 last term. He has 78 already, an average of 1.3 more than in 2014-15, a pace that would see him reach 401, a feat priced at 7.00.
Expect a boost in Phoenix. It should be a shootout, with the Suns – who have lost three straight - averaging 105.5 points per game and Golden State 114.3. Look over 230.5 total points with the Warriors a solid bet on the handicap at -7.5.
Best bet: Take Golden State at -7.5 over Phoenix