The Warriors Are Very Good… But Also Very Lucky

The Warriors are very good. The Warriors are very douchey. The Warriors are very lucky.

The Golden State Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs last night and made history, as they tied the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls for most wins in a regular season (72). Those famous Chicago Bulls, which featured Michael Jordan in his first full-season back from retirement, are largely considered the greatest team of all time. But the Dubs are now poised to break the regular season record that most NBA aficionados never thought would be broken. Steph Curry, Steve Kerr, and dem boys will play their final game of the season on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies with a chance to finish up 73-9. 

That’s absolutely fucking nuts. The 72-win season is one of the few NBA records that have been traditionally regarded as “unbreakable”, along with Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game and Bill Russell’s 11 NBA Championships. Looks like NBA fiends and historians will have to get used to a new record-holder going forward. You know why? There’s no fucking shot the Dubs lose this game to the Grizz, especially after the Grizz blew a lead against the Warriors last week when they lost by 1. Speaking of which….

While the Warriors are a historically great basketball team, they’re also an extremely freaking lucky basketball team. As we just mentioned, the Dubs escaped with a razor-thin victory against the Grizzlies last week to keep their dreams of 73 wins alive. What you probably didn’t realize is that this has been a small underlying theme to some of these Golden State victories. Peep this gem of a fucking stat, courtesy of Marc Stein:

 

If you asked me how many close games like that the Warriors have won this season, I’d have told you 5-7 games. While Golden State’s utter dominance has been super obvious all season, you’re blind if you haven’t realized the Dubs have survived a couple of “should-be-losses”. Let alone the batshit crazy loss to the OKC Thunder, the Dubs have skated away with shaky wins against shitty teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Here’s another fun one:

 

This fun fact can be interpreted two separate ways. Either the Warriors are extremely good and coming back from major deficits, or they stumbled into some crazy lucky-ass wins after. My thinking: it’s a combination of both, yet mostly luck. The Warriors have a 30%-better winning percentage than the next best team in games when trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter. If you ask me, that sounds pretty damn lucky.

And you know it boy.

 

Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 29: Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after a late basket in overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on December 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

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