NEW ORLEANS—Feel free to hop on the bandwagon.
It’s only December, but the Golden State Warriors are already flirting with greatness. In the midst of Lebron James’ struggles and Kobe Bryant passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, the Warriors are stealing headlines with the franchise’s longest winning streak in history.
Sixteen games to be exact, as Sunday’s 128-122 overtime victory over New Orleans puts first-place Golden State at an NBA best 21-2 record on the season.
Yes, it’s only December, and we still have a ways to go before the all-star break, much less the postseason. Unlike past seasons, in which a high-flying offense and the star power of point guard Stephen Curry have made Golden State regulars on ESPN’s Top-Ten, but never the conference finals, Curry and company look to be building something that could carry-over into June.
Boasting what is perhaps the NBA’s most impressive starting five, Golden State has managed to win 16 straight without center Andrew Bogut. While Curry has been every bit as spectacular as in past seasons, the rising star has shown a consistent willingness to facilitate the success of his teammates.
No play better demonstrates this than the final play of regulation last night, in which Curry, known for late-game heroics, gave up the ball to an open Draymond Green, who then dished the ball to Klay Thompson for the winning basket.
Though Thompson missed the shot, the play was emblematic of Curry’s willingness to facilitate, denying an opportunity to call upon his own prolific offensive skill in favor of a trusted teammate.
“It’s making the right play,” Currry said. “I didn’t want to rush. And I have 100 percent confidence in Draymond hitting that elbow jumper, if he were to take it. Or the play he made, to give it to Klay for his last-second shot. My job is to hopefully draw enough attention to make it easy on my teammates to make the plays.”
If Golden State would have lost last night’s game, debate would have raged over Curry’s lack of killer instinct, the same debate that swirled around James, who many argued lacked the alpha-male personality of a Bryant or Jordan.
Curry made the right basketball play, going on to score eight more points in en route to slamming the door shut on the Pelicans in overtime. Instead of debating his killer instinct, attention will be turned to Curry and company winning game 17 tomorrow night against Memphis.