As NBA regular season winds down, head coaches across the league are resting their star players so as to be fully healthy for the playoffs. However, the Golden State Warriors are on the brink of making history, and are therefore choosing to abandon the rest method in order to achieve the best NBA season record of all time.
After their overtime victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday Mar. 30th, the Warriors hold a 68-7 record, and only need to go 5-2 in their next seven games in order to beat the preexisting best record of 72-10 as set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
“We realize we can make history and that helps because it keeps you focused every game,” said shooting guard Klay Thompson. “You don’t want to lose and get this far and not go for it. We have a young youthful team and a great mix of vets that know how to pace themselves. We put a lot on the young guys’ shoulders and go out there and perform every night and that’s great. We are 26 and younger so we can do it right now and give our vets a rest.”
But isn’t winning another championship the ultimate goal over making history? Statistically, the Warriors have already made history this season after setting the all-time winning streak by going 24-0 to start this year, while their current 68-7 also broke their own franchise records for most wins in a season. And these achievements do come at a cost, as key players like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Thompson have been pushing themselves harder than ever simply to surpass 72-10.
In fact, in their matchup against the Jazz, Curry played 42 minutes and earned 31 points, Green played 43 minutes and earned 13 points, while Thompson played 39 minutes and earned 18 points. Head coach Steve Kerr is actually opting to do the exact opposite of any coach in the league, as the Warriors’ in-game efforts have all but doubled as their record threatens to overtake the Bulls’.
“Our team wants it,” said Kerr. “They’ve made it pretty clear, so what we’re doing is listening to them and trusting them that if they’re injured, they’re going to let us know. And if that’s the case, we’ll give them a rest. And if they feel like they’re perfectly capable of getting out there and playing and that’s what they want to do, then that’s what we’ll do.”