The Golden State Warriors ended the regular season with an NBA best 73 wins, breaking the record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. They head to the 2016 NBA playoffs as the favorites to win the title for the second consecutive season. But can they go 16-0 and beat the record held by the 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers?
The 2001 Lakers only had 56 wins in the regular season but turned it up in the playoffs by going 16-1 en route to their second straight NBA championship in 2001. Their lone loss in the postseason came against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Allen Iverson exploded for 48 points to shock Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the rest of Los Angeles. However, the Lakers made sure that it will not happen again as they won the next four games.
Let’s move on to these Warriors. Can they really win 16 straight games in the NBA playoffs where teams shift into a different gear? Those 1996-96 Bulls were 15-3 in the postseason, losing once against the New York Knicks and twice against the Seattle SuperSonics.
Golden State will be facing the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Warriors swept the season series and defeated the same Rockets team in last year’s Western Conference Finals 4-1. As mentioned in a previous report, not even Rockets fans think they can beat the Warriors.
Now let’s move on into the second round where they will face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors swept the Clippers in their season series 4-0 while they lost one of four games against the Blazers. However, the average margin in the three wins is a whopping 20.3 points.
It’s an easy path for the Warriors until they reach the Western Conference Finals where they will presumably face the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs and the Thunder are almost surely going to win their first round matchups barring an upset from the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies and the resilient Dallas Mavericks.
Stephen Curry and company will have a tough time with either team. However, the Warriors also own both teams as they have a combined 6-1 record against San Antonio and Oklahoma City this season.
Lastly, let’s take a look at possible NBA Finals opponents. The likely Eastern champions will the Cleveland Cavaliers and it’s less likely that LeBron James will let his team lose four games without getting a win.
It’s possible that the Warriors will go 16-0 but it will be very difficult. Micah Peters of FOX Sports noted in his report that Golden State can be shot down or they may have a bad shooting night. There is also a chance for injuries but let’s hope that it won’t happen.
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