NBA Question of the Day: Can the Warriors top their own record?


NBA Question of the Day: Can the Warriors top their own record?

From now until the start of NBA training camps, we’ll be asking a question about the league and its upcoming season. Today: Will the Golden State Warriors top the record 73 regular season wins they set last season?

BOSTON – Just imagine if Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyonce and Katy Perry decided to get together and form a singing group.

The talent on stage would be unlike any supergroup we have seen before.

But with all that talent and egos, how would it mesh?

Welcome to the Golden State Warriors’ world.

Because adding Kevin Durant to a star-studded team that already features Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and two-time league MVP Stephen Curry, is the stuff that video game dreams are made of.

But it’s real, folks!

The expectations for this team are going to be at a level we haven’t seen from any previous super group formation.

While others were hoping to contend for having the best regular-season record ever, the Warriors are expected to break the mark which they set a year ago (73 wins) and go from there toward winning another NBA title.

There will be critics who think it won’t work, that these pieces won’t fit or their egos will get in the way or that simply things won’t come together as quickly as some might expect.

I’m on the other side of the aisle in this argument.

If they can stay relatively healthy, this group will set a new regular season record for wins and come late June, will walk away with their second NBA title in three years.


Well there’s the obvious reason – they’re a pretty damn good basketball team.

And then there’s history which tells us that when teams cull together this kind of talent, success tends to come sooner rather than later.

Look at the Celtics of 2008.

Ex-Celtics coach Doc Rivers coached those guys with a heightened sense of urgency. Yes, Rivers knew all too well that the window for winning a title can come to a crashing halt quickly. But more than that, he had three future Hall of Famers who to be frank, were well past their best-playing days but still were good enough to be among the game’s best at that time.

Their title came in their first year together.

Miami’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were basically Boston’s Big Three but slightly younger. It took them two years to win the first of two titles in a four-year run in which they made it to the NBA Finals each year.

That brings us to Golden State, which has an even younger core of upper-echelon players and with the addition of Durant, they now have a Foursome unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

It’s rare to have so many superstar players on one roster.

It’s even more unheard of for them to be on the same roster at the peak of their respective games which is why I believe this group if they can stay healthy, will be one of the greatest teams to ever play in the NBA.

Draymond Green has been arguably the most versatile defender/scorer the last couple of years which is why he has been runner-up for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award each of the last two seasons.

Klay Thompson is a lethal shooter who has also been an above-average defender.

And then there’s Curry, the league’s MVP each of the last two seasons.

That threesome alone was enough to make Golden State either the best or second-best team (to Cleveland) in the NBA.

But adding Durant makes Golden State a runaway favorite to win it all this season as well as set a new mark for regular season wins.

And like most dynasties in the making, money has a way of forcing teams to shake things up a bit. That won’t be as big an issue going forward due to the significant spike in the salary cap.

This paves the way for Golden State to keep its core in place while adding veterans here and there who might be willing to take below-market value, knowing “below the market” in this salary cap age is still more likely to be more money they would have made prior to the new broadcasting deals signed by the NBA to kick in.

And that will afford them to keep that window of opportunity to be a title contender to stay propped open just a little longer than previous dynasty-like teams.

It adds up to a Golden State team that will challenge the 73-win Warriors team from a year ago, which will set the stage for another title banner in the Bay Area as we all bear witness to an emerging dynasty unlike any we’ve seen in the NBA previously.

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

With Kyrie Irving undergoing a “minimally invasive procedure” on Saturday, the Boston Celtics may look to add a player via the “hardship roster exception” that only teams that are significantly impacted by injuries, are eligible for. 

MORE - Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

The Celtics won’t have a clear sense of what the timetable will be for Irving’s return until after his procedure is performed. 

But it’s likely to be at least a couple weeks which at the earliest would put Irving’s return just before the playoffs. 

In order to qualify for the NBA’s hardship roster exception, at least four players must miss a minimum of three consecutive games, and later be deemed to be out for an additional two weeks. 

Gordon Hayward (dislocated left ankle) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee) are out for the season, and Marcus Smart (right thumb) recently underwent surgery that will keep him sidelined for at least another five weeks. 

An independent doctor will determine if the extent of the aforementioned injuries as well as the recovery time for Irving, meet the two-week criteria to be eligible for the hardship roster exception. 

Once that’s determined, Boston will be given a hardship roster exception to use on a player for the remainder of the regular season but won’t be eligible for the postseason. 

If Boston does add a player, look for him to come from the Gatorade League, possibly their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. 

Boston has a collection of guards who have helped fill the void left by Irving’s absence, but Boston has not been able to address the loss of Daniel Theis. 

Keep an eye on former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Red Claws this season. 

MORE - Hayward gives update on rehab

Boston has a 45-day cap on the use of its two-way players with the parent team, but that limitation ends tomorrow which means guard/forward Jabari Bird and guard Kadeem Allen can earn the league minimum for every day they are with the Celtics going forward in the regular season. That can provide some depth to a Celtics team that because of injuries, can use every healthy body they can find.


Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Kyrie Irving could be back on the court in time for the Celtics to begin the playoffs.

Or not.

Irving will have what the Celts are describing as a "minimally invasive procedure" on his injured left knee Saturday. NBC Sports Boston talked to Dr. Christopher Chihlas from Southcoast Health -- who has not examined Irving but is familiar with his type of injury -- about how long Irving may be sidelined.

"A minimally invasive procedure is basically an arthroscopy," said Dr. Chihlas. "His return to play is mostly dependent on what is done . . . If it's just a cleanout, as we're being told, then -- best-case scenario -- we could see him back playing in three to four weeks."

But, he added, "it could be double that . . . depending upon what exactly is found . . . 

"The key here is the patella fracture (which Irving suffered during the 2015 playoffs). My feeling is that he's suffering a bit of the consequence of the patella fracture, which is a fracture into the knee joint . . . [He] may need to have this done periodically to get him through the rest of his career."