OAKLAND – The Warriors, to a man, say they don’t care to chase their six-month-old NBA record of 73 wins in a season, and that this season, though neck-deep in hype, is about the singular goal of winning a championship.
Truth is this team is rebuilt to smash records, particularly scoring records. Assuming health, the Warriors are bound to threaten such records as points per game to points in a quarter/half/game to, most assuredly, 3-pointers in a game and season.
The Warriors led the league in scoring average in each of the past two seasons, and now they’ve added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant to a squad with 3-point king and reigning scoring champ Stephen Curry and sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who can pile up points as fast as anyone – including Durant and Curry.
Veteran power forward David West, whose NBA odometer is approaching 1,000 games, concedes the probability of the Warriors putting up crazy numbers.
Is it crazy, then, to think they could score 150 points in a regulation game?
“I don’t think so,” West told CSNBayArea.com after a long, hearty laugh.
West paused and pondered and raised his eyebrows. And he started grinning.
“I’m not going to say it’s outside the realm of possibility,” he said. “The NBA is a mental game. So on the right night, if the other team is not mentally into it, hey..."
Asked minutes later if the Warriors might ring up a few 140-point games, Thompson went a step further.
“Maybe a couple 150 ones, too,” he said. "I remember how much Run TMC used to score ... We’ll see. We should have some of the higher scoring games in the league.”
The Warriors averaged 110 points per game in 2014-15 and last season pushed it to 114.9 – the highest since 1991-92, when under coach Don Nelson they set a franchise record at 118.7.
That franchise record is in deep trouble.
The Warriors made 883 3-pointers two years ago and came back last season to set an NBA record with 1,077 treys.
That league record is on notice.
The Warriors twice last season poured in 22 3-pointers in a game. The NBA record is 23, done twice, most recently by the 2012-13 Houston Rockets.
That league record won’t make it through the season.
If Curry and Thompson can combine for 678 3-pointers, as they did last season, the smart money is that the Curry-Thompson-Durant trio could approach 1,000.
Eight times last season, the Warriors made at least 20 treys. Draining 30, as preposterous as it sounds, is conceivable. They made 15 in a half last November in Phoenix, and that was when Durant was in Oklahoma City.
This Warriors team is the first legitimate threat to another record that has stood for 36 years. The 1981-82 Denver Nuggets are the most prolific offensive team in NBA history, scoring 126.5 points per game.
That record is hearing footsteps. And no team has averaged 120 a game since the Nuggets did it in 1984-85.
Coach Steve Kerr wants the Warriors to play fast as often as possible, just as Doug Moe implored his Denver teams to do in the 1980s. Those teams averaged 120 or more points four consecutive seasons and over nine seasons never dropped below 114.
Moe’s 1981-82 team made 40 3-pointers. Total. For the entire season. Kerr’s 2015-16 Warriors likely will exceed that amount in multiple two-game stretches this season.
So brace yourselves. The Warriors last season broke or tied seven league records. Though 73 wins may be safe, a few more records, including some of their own, are destined to fall.