The Warriors improved to 7-1 to start the 2021-22 NBA season with a 126-85 thumping of the injury-ravaged New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at Chase Center, and understandably, Dub Nation is salivating at the thought of Golden State returning to their elite ways.
Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala were integral parts of the Warriors' five-year run of NBA Finals appearances and the 73-win team in 2015-16. They know what good teams look like. They know how good teams function.
Are the 2021-22 Warriors a good team or is it still too early to determine that?
"We're OK. We're a work-in-progress," Iguodala told reporters after Friday's game. "We've had a more favorable schedule, so I don't think you look too much into it. We're doing what we're supposed to do. That says a lot. There's a lot of talent in this league and you've seen some pretty interesting comebacks. I think there was a big one tonight, the Milwaukee-New York game. There is something to taking care of the games you're supposed to take care of.
"So we've got to finish off the home stretch and continue to have the right mindset in terms of not looking at our record but looking at how we're playing and how we're improving through each game."
The Warriors are tied with the Utah Jazz for the best record in the NBA. They are the only teams with just one loss.
As Iguodala mentioned, the Warriors haven't played the hardest schedule so far, with wins coming over the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder (twice), Charlotte Hornets and Pelicans. Their one loss came in overtime to the Memphis Grizzlies, who eliminated Golden State from the Western Conference play-in tournament last season.
But the Warriors will get a few tests in the next two weeks, allowing fans and pundits to accurately measure how good they really are. The Atlanta Hawks come to town Monday, while the Chicago Bulls visit Chase Center on Friday, Nov. 12. Four days later, the Warriors travel to Brooklyn to take on Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Nets.
Curry had a slightly more upbeat assessment of these Warriors.
"We're pretty good. We've obviously had this long homestand," Curry told reporters. "Some teams with not great records but we're taking care of business and eventually you play everybody, so it's just a matter of controlling what you can control. For us, you got to focus on the things, no matter who you're playing, that will allow us to be the team we want to be. Turnovers, our defensive presence, everybody who's out there being a threat to shoot the ball on offense.
"And then as we continue to go through the year, measure ourselves against whoever we play. I like where we're at right now. We're obviously a much better team than we've been the last two years and we have to continue to prove that every night."
It's still too early to determine just how good the Warriors are or will be, but so far, they are showing qualities of an elite team. Now they just need a few solid tests to prove to themselves and others that they really are as good as everyone thinks.
If the Warriors indeed are as good as they look, the NBA might have a real problem on their hands when Klay Thompson returns in December or January.