Warriors current run
The Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA champions and are on an incredible run to start the season. They finished last season with an incredible 67-15 regular season record (which is currently tied for 6th all-time). Currently, they're 32-2 this season, which is well ahead of the pace set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls in their 72-10 season. The Warriors appear poised to break that record, so it's only natural to ask where they will rank among the greatest teams of all-time. Of the teams to finish 67-15 or better, 8 won the NBA title. Of the other 5 teams to win at least 80% of their games, 3 collected the ultimate prize.
The best playoff record of the group was 12-2 by the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (who were 66-16 in the regular season). The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls were 15-3 in the playoffs, and, last year, the Warriors were 16-5. The best record by a team to not win the championship was the 1972-73 Boston Celtics who finished 68-14.
The Warriors have a very good chance of being the first team ever to win better than 90% of their regular season games. That would require a record of 42-6 the rest of the way. It seems almost like a foregone conclusion that the Warriors will win more than 68 regular season games this year. In many people's eyes, the 1995-96 Bulls will always be considered the greatest team in NBA history no matter what any other team does.
Lack of respect?
After the Warriors championship last year, they still felt disrespected. Popular opinion at the time seemed to suggest that they only won on account of Cleveland's injuries, so, in theory, the match between the Cavaliers and Warriors on Christmas day was supposed to be different. Golden State won that game as well to get to 28-1.
There's little doubt that the Warriors can set the record for greatest regular season win percentage this year. The test of their greatness will come when they get to the playoffs. The Bulls outscored their opponents by an average of 12.3 PPG. The Warriors this year are outscoring their opponents by an average of 11.7 PPG.
Comparing the Bulls/Warriors
Of course, there's no comparing the current Warriors to the Celtics from 56-69. That team won 11 titles in 13 years, but it was in an era before free agency when players were not making the money they are now, and were not being groomed to play professional sports from early childhood. The Bulls are certainly a more relevant comparison, even though the game has certainly changed since then as well. In 95-96, Jordan averaged just over 37.5 minutes per game. In comparison, Steph Curry is averaging just over 34 minutes per game in the games he has played (he has missed 2).
Everyone remembers how good Jordan was in the clutch in the finals. For the Warriors to be considered the greatest team ever, Steph needs to show the same killer instinct in the finals with all the pressure squarely on his shoulders. The world will be watching...will you?