Draymond Green confident Golden State can complete the NBA's first 41-0 home mark as Thunder come to town tonight
POSTED: Mar 3, 2016 10:43 AM ET
Best of Phantom: Warriors - Thunder
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OAKLAND — The question was whether the Golden State Warriors can become the first team to finish a regular season undefeated at home, but Draymond Green, being Draymond Green, breezed past possibility and went straight for bold certainty.
He didn't wait to be asked for a prediction. Green is 230 pounds of kinetic energy, a force helping to reshape the pro game by occasionally playing center with great success at 6-foot-7, with a matching All-Star personality that slows for no man.
Can the Warriors go 41-0?
"I think so," he told NBA.com. "We've been phenomenal at home. We've protected our home court. I think it's possible for us to do it."
|Most home wins, single season in NBA history|
And then, without prompting:
"I think we will."
He thinks they will go an entire regular season without losing at Oracle Arena.
"I do," Green said.
The Warriors love being in hot pursuit of history -- embracing the chase of the single-season record of 72 wins set by the 1995-96 Bulls, as Stephen Curry runs down amazing individual marks, amid the chance to tie Chicago with a 44th consecutive home victory, set over two seasons, when the Oklahoma City Thunder come to crackling Oracle Arena on Thursday (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET). But this is going for perfection.
This is going for 41-0 when no team has done better than the 40-1 by the 1985-86 Celtics with five future Hall of Famers, losing only to the Portland Trail Blazers in December, and then going 10-0 in the playoffs at Boston Garden as part of cementing a place among the all-time great squads. Others also had one loss, but in the days before an 82-game schedule.
I think because we have 17 of the last 24 at home everybody's looking at it like, 'Ah, can they do that?' That's a goal of ours, for sure.
– --Warriors forward Draymond Green on the prospect of going 41-0 at home.
The Warriors of 2015-16 are 25-0 after escaping the Atlanta Hawks in overtime Tuesday with Curry and Andre Iguodala sitting with minor injuries. The best home start in franchise history, as part of a 54-5 mark and pace to win 75 games, has become a renewed focus with Golden State back home after a road-heavy February. The Warriors are one game into a closing schedule that features 17 of the final 24 contests at Oracle.
The interest in 41-0 will increase with the Warriors will barely leaving Northern California the next seven weeks, an aid to playoff preparations as the first round draws closer and the race continues with the San Antonio Spurs -- who are also undefeated at home (29-0) -- for No. 1 in the Western Conference. Interest in everything Golden State will be increasing, of course, but to have a chance at an undefeated Oracle slate is no longer far in the distance.
It's in front of them all the time. And it's possible.
"Sure," said coach Steve Kerr, a guard on the Chicago team that went 39-2 twice in a row as part of setting the record with 44 in a row. "It's pretty hard to do. A lot of things have to go right. We've had a couple games this year that we probably should have lost at home. But it's not anything we think about or talk about."
Maybe not the 44 consecutive, the mark the Warriors can tie against the Thunder. But Green said the shot at 41-0 has "absolutely" come up.
"I think because we have 17 of the last 24 at home," he said, "everybody's looking at it like, 'Ah, can they do that?' That's a goal of ours, for sure."
|Best single-season home win percentage, NBA history|
The Thunder, Magic, Jazz, Trail Blazers (twice), Suns, Pelicans, Knicks, Clippers, Mavericks, 76ers, Wizards, Celtics, Timberwolves, Spurs and Grizzlies stand between Golden State and regular-season home perfection. Sixteen games against 15 opponents with a combined .492 winning percentage entering Wednesday night.
"It would be crazy," guard Leandro Barbosa said. "It would be amazing. How tough it is to do that type of thing. I've been in the league for 13 years and this is my first time in that kind of situation. I'm very surprised (with) what we're doing. But at the same time I'm very happy. We're just letting go. We're just playing the game and having fun."
The Warriors lost twice at home in the 2014-15 regular season, to the Bulls in overtime and to the Spurs, and twice more in the playoffs, to the Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals and the Cavaliers in The Finals. Golden State's last Oracle defeat was June 7, 2015, nearly nine months ago, and the last in the regular season was to Chicago on Jan. 27, 2015.
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