(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)
The Weekly Dish, Presented by Mountain Dew Kickstart
By Brian Witt
Behind the play of Stephen Curry, the Warriors enter a new month riding high.
For the week of Monday, Jan. 29 – Sunday, Feb. 4
There have been only 18 teams in NBA history to finish the regular season with a winning percentage of .800 or greater. 50 games into the 2017-18 season, the Warriors are on pace to become #19.
With home wins over the Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics last week, Golden State improved their record to 40-10, and are now just a single victory away from guaranteeing a non-losing season. That may not sound like much given the recent history of the team, but then again, the franchise won 40 games or more just twice between the 1994-95 and 2011-12 seasons, so this is yet another reminder not to take this current team for granted. Need another? Just look at the individual performances from last week.
Against the Knicks, Stephen Curry tallied 32 points and eight three-pointers.
Against the Timberwolves, Kevin Durant recorded his 10th career triple-double (second this season) with 28 points, 11 assists & 10 rebounds.
And on Saturday against the Celtics, Curry notched a season-high 49 points against the top defensive team in the league.
But hey, if individual statistics aren't your thing, perhaps team accomplishments will do the trick.
In that win over the Knicks, the Dubs tallied 40 assists, their second 40-assist game this season. Two nights later, they'd collect another 37 assists against the Timberwolves. Those marked the seventh and eighth games this season in which the Warriors have had 37-or-more assists, while the rest of the NBA has combined for seven such games. In fact, that win over Minnesota marked the 150th time the Warriors have had at least 30 assists in a game since Steve Kerr took over as Head Coach. Over the same span, the next closest team had only 50 such instances.
Of course, if the Warriors are accumulating a lot of assists, that means they're making a lot of shots. That was certainly the case against the Timberwolves, as the Dubs shot an incredible 21-of-37 (.568) from three-point range! It was the sixth time this season a team has made at least 21 threes in a single game, but of those six instances, Golden State required the fewest number of attempts to do so.
And while Curry and Kyrie Irving may have stolen the show in Saturday's matchup of the top-seeded teams in each conference, the fact remains that the Warriors dropped 109 points against the Celtics, the most Boston had allowed in a game in regulation in more than a month.
So, no matter who you are, no matter what catches your eye, you're probably going to have a hard time not being impressed by something the Warriors have done lately.
Standout Spotlight: Stephen Curry
He sure is fun to watch, isn't he?
Warriors fans are used to Stephen Curry's heroics by now, but they still had to be entertained by the two-time MVP's dominant performance in Golden State's win over the Celtics on Saturday. In addition to scoring a season-high 49 points (the second-most he's ever scored at Oracle Arena), Curry also converted 8-of-13 three-point attempts on the night. That marked Curry's fifth-straight game with five-or-more made threes, which places him one game behind George McCloud (six-straight in 1995-96) for the longest such streak in NBA history. Additionally, it was Curry's 36th career game making at least eight treys. The next three players with the most such games in NBA history – JR Smith, Klay Thompson and Ray Allen – have combined for 33 such games.
Curry's scintillating performance against the Celtics put the finishing touches on five-day span that earned him Western Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time this season and 12th time of his decorated career. In helping to lead Golden State to a 3-0 record, Curry averaged 35.3 points (2nd in the NBA), 7.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 35.7 minutes per game, hitting 59.6 percent from the field and 56.8 percent from three-point range (21-of-37 3PT).
His strong week brought his season averages to 28.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game on 49.8 percent shooting from the field, 43.0 percent from three-point range and 90.9 percent from the free throw line.
Throughout NBA history, there have been two players to average those numbers for a single season. Curry is one. The other? Larry Bird.
The Week Ahead:
After three-straight games at home, the Warriors see the other side of that coin with a three-game road trip in the week ahead. That trip will begin in Utah on Tuesday when the Dubs travel to Salt Lake City for the first time since sweeping the Jazz out of the Western Conference Semifinals last year. Following that game, the Warriors will round out the week with a road back-to-back against the Kings and Nuggets on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Steve Kerr currently sits three victories shy of 250 in his coaching career, and if the Dubs are able to go undefeated on this upcoming road trip, they'd make Kerr the fastest coach to reach that mark in NBA history.
Till next week.