Golden State Warriors 2016 NBA Season Record Prediction


The Golden State Warriors are the reigning NBA champions going into the 2015-16 regular season, and they are likely looking to solidify their place in history by becoming one of the six teams to ever have successfully defended their title, but achieving such a feat is undoubtedly one of the toughest things to do in sports.

Give the team credit for being prepared, though: Golden State had a great offseason, their biggest moves including the re-signing of Draymond Green, the draft day pick up of Kevon Looney and the awesome trade of David Lee that brought former Boston Celtics forward, Gerald Wallace, who was later shipped off to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jason Thompson.

Other than the big Lee move, the reigning Executive of the Year has thus far put together a team that’s almost exactly identical to the one that won them their first title in 4o years, and continuity is definitely an important factor for winning consecutive titles. Nevertheless, a wide range of sports analysts and professional gamblers still do not consider the Warriors to be the 2016 title favorite, even despite the team having had one of the stronger offseasons in the league.

While it’s highly unlikely the Warriors will have the chance to raise a second banner just one year from the moment you read this sentence, the fact of the matter is that Stephen Curry made the most impossible-looking shot over a future MVP in Anthony Davis, resulting in the Dubs sweeping the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs; in other words, no achievement — no matter how implausible it may seem — should be ruled entirely out of the question for Curry and his guys.

But diving into my regular season record prediction — and as per tradition — the Warriors will be really good this year…if healthy.

Putting the fragility of Golden State’s two most important players aside, however, the layout of the team’s regular season schedule is obviously an important variable to consider when making an accurate, realistic record prediction. When taking a closer look at the Warriors’ 2016 calendar, there’s three things that definitely need to be pointed out and broken down a bit further:

Firstly, the league has yet to take any action that would fully eliminate back-to-backs from the NBA, but league insiders were sure to note that the average back-to-backs per team have dropped from 19.3 last year to 17.8 this year. Insiders also noted that no team has more than 20 back-to-backs in their schedule.

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  • That said, it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that the most fun team to watch in the NBA has exactly 20 back-to-backs, just one of the four teams in the league that do.

    Were this still the Cohan-era Warriors, fans would definitely have the right to be concerned about having the most back-to-backs in the league, especially when you realize that a handful of their back-to-backs appear EXTREMELY tough on paper.

    The league sends Golden State right into the thick of things with the Warriors’ first back-to-back featuring the Houston Rockets and the Pelicans. Later down the road, there’s a couple of Texas-tours that both start with a trip to visit the Dallas Mavericks then end with the Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs, respectively.

    However, the rest of Golden State’s back-to-backs don’t seem all that difficult with three of them featuring the Sacramento Kings on the back end and two that include the Los Angeles Lakers.

    It’s pivotal to the team’s success that they do as they did last season and not drop more than two games in a row. With the majority of their back-to-backs looking to be in their favor, Golden State will need to capitalize on these match-ups to ensure they once again secure a top playoff seed.

    Secondly, the Warriors don’t have a four-in-five series to worry about this year, but they do have two 7-game road trips.

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    The first 7-game road trip spans from late-November to early-December, and it starts with the Utah Jazz then basically tours the Eastern Conference. If we’re being honest, the Warriors should be expected to win at least six of those games.

    The second 7-gamer is much tougher and starts on the back end of a back-to-back in Phoenix just a couple of days before All-Star Weekend, then moves on to include teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, the Atlanta Hawks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Now a huge part of the reason why the Warriors finished with a 67-15 record last year was their complete and utter dominance on the road, which included them going 7-0 on the one 7-game road trip they had last season. The difference this season is that they now have newly painted targets on their backs, so seeing how they deal with the added pressure of being the reigning champs will be a troublesome test.

    Thirdly, the Warriors will have a tough start to the season and a rough finish, both of which could greatly affect their chances of building on the 67-15 record their achieved last season.

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    To elaborate: the Warriors open the season against the Pelicans at home. Afterward, they hop on plane to go on a back-to-back from Houston to New Orleans, then they go back home to defend WarriorsGround against the Memphis Grizzlies. Finally, they welcome back the Clippers to Oakland.

    And to end their season, Golden State is forced to play two games against Memphis, as well as another couple of games against San Antonio. Though by that time, these teams should be resting their key players for the playoffs, so anything can happen as the regular season draws to a conclusion.

    Having considered the three aforementioned points, I predict the Warriors finish the season 62-20. If they remain just as healthy as last year.

    While it would be absolutely incredible for the Dubs to get more than 67 wins this year, the ever-growing popularity of the Warriors means the league wants to milk this cow for all it’s worth before it goes dry, so they’ll do whatever is necessary to increase the team’s exposure.

    That includes giving the team the most back-to-backs in the league, two 7-game road trips and a bunch of consecutive playoff-level match-ups over the course of the regular season. In addition, they’ll have 25 nationally televised games — the most any team not named the Cleveland Cavaliers has this year. The pressure is definitely at an all time high.

    And if we’re being real, the Warriors were rather fortunate last year in the health department, though Steve Kerr‘s coaching staff should be credited for resting players at key points during the season, not to mention the fact the players played well enough to coast through a number of games comfortably. But will the Dubs continue this iron man streak, or will they crumble to pieces like years before?

    There’s also something to be said about other teams’ expectations of the Warriors, which were likely exceeded by leaps and bounds after everything was said and done. The Warriors basically went from an infant to adulthood in just a year, catching every other team by surprise.

    In fact, some fan bases are STILL in complete awe of what the Warriors did last year, STILL refusing to believe what happened last season actually happened. The Warriors were so good last season, fans of other teams would rather live in a different mental reality than face the facts. If Golden State’s plan all along was to blow everyone’s mind, they succeeded. And then some. But I digress.

    “We obviously know what’s going on. And it’s up to us to keep our momentum that we built.” – Stephen Curry

    Unfortunately, this year, the secret is out: other teams now acknowledge that the Warriors are really, REALLY good, and every other team will be studying tape to learn how to better exploit Golden State’s weaknesses, if any.

    Long story, short: the Warriors came into the 2014-15 season with something to prove, and they did so in such a way that they may go down as one of the best teams in league history. Now that they’ve proven they can play with the big dogs, the question is whether they can continue to remain on the top of the food chain come 2016.

    If the Warriors happen to make true (or exceed) my prediction, they’ll definitely put themselves in the best possible position to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy once more.

    Next: Key Dates on the Warriors' 2015-16 Schedule