Golden State Warriors are 16-0: Now What?


The Golden State Warriors made NBA history on Tuesday night with a 111-77 thrashing of the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena, breaking the record for the best start to a season at 16-0.

While the Warriors were able to make quick work of the hapless Lakers and rest their starters for the final quarter, the natural question of late is, when do the Warriors lose their first game of the season? Which team is finally going to be able to vanquish the juggernaut known as the Golden State Warriors this season?

Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors /

Golden State Warriors

It’s a fair question, considering the Warriors have an average margin of victory of over 15 points a game, and have now won 11 of their 16 games by double digits. At times, the Warriors have started off slow, only to eventually find their rhythm and still win comfortably. No deficit seems insurmountable to the Warriors, who can erase double digits leads within minutes with timely shooting and defensive intensity.

But perhaps the more pertinent question is, where do the Warriors go from here? In a season where it feels like they’ve already achieved so much, complacency is a legitimate threat to the Warriors’ focus during the regular season.

It should come as no surprise to the league that the Warriors would come into the season with a gigantic chip on their shoulder after the “lucky” comments were thrown around by various rivals. But now that the league and fans are convinced of the legitimacy of the Warriors’ dominance after their perfect run, will that chip and edge still exist?

Pat Riley and Byron Scott, credible sources for knowing what dominant teams look like, recently went on record with heavy praise for the Warriors. Riley called the Warriors a potential dynasty and Scott marveled at how well the Warriors play for one another. Suddenly, the Warriors have no bulletin board material to channel their energy.

One of the great qualities of this Warriors’ team is to enjoy playing for one another. There’s an unbridled joy and chemistry among teammates that makes the game fun for a talent-laden roster. With or without the bulletin board material, the Warriors will always have each other to fall back on to find motivation.

The biggest stumbling block for the Warriors at this juncture may just be themselves. Despite their perfect record, there have been stretches this season where the Warriors have struggled to get consistent stops or failed to find open looks on offense. Fortunately for the Warriors, no team has been able to outplay and solve the Warriors for a complete game.

On multiple occasions, Stephen Curry has mentioned that with the championship run last year, the team now has a quiet confidence that no feat is unattainable for them. There is no panic in them and they know more often than not, they will be able to make in game adjustments when they are struggling and falling behind. It’s the biggest difference from last year’s team and it will be this quality that will ultimately catapult them to another title if they can maintain it.

The Warriors have benefited from another level of superstardom from Curry and improved play from Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, but not everyone on the roster has played to their best thus far. Klay Thompson is still trying to find his All-Star form from a year ago after struggling with back issues. Once he gets back on track, it is scary to see what the Warriors will look like when everyone is clicking on all cylinders.

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After the final buzzer sounded against the Lakers, there was little reaction from the Warriors about the feat that they had just accomplished.

“It’s a special accomplishment any time you can do something that hasn’t been done before,” Curry said. “It’s not going to be total dominance for 82 games.”

It’s this type of perspective that has the Warriors on the right track for another run at a title. So far, so good though.