The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the league at 40-4 and are on pace to match the single greatest regular season record of all-time – 72-10 – set by the Chicago Bulls back in the 1995-1996 season.
As impressive as that sounds, they are somehow only up by two games in the standings thanks to the greatness of the San Antonio Spurs, who own the second best record in the league at 38-6.
The Warriors are obviously better in terms of where they are in the standings, but the Spurs have shown that they are every bit as dangerous as the defending champions this season. In fact, the Spurs’ defensive rating of 95.5 – the best in the league by a comical margin – dwarf the Warriors’ defensive rating of 102.4, good for fifth in the league. Similarly, Golden State’s offensive rating of 114.5 is notably better than San Antonio’s 111, which is still good for third best in the league.
Overall, both teams are fantastic on one end of the floor and otherworldly on the other end. It’s an intriguing contrast and needless to say, a contest between the two would be one of the most epic clashes the league has seen in a long time. Interestingly enough, they have yet to face each other this season, which is kind of historical in its own way, but that will change when the Spurs visit the Warriors on Monday.
The Warriors will head into that game with a squeaky-clean record of 20-0 at home this season (38-0 dating back to last season). All of the Spurs’ losses have come on the road (14-6 overall), so that’s the one advantage the Warriors have going for them.
The Spurs are usually not the kind of team that puts too much emphasis on any particular regular season game, but even they seem to be gearing up for Monday’s showdown, according to Gregg Popovich:
(On if the team views Monday’s game at Golden State as just another game)
“There is no doubt that players will look at it like more than that. They can’t help it. They’re playing the best team in the league and they’ll be fired up about that.”
The game is still two days away, but Danny Green is already looking forward to the visit:
— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) January 23, 2016
Jim Park is a blogger and Tweet of the Night author of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.