Monday, November 23, 2015

How Unbelievable Are These Warriors Stats?

In honor of the Warriors tying the record for consecutive season-opening wins, I decided to assemble some of my favorite stats about the 2015 Dubs so far. Sure, there have been longer streaks in NBA history, and "season-opening wins" seems like it's an arbitrary record. But it's really amazing that the defending champs have come out with such a vengeance. Let's start with 15 cool stats, a nod to the length of their winning streak.

I'll add a new stat each game until the streak comes to an end (Scroll down for bonus facts):
  • +15.4: Golden State's point differential, which would be the best ever over a full season by two whole points.
  • +81: Point differential, in just 56 minutes, recorded by what Tom Ziller calls the team's "cheat-code lineup." The Dubs can small-ball like no other team ever has.
  • 20.6: Assists the Warriors notch per game, including the 35 (!) dimes they recorded against the Nuggets on Sunday night. (As with most team stats, the Warriors lead the league in assists per game.)
  • 111.8: Points per 100 possessions, which would comfortably beat the number notched by last year's title-winning, 67-win team.
  • 7: Warriors players with a Player Efficiency Rating better than the league average of 15. That doesn't include Klay Thompson's 14.5 PER, which is sure to rise as the season goes on.
    • Speaking of PER...
  • 33.5: Stephen Curry's PER thus far, which would be the best ever for a full season. Wardell sits almost two points better than Wilt Chamberlain's 31.84 from 1962-63. You might say that PER is a flawed stat, and I'm sure you're right. Still, Curry's looking to join a list topped by various seasons from Wilt, MJ, and LeBron. That's the top 10 -- Wilt, MJ, and LeBron.
  • 41.6: Percent of 3-pointers the Warriors have hit. That would trail just Glen Rice's 1996-97 Hornets for the best mark ever. (Steph's dad Dell also nailed over 42 percent of his threes for that team.)
  • 3-3: Per ESPN Stats and Info, the Dubs are .500 in the last six games in which they've trailed by at least 20 points. Small sample? Maybe. But the rest of the league's record in such games? 13-486. 
    • On the other hand...
  • 68: Consecutive games the Warriors have won after taking a lead of 15 or more.
  • 50: Points by which Golden State beat Memphis on November 2. The Grizz won 55 games last year, and the Warriors treated them like a team from the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • 57-10: Record the Dubs would need for the rest of the season to match the '95-96 Bulls' magical 72 wins. It seems far-fetched, but with 15 victories in the bank, an .850 winning percentage is at least a little more feasible.
  • 1: Rivalry nullified, according to Blake Griffin, by last week's comeback win over the Clippers.
  • 17: Points by which the Warriors are favored over the woeful Lakers on Tuesday night. 
  • At least 5: Years Kobe Bryant would have to reverse-age in order for the Lakers to "play like gangbusters up there." Not happening, Kobe.
  • 10,000: Amount of fans who will leave Tuesday's game at Oracle Arena with a Draymond Green Championship Edition Bobblehead. Should be a collector's item by the end of the night.

Like I said, I'll update this post each time the Warriors add to their streak. Most of the rate stats won't hold up over the long slog of the season, but they're part of what makes an absurd hot streak like this so much fun. Expect at least a few more fascinating stats before the ride comes to an end.

The season-opening win streak now stands at a record 23 games, so here are your bonus stats:
  • 2: Wins of 30 or more recorded by the Warriors, after Tuesday's 111-77 dismantling of the Lakers. The rest of the NBA combined has recorded two such wins. Golden State has a bunch of Babe-Ruth-in-the-1920s stats, ones that have them single-handedly eclipsing the rest of the league.
  • 22: Threes made by the Warriors -- a franchise record -- in their win over the Suns on Friday night. The Dubs average 13 3-pointers per game and lead the league by a mile in team treys.
  • 1: Warriors player who's recorded back-to-back triple-doubles since Wilt Chamberlain in 1964. Draymond Green accomplished the feat in recent wins over the Suns and Kings.
  • 7: Length of Golden State's current road trip, which they began with a nail-biting 106-103 win over the Jazz on Monday night. If the Warriors can escape this trip unscathed, they'll have a real shot at the 1971-72 Lakers' 33-game streak.
  • 5: Times Curry has scored at least 20 points in a quarter, after he dropped an absurd 28 during the third against Charlotte on Wednesday. Last year, Russell Westbrook led the league with four such eruptions. In just 20 games, Curry accomplished what nobody else in the league could do over all of last season.
  • 2: Games in a row that Curry has poured in at least 40 points, the first time in his career he's scored that many in consecutive games. (He does have seven 40-point outbursts to his credit already this season.)
  • 3: Consecutive free throws Curry missed during Sunday's easy win over Brooklyn, dropping his season mark to a ghastly 91.2% at the charity stripe.
  • 10: Three-pointers drained by Klay Thompson in Miami's win over the Pacers Tuesday night, which represented Victory No. 23 of the season-opening streak. Thompson had become the team's forgotten man during the streak, but his total treys against Indiana fell just one short of the NBA record. (Thompson did leave with an ankle injury, but the Warriors have proved that they have more than enough firepower to compensate for a minor injury to one of their stars.)
  • 27: Multi-season win streak for the Dubs, matching Miami's run in 2012-13 for the second-longest ever. They're catching the scent of those '71-72 Lakers.

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Follow Francis Tolan on Twitter @frantweet

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