Warriors’ Winning Streak Snapped; Still Have Best Record

Eshan Tuteja, Staff Writer

The Golden State Warriors’ franchise-high, NBA-best 16 game winning streak ended on Tuesday, Dec. 16, with a loss 105-98 in Memphis against the Grizzlies.

After being down by 14, the Warriors made several runs in the fourth quarter for a potential comeback win. Emotions got the best of them however, as head coach Steve Kerr and Andre Iguodala both picked up technical fouls late in the fourth. The Grizzlies then went on a 7-0 run to close out the game. Important to note, starting center Andrew Bogut sat this game out due to a right knee injury. Considering the star big-man tandem of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph for the Grizzlies, the Warriors were at a disadvantage from the very start. Though the historic, memorable streak may be snapped, the Warrior’s spirit certainly isn’t. With 21 wins and only 3 losses, the Warriors have the best record in the NBA, the best start in franchise history, and the hearts of millions of fans across the nation.

The primary reason for the Warriors’ success is no doubt superstar point guard Stephen Curry. He and fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson have been sinking threes like they’re dropping rocks in a lake. Curry is currently on track to break the single-season record for most three pointers made, a record he set last year! This year Thompson has also emerged out of the shadows as an all-star talent. Over the summer, he, along with Curry, was a vital part of team USA which won gold, while having his name thrown around in trade talks for superstar forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors could have easily acquired Love, but it would have lost them Thompson. In a surprising, rebellious move, the Warriors stunned the NBA by rebuking the increasingly popular tactic to adjoin superstar talents (in this case it would have united Curry and Love), as players such as LeBron James and Dwight Howard have done, and stick with familiar, trusted friends. Feeling relieved yet shaken, Thompson knew entering the season he now had a huge pressure on his back to not let the organization and its fans regret not trading for Love. Thus far, however, Thompson is off to a career setting, blazing start, as are the Warriors. Moreover, the Warriors are now widely seen as a legitimate contender to win it all, something many find hard to believe for a team that didn’t even make the playoffs a few years ago.

Other integral parts of the Warriors’ success are their newly minted coach Steve Kerr (who won championships with Jordan’s Chicago Bulls as player in the 90s) and their simply overwhelming talent. Kerr replaced former coach Mark Jackson, who was controversially fired after last season’s playoff loss, but since then has provided little for his critics to cry about. Initially, the outrage over firing a coach that had raised a team to success like Jackson had done with the Warriors is natural and inevitable, but the championship experience Kerr brings to the table is invaluable and undeniably important. More than any play Kerr can draw up, his rare experience and knowledge is the most crucial contribution for the up-and-coming Warriors. The Warriors have thoroughly made it known they posses unmatched depth and versatility. Kerr even acknowledged that the Warriors are so talented that they would be a top team with any coach. Several players on the bench who would be starters on a different team, most notably former all-star and USA gold medalist Andre Iguodala, have agreed to sacrifice playing time for the greater good of the team. Further acquisitions such as Shaun Livingston, who competed toe to toe with LeBron James in the playoffs last year, and young, developing players such as Draymond Green, who is in contention for the Most Improved Player of the Year award have transformed the Warriors into a team to be reckoned with. Oh, and did I forget to mention the Warriors have done all this in the absence of their second leading scorer, forward David Lee, who is out with an injury?

The last, and most overlooked reason for the Warriors success is the fans. We are considered the best, the loudest and the most devoted in the NBA so let’s continue to keep it that way.