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Steph Curry & Harrison Barnes.

The Golden State Warriors: How teamwork made the dream work

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The Golden State Warriors have finally made history. It took the entire 82 games to do it, but they wouldn't have had it any other way. 

It was almost fitting for the Dubs to break the regular season wins record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and get the 73rd victory in front of their adoring fans at the Oracle Arena in the final game of the campaign. 

It would've taken a brave man to say the record of 72 wins set by Michael Jordan's dominant Bulls team would be bettered. It wasn't supposed to happen, experts said no team would ever match this feat again. 

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Little did they know there would be a relentless team from Oakland 20 years later who would make it their mission to break every record in sight, and they're doing a good job of it. 

Records

MVP Steph Curry has spearheaded the team's chase for history and in the process has broken numerous records of his own. The latest of which saw the 28-year-old cap the 125-104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies by becoming the first player in NBA history to make 400 three-pointers in a single season.

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On top of that, Curry needed 41 points to bring his average points per game to 30, he dropped 46 for good measure. In the process, he became the first ever player to record over 30 points per night while playing under 35 minutes a game.

He will be named the MVP for the second straight year, and rightly so. The only thing up for debate is whether he'll win the award unanimously. 

Draymond Green recorded a franchise-high 13 triple-doubles and has been the team's defensive lynchpin and vocal leader on the floor. 

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson is averaging a career-high 22.1 points and has established himself as one of the best two-way players in the league. 

The Warriors' 'big three' will largely be credited for the team's accomplishments this season and take many of the plaudits, but the role of the team's 'others' must be recognised.

The others

The term 'others' was coined by Shaquille O'Neal who constantly reiterates how important it is for teams with championship aspirations to have production from players other than the superstars. Golden State has that in abundance.    

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets

The contributions of players such as Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston should not be underestimated.    

They may possess the best player in the league and the best backcourt, but the Warriors are a team in every sense of the word.   

Curry and Thompson will get their points and make highlight plays most nights but Barnes' ability to make big shots, Bogut's defence and passing ability, Livingston's playmaking that allows Curry to play off the ball and Iguodala's energy and willingness to be a sixth man are all as important.

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards

Not to mention Mo Speights and Leandro Barbosa who make up one of the best benches in the entire league.

Their depth is what makes them the best team on the planet and why they'll take some stopping from winning back-to-back championships. 

On any given night, any member of the Warriors roster outside of the big three can hurt you as evidenced by Iguodala winning the finals MVP despite starting the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers as a sixth man, before eventually being inserted into the starting line-up to guard LeBron James. 

Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

Playoffs

As the Warriors have been reminded and know all too well, regular season records are great but they mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. 

If they fail to retain the Larry O'Brien trophy in June, the 73-win record will be rendered irrelevant and would have been for nothing. 

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With their playoff run beginning on Saturday, head coach Steve Kerr was tempted to rest his star players in the final games of the campaign but instead allowed his players to pursue greatness. The 82-game schedule is physically and mentally gruelling and Kerr will hope fatigue doesn't cost his team dear when it matters.

The 95-96 Bulls went on to capture a second straight title when they won 72 games, a team Kerr was part of. Having emulated their regular season exploits they must do the same in the postseason to be deservedly celebrated as one of the greatest NBA teams of all time. 

Topics:
NBA
Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Klay Thompson

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