The Golden State Warriors will look to cap off an historic season this week as they seek to finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games after taking a 2-1 series lead.
It would be the culmination of a year in which the Warriors have laid waste to almost everyone in their path, breaking the all-time record for most regular-season wins along the way with 73.
But, winning the title would be more than just the championship itself, it would also mean the Warriors could lay claim to the greatest season in NBA history.
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Golden State will be supremely confident with four games of this series remaining, as they have lost consecutive matches just once all season - to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals - with the Cleveland Cavaliers now three victories out of four to defeat them.
This season has been a remarkable one from the start, with the Warriors opening the new campaign with a 24-game winning streak - the third longest ever in the NBA - and they continued to crush opponents throughout the season.
It was soon evident there was a possibility of surpassing the single-season record of 72 wins that was set by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season, however, many were sceptical in the early stages that it could ever be accomplished.
Yet, the Warriors continued winning and suddenly belief grew stronger. The players would not disclose it to the media, but later said that behind closed doors it was in their mind, and soon it had taken over the entire NBA’s attention as the shot became realistic.
Talk then began comparing the ‘96 Bulls to Golden State, something which has spread throughout the entire league during the season, comparing eras.
Even earlier this week, after the Finals game two victory, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson joked that his team were better than the ‘Showtime’ Lakers of the 1980s.
In truth this was a small dig at his father, Mychal Thompson, who was part of that title-winning side. Yet, it then sparked the new debate comparing eras once again, something that has been a major part of this run.
Legendary players like Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas have also spoken out during the season to claim that the Warriors would not have succeeded in their respective era’s, but as Golden State looks set for a second successive title, with the best regular-season record ever, you can be sure they’re happy enough.
So then we get to the nitty gritty; is this the the best single-season in the history of the NBA? If another championship is heading back to the Bay Area next week the strongest argument of all will surely belong to Golden State.
The ’96 Bulls finished their record-breaking season 87-13 and have now been joined by the Warriors, who reached 87 wins when taking the 2-0 NBA Finals lead, while comparatively having 14 losses alongside that number.
Some will say the Warriors have now lost too many games, particularly if they give up another game or two on their way to winning this series, but the circumstances must not be overlooked.
For both losses against Houston and Portland in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the back-to-back MVP Steph Curry was unavailable through injury, and the three losses handed to the Warriors by OKC was just a consequence of two great teams coming up against each other.
If anything, coming back from 3-1 down in the Western Conference finals against the Thunder, when it was assumed that the Warriors were dead and buried, has improved the credentials of this season being the greatest in history, as it had almost felt too easy for Golden State until that juncture.
What is remarkable about the Warriors is how it is not just the three stars, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green who carry the workload, it is a collective effort. This was shown by two bench players, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, carrying the team to the win in game one of the Finals against the Cavaliers.
Of course, this just emphasises how great this Golden State team we have watched night in and night out all season are, and how every player in the squad has made it possible for this season to become a reality, after many thought they had peaked in 2015.
The argument for greatest season of all-time will of course be totally subjective, but very few arguments end with a definitive answer, and it will be argued for many years into the future you can be certain.
Something that can surely not be denied, however, is that the Warriors look set to soon have the strongest argument of all.