The Warriors have the look of greatness about them, so much so that the numbers 70 and 72 have crept into the happy talk. That’s 70, as in regular-season victories, a number only the 1995-95 Chicago Bulls have achieved in NBA history. Their 72 wins that season remain the standard.
But what do these numbers really mean in the big picture? Not to be a killjoy or anything, but the answer is not a whole lot save for the fact that they’ve practically clinched a playoff berth already.
Face it, The regular season amounts to so much pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Don’t get Balls wrong here: The records are sweet and all, but they’re not the main dish, namely, the postseason championship.
Interim coach Luke Walton has been around long enough to know as much.
“We’re not putting too much time and effort into that [record],” Walton said before his team put a bow on a 16-0 start against the late, once great Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. “We’re more concerned about the growth of our team.
“The 72 thing is far, far away. We shouldn’t be spending any time thinking about that.”
As much as the Warriors crave to be special, they seem to have success in perspective. In fact, Walton said he hadn’t thought about the possibility of a record 16th consecutive win until just the other day.
“We’re not going to coach this season trying to chase that record,” Walton said. “We’ll continue to give players nights off on back-to-backs. We’ll do our best to limit minutes for some of our players. Our main concern is being healthy for the playoffs.”
Yet the true test won’t come until after the All-Star break. If the Warriors still have a ridiculous record at that point, the temptation to floor it will become that much greater. Let’s say they’re at 60-10 a few months from now. Will Stephen Curry or Draymond Green be told to take the night off then? More to the point, will either one agree to do it?
Stayed tuned. This would be a wild ride.
WALTON TAKES HIT: Walton still hasn’t lost a game as interim coach, but not everything was perfect in his world. His Mercedes-Benz was among several cars stolen in an Oakland Hills crime spree last week, NBC Bay Area reported.
On Monday, Lamonte Campbell, 20, was charged with car-jacking, assault with force, first-degree burglary, unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and evading an officer.
“That’s part of life, I guess,” Walton said. “Our minds are elsewhere now, but yeah, [the authorities] did a good job.”
Walton’s car was stolen by two suspects who were wanted for an attack on a 75-year-old woman, a district attorney said. A home burglary and another missing Mercedes-Benz are part of the police investigation.
CURRY ON THE MOVE: The Warriors’ Stephen Curry could make in excess of $150 million as a free agent in two years, so what’s a piddlin’ $3.2 mill for a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, four-fireplace, two-story Mediterranean house in Walnut Creek?
According to the Angeles Times, that’s where the Currys will be headed soon. The first family of Bay Area basketball currently lives in Orinda, to where they moved last year after the sale of their $1.5 million Oakland penthouse.
Little Reilly Curry and her playmates will have lots and lots of room to roam in the near future. The one-acre digs will feature a media-billiards room, 2,300-bottle wine cellar and full bar, the report said. The house was listed at $3.988 million last spring before the price was lowered to $3.65 million recently.
KAP ON MEND: Colin Kaepernick underwent what was called successful surgery to repair an extensive labrum tear in his left shoulder, but that fractured relationship with 49ers management couldn’t be fixed.
Forgot that Trent Baalke babble of the other day, when the general manager refused to rule out Kaepernick’s return next season. The guy would have to accept less money to come back, and why, oh, why would he ever do that? For one, he doesn’t trust an organization that set him up to fail this season. And if and when he’s released before April 1, he’ll be able to pick and choose his next destination. By then, there will be more than a few desperate teams in the market for broken-down quarterbacks.
Until then, brace yourself for one Kaepernick trade rumor after another, as Balke tries to get something, anything in return for him.
SLIM AND ALMOST NONE: Stanford moved up two spots to No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings, which were announced on Tuesday, but the news wasn’t all good.
Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth place, while Iowa and Michigan State occupied the fourth and fifth spots. That leaves the Big Ten with the inside track on one of the top four playoff berths, which may leave only one vacancy at the top.
In addition to victories against Notre Dame and either USC or UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game, Stanford will need a few well-timed upsets elsewhere to sneak into the tournament.
LITTLE MAC TO GO: Could another McCaffrey be on the way to Palo Alto?
While his older brother Christian makes noise in the Heisman Trophy race, Dylan McCaffrey is on the short list of best prep quarterbacks in his class. The Valor Christian (Colo.) junior has passed for 2,359 yards and 23 touchdowns and run for an additional 425 yards and nine touchdowns.
McCaffrey also plays basketball and track and has never worked out with a quarterback coach for any length time.
“I like to think of him as a late bloomer,” his father Ed said recently. “This is only his second year as a starting quarterback. I think he has a really high ceiling.”
Stanford has committed to only one quarterback — K.J. Costello of Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic High School — but if the Cardinal want him, they have connections. His parents attended the school and his father played wide receiver there. At least 13 others have made offers, including Pac-12 members Colorado, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.
RAY-RAY GOES BYE-BYE: Raiders coach Jack Del Rio had to get the attention of his players after their pathetic performance against the Detroit Lions last week, and the release of linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong in Tuesday might have done it.
As if his play on the field wasn’t reason enough, Armstrong had a run-in with a police dog three weeks ago, a charge that Del Rio had dismissed as “silly” a short time later. The fact that his departure was announced in a 12-word statement suggested that the ordeal wasn’t so silly, after all.
YOUR TURN: “I couldn’t have said it better about the Oakland Slackers. You are spot on. I don’t blame the city for not wanting to put a penny out for a losing franchise and a new stadium. It will be race between them and the Niners to see who reaches 10 losses first.” — Forrest Ebert, San Francisco
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