Klay Thompson Comments on Warriors' Pursuit of Bulls' 72-10 Record

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Klay Thompson Comments on Warriors' Pursuit of Bulls' 72-10 Record
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the All-Star break, the 48-4 Golden State Warriors are one game ahead of the pace the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set when they went an NBA-record 72-10. 

Speaking with ESPN Radio (via ESPN's Marc Stein) on Friday, Warriors guard Klay Thompson appeared confident his team can set the new mark for most wins in a season: 

Oh, we will. ... Just to be in the conversation of 'You guys can do it' is crazy. It's great. I would have never imagined this. Growing up, I always thought that record was untouchable. Obviously we're playing for more than just 73 wins -- we're playing for a championship -- but if it's right there for us, we might as well try and take it.

In order to pull off such a feat, the Warriors need to go 25-5 the rest of the season. Considering they started the year 24-0, though, it doesn't seem like such a daunting task.

Golden State's last 30 games are against teams with a combined current record of 464-500, which is a winning percentage of 48.1 percent.

At the rate they're playing, the Warriors could have things in the Western Conference locked up pretty soon, and Thompson noted he and other big names like guard Steph Curry could get plenty of rest before the postseason. 

"We'll probably rest guys down the stretch. But we're so deep of a team that we should have a chance to win every night," he said. 

Eleven players on the roster have appeared in at least 39 of the team's first 52 games, while 10 players have win shares over one. Curry leads the league with 11.9 win shares. 

ESPN Stats & Info showed their chances of reaching the 70-win mark:

 

Of course, a historic season like this would be for nothing if the Warriors can't repeat as champions. 

As Thompson noted, "73 wins doesn't mean a thing without the ring."

Golden State will have some stiff competition coming out of the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs and their stout defense are just 3.5 games behind at 45-8 and the Oklahoma City Thunder are at 40-14.

While that 1995-96 season is the cornerstone of the Bulls' dynasty, Chicago also won 69 games in the 1996-97 season and 67 games in 1991-92. Those are three of just 17 instances in which teams won 65 or more games in a single season in NBA history. The Warriors seem destined to join that club whether they break the Bulls' record or not, and they could even be joined by the Spurs.

Getting to that plateau would bode well for Golden State's championship hopes, though. Of those 17 teams, only the 1972-73 Boston Celtics, the 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks and the 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers did not win the title, according to Cleveland.com's Rich Exner

For now, most of the Warriors, besides Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, will have an opportunity to rest and refocus during this All-Star break in order to continue their charge toward history in the final 30 games of the season. 

 

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com 

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