If you’re like everyone else, you’re verging on shocked that the Golden State Warriors didn’t enter the All-Star break with the NBA’s best record. That honor belongs to the Houston Rockets, who have a half-game hold on Western Conference’s No. 1 seed and, by extension, the league’s highest winning percentage over the reigning champs.
And guess what?
The Warriors don’t seem to care.
More specifically, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green don’t seem to care, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater:
“I don’t even look at the standings,” Green said. “We haven’t even talked about it.”
“Best record?” Durant said. “That’s not even a thing. It’s about playing good basketball every night. If we don’t play good basketball, we’ll lose.”
Players on great teams tend to respond this way. They don’t claim to be caught up in the hoopla in which we’re all immersed. They’re above that. They’re better than that.
On some level, they’re lying. That’s how this works. You better believe the Warriors want home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s also true they know that they don’t need it. They’re one of the best NBA teams ever assembled. It doesn’t matter where they play or who they play. They’ll be favorites, and they’ll retain the ability to beat anyone. The best record is more like a convenience for them, rather than a mandate.
And let’s face it, the Warriors will probably end up with the NBA’s top winning percentage, regardless of how often they’re sleepwalking through a regular-season tilt. They have the Western Conference’s easiest remaining schedule to close the year, according to PlayoffStatus.com. Even if they don’t turn on the jets until the postseason tips off, they’re perfectly positioned to steal back the No. 1 seed from the Rockets.
In the event this proves to be a faulty train of thought, well, so what? That won’t change how we view the Warriors. They might seem slightly more vulnerable in the aggregate, but no one’s about to pick against them in a seven-game series.