The Warriors should go for 73. They could settle for 70, but they should definitely go for 73.

Last night, the Golden State Warriors routed the lowly Los Angeles Lakers (and Kobe Bryant, who shot 1-14 and is slowly decomposing before our eyes) 111-77 to win their 16th game in a row and set the record for the best start in NBA history.

Only one team in NBA history has ever won 70 or more games: The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls—which were, of course, led by Michael Jordan—won 72. For the Warriors to hit 73 wins, they’d have to go 57-9 for the rest of the season, which would certainly be challenging (especially given the fact that the Warriors will travel more than any other team this season).

Winning 70 games has often been presented as a “short-term goal,” compared to the “long-term goal” of winning a championship. That’s starting to change, but the idea is that the Warriors will only be remembered if they win a championship, so everything they do should be in service of that—if the choice is between resting and winning 70+, they should rest.  But if they can win 70 (or 72 or 73!) and win a championship, they’ll be the first team since those 95-96 Bulls to challenge for the title of “Greatest Team of All Time.” 

In an episode of The Lowe Post podcast released yesterday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said that the Warriors are going for 70. Right now, they’re playing like the best team in NBA history—easily besting the 95-96 Bulls in point differential, points per game, and points allowed. Time will tell how they’ll be remembered.