Success breeds even more success for Warriors 

click to enlarge With Stephen Curry (30), Draymond Green (23) and Klay Thompson leading the way, the Warriors have the best record in the NBA at 33-6. - SUE OGROCKI/2014 AP FILE PHOTO
  • Sue Ogrocki/2014 ap file photo
  • With Stephen Curry (30), Draymond Green (23) and Klay Thompson leading the way, the Warriors have the best record in the NBA at 33-6.

We have grown accustomed to the Warriors' success now, even demanding of it. One winning streak after another. Two brilliant backcourt artists, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Nirvana. At last.

The Warriors with the best record in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics -- nemeses since eternity -- trapped in the wasteland where the Warriors once resided.

It means nothing until the playoffs, the critics tell us. That's a lie. It means everything. It means the Warriors, as the Giants of late, as the 49ers not long ago, are to be respected, admired, not pitied, as once they were.

So long we waited, loyally, if painfully. All those seasons of failure. In 1999-2000, the Warriors finished 19-63, frightening. The probability this season of 2014-15, they will go no worse than 63-19.

Forty years ago, the Warriors, all surprise, Rick Barry, Jamal Wilkes and Cliff Ray, took the NBA championship. Four decades hardly have flown by.

Since then, the Giants got their elusive World Series. And then got it again and again. The Niners have taken five Super Bowls, lost in a sixth. The A's have won titles. The Raiders have won titles. But nothing for the Warriors.

A man from ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton, writes that the Warriors are the "clear favorite to win the championship." The statement invites caution. That 1974-75 season they were the clear favorite not to win. A story in the Baltimore Sun called them the worst team ever to make the Finals.

This is what you like about the current Warriors, who are 18-1 at home entering tonight's game against Houston, which the they will win, trust me: Golden State is relentless (it crushed Denver 122-79 Monday). Golden State is talented. Golden State is loaded.

The guess early on, back in November, was if their big man, the often-injured 7-footer, Andrew Bogut, was out, the Warriors would be down. He missed games. We missed our guess.

As happens with winners in every sport, someone (in this case, some two, Marreese Speights and Draymond Green) took over.

It is sporting axiom winning begets winning. Confidence builds. On the other side, the opponent realizes with what it must contend. "Who's going to beat us tonight, Curry, Thompson, Iguodala?"

Remember the way Kobe Bryant would destroy the Warriors down the stretch? You knew what was coming, and all you could do was smack your head. Now it's the "Splash Brothers," Thompson and Curry, or Curry and Thompson, smacking the other team.

Apropos of nothing but pertinent to everything, the late Dick Vertlieb, who was general manager that championship season, understood NBA potential by the bay.

Told no one around here cared about basketball, he drove the streets pointing out baskets in backyards and on garages. "Great fans," Vertlieb said.

The way they've held strong when the Warriors from 1995 to 2018 made the playoffs only once, filling Oracle Arena, those fans are the greatest.

And deserving of this season when their team does nothing but win, win, win.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.bleacherreport.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.

About The Author

Art Spander

Art Spander

Bio:
Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.bleacherreport.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.
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