- Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
The Golden State Warriors were the undisputed winners of the NBA offseason after they managed to sign Kevin Durant.
The move makes them the clear championship favorites, and according to Stephen Curry, that’s the main priority this season.
Last year, the Warriors drummed up excitement by chasing the 73 regular-season wins to set the best regular-season record in NBA history. Curry, speaking from a promotional tour in China, said this season will be different.
“74 [wins] isn’t really a goal,” Curry said (via the Warriors’ Twitter account). “If it happens, it happens. But all of our energy will be spent on getting ourselves ready for a championship run.
“We want to have a great regular season – obviously, we don’t want to have any slip-ups – but I don’t think coming into the season with the goal of 74 is a good focus. It’s about winning a championship.”
This is a tonal shift from last season, when as the season wore on, the Warriors admitted they were chasing history. At a time when many teams rest players for the playoffs, the Warriors were grinding into mid-April, finally sealing their 73rd win on the final game of the season.
Some people wondered if the physical exhaustion of trying to win so many games took its toll on the Warriors in the postseason. Stephen Curry twice got hurt – first hurting his ankle, then spraining his MCL – and never fully recovered. The Warriors were nearly beaten by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals before escaping with a Game-7 win. They then blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Warriors might be talented enough to flirt with 70 wins, even if they’re not directly chasing such a mark, it sounds like they’ll focus more on resting up for the postseason sprint this year. After last year’s disappointing finish, that may be a wise move this season.