Will Perdue won three titles with the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s, but he fell one year shy of being on the greatest team in NBA history.
“I was traded for Dennis Rodman (in 1995), so I wasn’t on the 72-10 team,” Perdue said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, “but I am enthralled by (Golden State’s season). I can honestly say at the beginning of the year that there was no way that they would come close (to the record) because of just the wear and tear of their season going into late June to the next season starting and trying to continue to play at such a high level. Now (I think) they may win 74, 75, 76 games the way they’re playing. They’ve got, what, 16 of their last 23 at home? It’s unbelievable what we can expect from this team.”
The Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-106, on Thursday to improve to 55-5. Golden Started trailed 80-71 midway through the third quarter but outscored the Thunder 50-26 the rest of the way. The Warriors are now 26-0 at ORACLE and have won 44 consecutive home games, tying the NBA record set by the Bulls in 1995 and 1996.
While Golden State continues its assault on 72 wins, Steve Kerr has said that resting his players for the playoffs will take precedence over making regular-season history.
Perdue isn’t so sure.
“The way these guys talk about it and the way that they’re compared to the 72-10 Bulls, I think that this means a little something to them – not at the expense of not winning a championship, but the thing is, you don’t know that,” he said. “Everybody wants to talk about minutes. Everybody wants to talk about rest. But how many games like we had last night do the Golden State Warriors actually have where these guys are playing 10 of the last 12 minutes in the fourth quarter? There’s a lot of games where these guys aren’t playing but two or three minutes in the fourth quarter so they’e actually getting some rest even though we don’t necessarily talk about that because they’re not sitting on the bench in street clothes.”
Steph Curry, who is averaging 41.6 points over his last five games, has drawn criticism from former NBA greats, who claim that he and the Warriors are a product of the offensive-minded era in which they play and that they couldn’t win in previous eras.
“I don’t know if they couldn’t win,” Perdue said. “I don’t think they (go) 72-10. Quite honestly, the league was different when I played. The league was a little different when the Bulls had 72 wins. I specifically remember games where, after the game, Michael Jordan would come in the locker room and his arm looked like he had been through a meat-grinder. The holding, the bumping, the grabbing, the scratching – (these) things that went on are not even a part of the league right now. They’ve changed the rules to try to make it more offensive-minded so that teams can score and there’s not as many fouls called and try to reduce the physicality. I think there’s something to that, but I still think they adjust and find a way to compete.”