Stephen Curry and the undefeated Golden State Warriors look to continue their hot start at home against the struggling Brooklyn Nets, who are coming off of a close loss against DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and the turbulant Sacramento Kings.
Before this season, 13 NBA teams have started 10-0, including Michael Jordan and the 1996-'97 Chicago Bulls and Allen Iverson's 2001 Philadelphia 76ers. On this past Thursday night, Curry and Draymond Green helped to lead the Warriors past Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors are the only unbeaten team remaining in the NBA, defeating their opponents by an average of over 17 points per game. The primary catalyst of their early dominance has been the play of their two best players. With per-game averages of over 33 points, five rebounds, five assists, five three-pointers, and two and a half steals, Curry is playing out of his mind. He has been producing at an astonishing level, and supplying social media with its nightly quota of jaw-dropping, meme worthy moments.
The mania surrounding Curry's early start to the season has even brought forward the most lofty of comparisons. After witnessing Curry's 46 point masterpiece on Thursday, Timberwolves forward and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett said "Like Michael Jordan was a whole other thing, this guy is his own thing...It's beautiful for basketball."
Coming from a player as authentic as Garnett, the comparison of Curry to Jordan shouts something loud and clear. The reigning MVP has the rarest of rare abilities: he can change the complexion of a quarter, half, game, season, or playoff series. In a way he is an alchemist who can both transform the mood of the crowd in a single sequence from hope to fear and vice versa, as well as keeping the opposing defenders in a constant state of uncertainty.
While Curry's other Splash Brother Klay Thompson is finding his range and easing his way into the season, Draymond Green has put his own stamp on this season, proving that his stellar all-around season last year was no fluke. Green has lead the team in assists per game with 6.6, and has had his usual strong impact on the defensive end of the floor. Against the Timberwolves, Draymond had 23 points, eight rebounds, and an impressive 12 assists, supplemented by his usual high motor.
Given the ferocity of the Warriors start to their title defense, plus the support of forward Harrison Barnes, improving big man Festus Ezeli and the depth coming off of the Golden State bench, it might be understandable to forget that this is an actual game. Despite their 17 point projected margin of victory, the Warriors still have room to improve, especially against a Brooklyn team that has an incentive to make this game tough after giving up a monster 40 point effort to a clearly motivated DeMarcus Cousins, who, on Friday night, seemed to have put all of the drama from earlier in the week into a dominant performance.
For Brooklyn, there is not much to consider in the way of optimism for their season. The Nets have started 1-8 with no real improvement in sight, dropping games to such woeful teams as the Los Angeles Lakers, and even the losing will not help them, as they dealt this year's first round draft pick to the Boston Celtics in the Garnett trade a few years ago.
In Saturday night's game, expect to see the Nets attempt to slow the game down with a lot of Brook Lopez post ups and Jarrett Jack ball-dominance. However, the Warriors are rested and ready to go after a day off on Friday. Expect the Warriors to win by 7-15 points.