Warriors look to cap magical season with title run
By Jahmal Corner
(Reuters) - When the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set the former record of 72 wins in one season they coined an accompanying phrase: "72-10 don't mean a thing without the ring."
The Golden State Warriors are inclined to agree, and as the NBA playoffs open on Saturday they know their historic 73-win regular season will lose its luster unless they end the campaign with championship jewelry.
Golden State have been compared to those Michael Jordan-led Bulls all season long, with many former greats proclaiming the Warriors could not have stood the test of past eras.
Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, for one, stated that his former Chicago team would sweep the current Warriors team in a mythical series matchup.
Shrugging off such a hypothetical, Golden State, whose coach Steve Kerr played on the 72-win Bulls team, have a chance to put their stamp on the current generation and will begin their title defense against the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
"With Pippen coming out and saying what he said, that's cool. We respect those guys (on that team)," Golden State forward Draymond Green told reporters. "We've got one of them in our locker room."
The Eastern Conference's Cleveland Cavaliers would love a return trip to the NBA Finals and a rematch with the Warriors but must first steady their bumpy ride.
Cleveland's LeBron James has been at the center of the team's drama beginning when they fired coach David Blatt midway through the season despite leading the Eastern Conference. Continued...