It’s about halfway through the NBA season, and the standings so far are anything but ordinary. As it stands now the top eight teams in the league by order of win percentage are the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors.
In other words, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Clippers are not the best teams in the NBA this season as they have been in the past. In fact, out of these teams only the Bulls are currently leading their division.
There is a trend happening right now in the NBA: the big market teams of the past decade are starting to decline as their super stars age, retire, and leave; whereas the old laughingstocks of the league are making the most of their draft picks and cap space and moving up in the rankings.
The Warriors are by far the best example of this current trend. Between 2008 and 2012 the Warriors missed the playoffs every season and only managed to finish with 30 or more wins twice in that five season span. In 2013 and 2014, however, the Warriors finished with the 6th seed in the Western Conference with a better record each season.
Now, in 2015 after a terrific offseason the Warriors are sitting at the top of the NBA’s competitive Western Conference. By spending their losing seasons bringing in young stars like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and then combining their talents with veteran All-Stars such as Andre Iguodala and David Lee.
The result has been absolutely terrific. The Warriors are 33-6 through 39 games, the best record in the NBA. Not only are the Warriors the favorites to take earn home court advantage throughout the playoffs (sitting 3.5 games ahead of the Trail Blazers) but they are also on pace to come close to the best regular season of all time (72-10, set by the 1996 Chicago Bulls).
With 39 games played and a league-leading average of 110.3 point per game, the Warriors have their sights locked on an NBA Finals appearance.