The last week of NBA action was a historic one as the Golden State Warriors both tied and broke the record for most wins to start an NBA season. Their much-documented win streak has made them the favorites to win the championship this season, an expectation that was formerly placed on the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Golden State’s incredible streak, one that has seen them go 18-0, is certainly not the only news in the association.
In the Northwest Division, the OKC Thunder have taken control for the time being. Considered major favorites pre-season, OKC did not get off to a wonderful start. However, following a four-game win streak the Thunder have improved to 11-6 on the year and they have opened up a two-game lead over the Utah Jazz.
San Antonio, themselves in the middle of a winning streak, are also opening up a divisional lead. The Spurs have won five straight and they are comfortable front-runners in the Southwest, with a four-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks. Other divisional leaders include the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic (1.5-game lead), Cleveland in the Central (2-game lead), and Miami in the Southeast (1-game lead).
At the polar opposite of Golden State and the other divisional leaders, one finds a franchise making news for all the wrong reasons. The Philadelphia 76ers recently tied a mark for futility to start an NBA season, going 0-18 following an 8-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
But if being an all-time great loser was not bad enough press, Jahlil Okafor, a Philly rookie, added more woeful headlines to Philly’s current rap. The No. 3 pick from the most recent NBA draft participated in a street fight over the last week outside of a Boston bar. TMZ broke the video related to the story, one where Okafor seems to be bragging about how rich he is relative to some guy on the street, one that Okafor called both “broke ass” and the N-word.
While the Golden State record and the Okafor fail were the major news stories earlier, the biggest recent news comes out of Los Angeles. According to NBA.com, Kobe Bryant has announced his retirement following the end of the current season. With this year’s Lakers struggling for victories at just 2-13, it seems unlikely that the guard will end his career in the playoffs.
Looking ahead this week, NBA news promises to centralize on Golden State. The Warriors’ winning streak is tops to start a season, but Steph Curry has announced that they are also focused on topping a decades-old record set by the Lakers in the early 1970s. If the Warriors can win 33 games in a row, then they will match the record for longest winning streak at any point in the season.
Upcoming games include one on Monday as Golden State will be in Utah (9 pm ET). Subsequently the Warriors will head to Charlotte for a game on Wednesday (7 pm ET).
Other intriguing games this week include one between San Antonio and the Chicago Bulls. Those two teams will lock up on Monday night at 8 pm ET. On Thursday, the Thunder will be in a Miami in a game that looks to feature two division leaders (7 pm ET).