No team has ever gone 16-0 in the NBA playoffs, but Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green isn’t letting the chance at history distract from the ultimate goal of winning a title.
“It doesn’t matter,” Green said Tuesday, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. “It would be great, a great story. … [But] if we were able to do that, I don’t think when I talk about a championship I’d say we were the only team to go 16-0. I think I’d say we won a championship. That’s all that matters.”
This Warriors squad already has a record 14 straight wins to start a postseason and steamrolled the Cleveland Cavaliers by 22 points and 19 points, respectively, in the first two games of the NBA Finals. Haynes noted Golden State led an overwhelming 86 of the 96 minutes in those contests and has won 29 of the last 30 times it took the floor.
It is easy to think two more wins won’t be a problem, but many basketball pundits fell into a similar trap last year when Golden State beat Cleveland in the first two games of the Finals by a combined 48 points after setting an NBA record with 73 wins in the regular season.
LeBron James had other ideas and scored 41 points each in Games 5 and 6 and notched a triple-double at Oracle Arena in Game 7 as the Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit.
Green harkened back to that series when he said, “We made that mistake of circling 73 [wins] and worrying about the wrong thing before,” per Haynes.
The fact the series is shifting back to Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers won Game 3 in each of the last two Finals against Golden State, caught Stephen Curry‘s eye when focusing on a one-game-at-a-time mentality instead of the 16-0 possibility.
“No, because we’re not [chasing it],” Curry said. “We have a huge hurdle to get over tomorrow. Maybe talked about it a little bit earlier, Game 3 has been a little rough for us historically—and especially in this building.”
The Warriors can make history with two more wins but also understand their own history suggests they should focus on the immediate task of handling Cleveland in Wednesday’s Game 3.
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