The Warriors are the first team to enter the NBA Finals undefeated since the 2001 Lakers and the first team (along with these Cavs) since the 2011-2014 Heat to make three consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Golden State is the first team in history to start the NBA playoffs 12-0. The 2001 Lakers likely would have started 12-0, but with the best-of-five first-round series, they held an 11-0 record entering the NBA Finals before losing Game 1 to the Allen Iverson-led Sixers. LA took the next four games to finish 15-1 overall.
If their current net rating holds (16.8), the Warriors would easily have the best net rating of any NBA champion over the last 30 years. The 2001 Lakers finished with a 13.7 net rating. The 1996 Bulls, who previously held the best regular-season record ever at 72-10, completed the postseason at 12.1.
For a more apples-to-apples comparison, here are the best net ratings entering the NBA Finals since 1990:
This is where all those complaints about the resting of players disintegrate. The reason that teams find days for star players to skip is because it works. The argument ends there.
Game Mens Dontari Poe Jersey Sure, Hall of Famer Karl Malone can go on a back-in-my-day rant. And he did, summing up nicely with, Get your ass playing. Yet another Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley, can lay blame on analytics and, in his words, punk-ass reporters, for the rise of rest.
Elite Youth Wade Davis Jersey But suppose Barkley and Malone had known, in their respective heydays, that four or five games of well-placed rest over an 82-game season would have helped them get past Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals, something neither guy accomplished. Or what if rest during the 2003-04 season would have helped Malone avoid the knee injury that sapped him in the Lakers’ loss to the Pistons in the Finals that year? Think they’d swallow some pride and take the day off? Of course they would.