Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Will somebody set a record please?

Not long ago, many potential records were in play. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs both remained undefeated at home with the regular season quickly winding down.

No NBA team in history has ever run the table on their home court for an entire regular season. Alas, neither would either of the above. GS got knocked off by a pretty good Boston Celtics team, then turned around and lost to the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves. Ouch.

San Antonio hadn't lost a game at home to Golden State in 20 years. Elder statesman Tim Duncan was still in college at Wake Forest and Gregg Popovich a rookie head coach when it last happened. The Warriors went into Alamoland and stopped both streaks with a convincing victory. Alas, when it was oh-so-close, another possible record bit the dust. 

In the meantime, other dubious records have been set. This year's LA Laker team is their worst of all time. Almost mind-boggling is the fact an entire Masters' tournament went by with no Tiger Woods' highlights being force-fed to the viewing audience. No doubt, Kobe Bryant has set the all-time record for most hype on his year-long "farewell tour" -- even though he's stunk it up all year as a player. This guy has thrown up more bricks than a platoon of stone masons on steroids. But nobody wants to talk about THOSE records. It's the dreaded PC thing. One can only compliment, never be totally be objective, much less criticize.

But one record is still in play. The Warriors have equaled the 72 win mark of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team and still have one more game to go. On paper, it should be a no-brainer.

They'll host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. For the most part, GS is totally healthy and the players want the record -- bad. And they will have had two full rest days. 

The Grizz will be playing the second of back-to-backs on the road and be without their two best players -- namely Marc Gasol and Mike Connelly -- who are out with injuries. Plus, they're coming off a thumping they took at the hands of the LA Clippers. They're limping into the playoffs as a #6 seed with nothing to gain in this contest.

But just when you think the impossible can't happen -- it does. See Jordan Spieth's meltdown on the final back nine of the Masters. See all the other "elite" players fall back. Relatively unknown Danny Willett would up with the coveted green jacket? Who could have seen that coming? Did anybody think Ronda Rousy would get knocked out by Holly Holm? Or Connor McGregor choked out by a journeyman fighter named Nick Diaz? Remember Buster Douglas and how he demolished Mike Tyson? What were the odds of that happening? 1000:1? A rag-tag bunch of American college kids defeating the mighty Soviet Red Army team in Olympic hockey? No way. But it happened. Those, and lots of other huge upsets have happened over the years.

There is absolutely no rhyme, reason, stats, or logic that can remotely suggest the Memphis Grizzlies have a prayer of defeating the Golden State Warriors in the last game of the regular season to prevent them from reaching the all-time record win number of 73. 

But that's exactly what makes the game so compelling -- a must see. Because ya never know. Weren't the Baltimore Colts supposed to beat the upstart NY Jets 270-0 in Super Bowl III long ago? And didn't some panty-hose wearing QB named Joe Willie Namath not only guarantee a victory -- but deliver? 

Can the depleted Grizz waltz into GS's Oracle Arena and pull off an upset to keep them from making history? Probably not. 

But stranger things have happened.......

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