Remembering the Washington Capitols of 1948-49, who would likely be awed by these Warriors now on their heels

The Warriors are on the cusp of tying a remarkable team record and possibly breaking it — best-ever start to an NBA season. The mark is 15-0, and Golden State can tie it Sunday in Denver then potentially break it Tuesday at home against the lowly 2-10 Los Angeles Lakers if they can get by the 6-7 Nuggets.

The record has stood for 67 years, and it was equaled by the 1993-94 Houston Rockets. We know a little bit about those Rockets, who not only went 15-0 to start, they won seven more in a row after their first loss and were 22-1 at one point. They only wound up winning 58 games, but nonetheless captured the NBA title behind Hakeem Olajuwon with role players like Kenny Smith, Otis Thorpe, Vernon Maxwell, Robert Horry, and even a former Warrior, Mario Elie.

But what of the 1948-49 Washington Capitols, who established this venerable record? What do we know about them? Not much. For starters, it wasn’t even the NBA then — it was the Basketball Association of America, and it wouldn’t become the NBA until a year later when the BAA merged with the National Basketball League.
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Warriors 119, Nuggets 104: Ezeli has created a pleasant problem in the post with Bogut’s return close

Andrew Bogut might be back Saturday night in Sacramento, but more likely Monday night at Oracle against Detroit. When he finally comes back, though, it might not be as the starting center.

Festus Ezeli simply has been too good with the first unit. He scored a career-high 16 points Friday night against Denver, hit all seven of his shots, played splendid defense, ran the floor like a demon and he is flourishing playing with the first unit, specifically with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green lobbing balls to him at the rim. Festus is catching and stuffing everything thrown his way. He’s actually averaging double figures (10.3 ppg) just on dunks and clean-up stuff around the basket, which two years ago would have seemed an impossibility.

Ezeli is clearly the Warriors’ future at center. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the year but there’s no way Joe Lacob and Bob Myers let this kind of young, emerging big man get away. They’ll match any offer, and chances are it won’t even come to that. The Warriors will pay him whatever the market dictates before someone tries to pry him away.
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Stephen Curry “responds” to Ty Lawson’s claim that he dogged it on defense last season

Stephen Curry definitely got wind of comments made by Ty Lawson, the former Denver Nuggets point guard now with the Houston Rockets, about why the NBA MVP was so successful in the playoffs last year.

Lawson told Yahoo Sports earlier this week, “Steph Curry needed someone to go back at him. I thought Steph was just chillin’ on defense – and then going crazy on offense. He looked like he was just putting shots up and not working so much on the defensive end … he wasn’t really working at the other end.”

Curry just shook his head and smiled when asked about it Saturday.

“It’s funny,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got to say. It’s funny.”


Warriors 128, Mavericks 114: Curry bails out Kerr, who claims he didn’t have his team ready

As part of the pre-game customary opposing coach fluff, Rick Carlisle was asked to assess the Warriors’ All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He laid it on thick.

“We’ve never seen better shooters than these guys ever in this game,” Carlisle said, among other glowing verbal bouquets.

Unfortunately for Carlisle, his words proved prophetic. Even after Dallas had their best first quarter of the season — 42 points — and held a 22-point lead at one early juncture, 40-18, you just had a feeling this was the kind of swat in the nose that would get the Splash Brothers going.

And oh, did they splash. The Warriors made 19 of 38 3-point attempts (50 percent), and Curry and Thompson made 14 of them on just 26 tries. Curry, of course, made 10 himself and was 6-for-7 in his 26-point third quarter. He had another corner three nullified by an Andrew Bogut foul. Everything about Curry’s big night is in the game story here.

So we’ve had two third quarters for the ages in less than a month, and speaking of which, how does James Harden win NBA Player of the Month over Thompson when Thompson won Player of the Week twice, had the individual game of the season so far and the quarter for all time? Guess the league has to spread some of the love around, but really now.

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Warriors 106, Suns 87: Pence got the crowd going, but it was Andre Iguodala that got the Warriors going

Hunter Pence gave the Warriors a bit of a lift Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Sitting courtside next to owner Joe Lacob, the Giants’ outfielder was introduced during a timeout in the second quarter when Golden State wasn’t going so hot.

Pence smiled widely, stood up out of his seat, waved his arms and started shouting encouragement to the crowd. They responded with a thankful roar after a decidedly flat start to the game. It was probably coincidence, but the Warriors appeared to immediately play better the rest of the half, too, then they really kicked it gear in the third quarter.

No, Pence didn’t go to the locker room for one of his R-rated motivational speeches. The Warriors had plenty of speech-making going on among themselves, according to Andre Iguodala.

“When you lose like we did last night (in Utah) then have a tough start in the first half, you have to get it right,” Iguodala said. “Draymond (Green) has done a great job being the voice and letting guys know when it gets rough, that you just have to grind it out. Defensively is where it happens to get out of a rut.”

The Warriors definitely got out their defensive rut in the second half and it helped their sputtering offense get untracked as well. More than anybody, it was Iguodala leading the way, looking more spry and dynamic than he has in recent games.

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Bulls 113, Warriors 111 OT: Once again, unfortunately, we’re reminded Warriors can’t win it all without Bogut

First off, fabulous game at Oracle Arena Tuesday night. It was a Warriors’ loss, but Chicago came to play and the Warriors did, too. Except for one guy — Andrew Bogut, who begged out after lineup introductions with flu-like symptoms.

The Warriors win this game against the Bulls with Bogut, just as they would have beaten the L.A. Clippers in the playoffs last year with Bogut. The Warriors have seven losses all year, and five of them have come with Bogut out of the lineup.

So it should be readily apparent. The Warriors are clearly destined for a great season. They only have to go 24-15 the rest of the way to achieve a franchise record 60 wins. They’ll more than likely do better than that. They’ll have to stumble badly not to have the No. 1 seed in the West.

But in the final accounting, they’re still going to need Bogut to win it all, or even go deep into the playoffs. Without him, they are eventually going to run into a big team like the Bulls and get worn down inside without a rebounder/rim protector.

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Warriors 114, Celtics 111: All wins count the same, even if they aren’t always historic like the last one

Even if it wasn’t as historic as his 52-point night, Klay Thompson still fought through a grinder of a game and scored 31.

This was a game the Warriors would have lost last year. They didn’t know how to grind through an uninspired night. Remember Charlotte? Remember Minnesota? Remember Cleveland, before they brought back LeBron? The Warriors lost 14 games at Oracle Arena last season under Mark Jackson and half of those losses were to lightweights.

Golden State’s meeting with Boston Sunday very easily could have been one of those kinds of trap games. A hangover seemed imminent following the extreme emotion expended during Klay Thompson’s miraculous 37-point quarter and 52-point game Friday night against Sacramento. The Warriors didn’t even practice Saturday. With a 5 p.m. start, they also skipped their morning shootaround Sunday.

The Celtics, meanwhile, came into Oracle bolstered by road wins at Denver and Portland despite their 15-26 overall record. And they played pretty well.

But the Warriors somehow found a way to grind out yet another victory, their 36th in 42 games and 19th in a row at home. They’re that good now, even when they’re not that good on a given day.

“We’re going to start getting some closer games against some tough teams,” said Andrew Bogut. “The next game (against Chicago on Tuesday) is going to be very tough at home. Getting ready for the playoffs, we have to get used to executing under pressure. Tonight we didn’t do a good job of that, especially late. These kinds of games help us address some things now, so it’s kind of a good thing.”

In other words, it was a bit of a wakeup call that didn’t require losing to be shaken a bit. As sluggish and unemotional as the performance was, the Warriors led the entire way. Coach Steve Kerr called it “workmanlike” and wasn’t distressed at all. He knows as a former player that these are the “dog days” right before the All-Star break and it’s tough to be fired up for a losing team with limited weaponry.

So in that respect, the win was impressive. Here’s the game story providing more details of the Warriors’ grind-it-out win, as well as Tim Kawakami’s column on how the Warriors are trying to fight complacency as they win game after game.

Not a night anyone will remember forever, but one that should be remembered as it relates to even last year, when the Warriors weren’t as capable to succeed on an off night.