With the unofficial second half of the NBA season beginning Thursday, Stats & Info takes a look at the most compelling storylines of the final part of the regular season.
Warriors chasing history
The Golden State Warriors need to go 25-5 the rest of the season to surpass the NBA’s best regular-season record (72-10), set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. According to ESPN’s BPI, the Warriors have a 36 percent chance to get to 73 wins.
The Warriors will face some tough competition in trying to get there:
They have the seventh-hardest remaining schedule (.523 opponent winning percentage).
• They have three games against the Spurs (two on the road, one at home). Two of these games are among the Warriors’ final four games of the season.
• They have two games against the Thunder (one at home and one on the road).
• They have two games against the Clippers (one at home and one on the road). The Warriors are 2-0 against the Clippers but trailed in the fourth quarter of each game -- for 10 and seven minutes, respectively. That is the most and tied for the third-most minutes the Warriors have trailed in the fourth quarter of a win this season.
The Warriors are 24-0 at home and have 17 home games remaining.
Curry rewriting record book
If Stephen Curry doesn’t make another 3-pointer this season, he would finish with 245, the seventh-most in one season in NBA history. Curry is on pace to finish with 386 3-pointers, 100 more than the single-season record he set last season.
Curry has a PER of 32.2 this season, on pace for the highest PER in one season. Wilt Chamberlain set the record with a PER of 31.8 in 1962-63.
Will Curry be the first unanimous NBA MVP selection? LeBron James in 2013 and Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 came closest to being the unanimous selections, with each receiving 120 of 121 first-place votes.
Are the Spurs better than the Warriors?
The San Antonio Spurs (45-8) have outscored opponents by 703 points this season (through 52 games, the Warriors have outscored opponents by 650). Only the 1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks (726 points) have had a higher scoring differential through 53 games in NBA history.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has the Spurs as the top-rated team in the NBA this season (plus-10.8), slightly ahead of the Warriors (plus-10.6).
The Spurs are 28-0 at home, the best home record at the All-Star break in NBA history. The 1985-86 Celtics have the best home record in NBA history at 40-1.
According to ESPN’s BPI, the Spurs currently are favorites in each of their last 13 home games. In fact, they’re favorites in 25 of their last 26 games overall, the exception being their game at the Warriors on April 7 (Warriors have a 60 percent chance to win).
Two-man race for rookie of the year
Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis appear to be the front-runners for the Rookie of the Year award, having won the rookie of the month award every month this season for their respective conferences.
Towns has a PER of 23.2 this season. That would be the third-highest PER by a player in his age 20-or-younger season, behind Anthony Davis’ 26.5 in 2013-14 and James’ 25.7 in 2004-05.