By JOHN DORN
Before the season, the Golden State Warriors may have been the most overlooked defending NBA champion ever. Between talk that they fortuitously skated through the playoffs last year without facing a team at full health, are Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers flat-out calling them lucky, there was a fair amount of disrespect being thrown Golden State's way entering this year.
It was probably a good idea not to buy into any of that.
If the Dubs' 67-win regular season and eventual title weren't enough to convince you that they're the powerhouse of the NBA, the team hasn't beat around the bush this year. Through their first 16 games, they remain undefeated -- now the longest winning streak to begin a season in the league's history.
Their 16th win may have been the easiest, coming against 37-year-old Kobe Bryant and the lowly Los Angeles Lakers. On a night that Kobe shot just 1-of-14 from the floor and no Laker had more than 10 points, Stephen Curry went for 24 points and nine assists. Draymond Green logged 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Leandro Barbosa scored 13 off the bench. Every Golden State player got into the game, and all but one scored.
Looking ahead at the Warriors' schedule, it's tough to pick out a loss in the near future. Their next game against a team over .500 comes on Dec. 2 against the Charlotte Hornets, but they won't face another true title contender until Christmas Day, in a Finals rematch against the Cavaliers.
There's a seven-game road trip next month, coming against mostly Eastern Conference teams and two separate back-to-backs, which has the potential to trip them up. But it would certainly take a gargantuan effort to steal a victory from Golden State at this point. Now that they have the record, who knows where they'll be comfortable stopping.
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