When will the Warriors lose? (12/03/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
When will the Warriors lose? (Updated from previous column)

The Warriors are a ridiculous 20-0. Golden State is the first team to score at least 100 points in each of their first twenty games of a season since the 1990-91 Nuggets (per ESPN Stats & Info). Fun note: during Denver's run they were losing by an average 9.2 points per game, the Dubs are winning by an average of 15.4 points per game. Thanks in part to Stephen Curry, who has a PER (player efficiency rating) of 35.2, he is on pace for the best efficiency rating in NBA history. Oh, and the defending champs can play defense. The Warriors are 2nd in defensive efficiency.

The unprecedented start has Golden State on pace to break Michael Jordan and the 1995-96 Bulls' single season record for most wins. Curry, the reigning MVP, is currently projected to lead his team to a 74-8 record. Golden State has already broken the record for the most wins to start a season. With ten more W's, they'll break the NBA record for longest winning streak (they closed last season with four straight wins).

Will the Warriors break the record for the longest winning streak?

The next ten games are split evenly at home and on the road but the first five are away from the Oracle. The Dubs have a 44.5 percent chance to remain perfect and reach 29 straight wins before heading back to the Golden State.

Once home, the Warriors are greater than 80 percent likely to win each game. The closest contest (80.9 percent expected win probability) is a rematch of the Finals when LeBron James and the Cavs come to town on Christmas. Golden State has a 1-in-4 chance of winning its next ten games and breaking the record for the most consecutive wins in NBA history.

It is hard to say when the Warriors will lose their first game. Curry is hoping it is before the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, his favorite NFL team. Though that is unlikely.

Cam Newton has led the Panthers to an 11-0 start but Carolina is just the 4th best team in the NFL. The league's only undefeated team has a 14.4 percent chance to win the final five games of the regular season. Golden State has an 18.0 percent chance to still be perfect once the NFL regular season wraps.

A loss is coming for the Warriors and the most likely spot might be in six and a half weeks. Golden State will travel to Cleveland on January 18th. The Dubs would “only” be projected to win 73.0 percent of the time. There is a 7.5 percent chance that the Warriors enter that game undefeated, which would mean they had played half a season and hadn't lost once.

Date Opponent Warriors Proj. Win%
5-Dec at Toronto 81.5%
6-Dec at Brooklyn 92.0%
8-Dec at Indiana 81.4%
11-Dec at Boston 81.9%
12-Dec at Milwaukee 89.7%
16-Dec vs. Phoenix 91.0%
18-Dec vs. Milwaukee 93.5%
23-Dec vs. Utah 89.2%
25-Dec vs. Cleveland 80.9%
28-Dec vs. Sacramento 92.6%
30-Dec at Dallas 83.4%
31-Dec at Houston 89.9%
2-Jan vs. Denver 94.4%
4-Jan vs. Charlotte 86.7%
5-Jan at LA Lakers 93.7%
8-Jan at Portland 84.8%
9-Jan at Sacramento 88.9%
11-Jan vs. Miami 86.4%
13-Jan at Denver 91.6%
14-Jan vs. LA Lakers 95.6%
16-Jan at Detroit 89.4%
18-Jan at Cleveland 73.0%