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Golden State Warriors Lead NBA With Record 19-0 Start

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

For a second there, the Utah Jazz had a chance. It was last night, about a minute to go in the game. They were tied with the Golden State Warriors, who so far this season have not lost a single game. The sellout crowd in Utah had hope, but then the Warriors' Steph Curry did what Steph Curry pretty much always does.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASKETBALL GAME)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Curry. Three - good. And he unties it.

MCEVERS: The reigning MVP's three-pointer helped Golden State win a record 19th game in a row at the start of the season, and here to answer the question of when the defending NBA champions will actually lose a game is David Aldridge. He covers the NBA for TNT and nba.com.

Welcome to the show.

DAVID ALDRIDGE: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

MCEVERS: OK so the Warriors managed to win by only three points last night. I mean, I guess that's a sign that this streak is all unraveling, right?

(LAUGHTER)

ALDRIDGE: Yeah, I'm sure some people think that. But no, in the NBA, sometimes you have tough games. That's - well, what Golden State has done is so far has been so incredible. Other than last night and a couple of other games, they've blown everybody out.

MCEVERS: I mean, last year Golden State had this historically great season on the way to winning the title. This year seems to be even better. I mean, how are they doing this?

ALDRIDGE: They have by far the best player in basketball right now in Steph Curry. And I say that knowing that LeBron James is incredibly talented and gifted and is a great player, but what Curry's doing is remarkable. He's leading the league in scoring, but he doesn't take a ton of shots. You want your best players or your star players to not only score but to do so efficiently. It doesn't help a team to have its star player score 25 points but have to take 24 shots to do it. He's passing the ball at a high level, he's playing very good defense and he has a very good team around him. So the combination of those two things and the continuity that comes from a team that's won a championship I think is a large part of what's pushed Golden State so far.

MCEVERS: I mean, we are barely a month into what is a very long season, and already people are making comparisons to the Chicago Bulls, you know, the team that was led by Michael Jordan and won a record 72 games in 1996. Can this team be that good?

ALDRIDGE: I'm somewhat reluctant because of what you mentioned. You know, they've played 19 games. That's about a quarter of the NBA season. They've got 60 games left to play. Anything can happen tomorrow, for example (laughter).

MCEVERS: Yeah.

ALDRIDGE: If one of their key players were to be injured, that would change the entire dynamic of the season. So I would say this - I would say certainly Golden State right now is the best team in the league by far and there is no reason to expect them not to remain the best team in the league. They're very well-coached. They have a very good team concept. And if they continue to blow people out every night and allow their star players to get rest, they're going to be very well-prepared for the playoffs. So will they get to 72 wins? I don't know. I tend to think they won't. But, you know, ask me at the All-Star break in February. If they're 41 and 2 or something like that then I would say they probably have a good shot.

MCEVERS: That's David Aldridge, who covers pro basketball for TNT and nba.com.

Thank you so much.

ALDRIDGE: My pleasure.

MCEVERS: And we will talk to you at the All-Star break.

ALDRIDGE: (Laughter). I look forward to it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.