Just Another Golden State Warriors Blog

Are the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors the Best Offensive Team in History?

Judging by the highest average of points per game the 2016-2017 Golden States Warriors are not the best offensive team in the history of the NBA. While thus far the Warriors are leading the league in points per game, averaging 119.3, they fall short of the highest average of all time. The all time regular season highest PPG average of 126.5 belongs to the 1981-1982 Denver Nuggets. The Warriors from the 1961-1962 season rank second with 125.4. The 76ers from the 1966-1967 season rank third with 125.2. The Boston Celtics squad during the 1959-1960 season averaged 124.5. The 1959-1960 Celtics are followed by the 1983-1984 and 1982-1983 Denver Nuggets, in which the team garnered an average of 123.7 and 123.2, respectively.

The Nuggets scored most of their highest scoring averages during the years that Alexander English and Kiki Vandewegh played and were a pair of high scoring forwards. Yet, during these years the Nuggets never won an NBA Championship or a Conference Championship. The Warriors from 1961-1962, who were based in Philadelphia at the time, had Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest scorers in the history of the NBA. Yet the Warriors went on to loose against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. In that season Chamberlain famously scored 100 points in a single game by himself. The Celtics from 1959-1960 had a high scoring squad of Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Tommy Heinsohn, and Bill Russell. That year the Celtics lost to Bob Pettit and the St. Louis Hawks.

I would rate the 1966-1967 76ers as not only the best offensive team of all time, but the NBA’s greatest squad of all time. This team also had Wilt Chamberlain dominating at center. However, this team also sported a supporting cast that brought the 76ers to the championship. Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, and Chet Walker provided exceptional scoring capability to the team. Alex Hannum, who had succeeded Dolph Schayes at the beginning of the season, guided the team to a 68-13 record. This was a team that had depth. The depth allowed them to continue to be great without the team star. The 76ers of that season were able to power themselves past Bill Russell and the Celtics, who had won eight championships in a row, to defeat the Warriors in the Finals.

The 2016-2017 Warriors, coached by Steve Kerr, have a great offense. However, it is far from the greatest ever. Three players average of twenty points a game, so far this season. Kevin Durant, who at Forward averages 26.2 PPG is followed by Guard Stephen Curry and Guard/Forward Klay Thompson who average 25.9 and 22 PPG, respectively. With Durant and Curry carrying much of the offensive burden the team is highly vulnerable. The squad lacks depth. If any injuries or otherwise should take these two players out of the game, the Warriors would suffer greatly and likely have a loosing season. A truly great offense has depth to it and can rely a host of off the bench players to back up the stars and starting five.

So far the Warriors are at the top of the Western Conference, with a 20-3 win-loss record. The Warriors also have the best record of any team in the NBA, in the 2016-2017 season. In their last three games they have averaged 121 PPG. As any good teams should they play their best with home court advantage. They average 123.9 PPG at Home and 115.2 when Away.