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1995-96 Chicago Bulls Vs. 2015-16 Golden State Warriors: By The Numbers

Let's do some stats-crunching, in hopes of defining what it took to match (and probably break) the NBA's once-elusive wins record
by John Paulo Aguilera | Apr 13, 2016
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Much has been said about who's the better team between the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and this season's Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors (72-9) is on the verge of breaking the Bulls' record for most regular season wins  (72-10), after tying it with a road victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, 92-86. If Golden State pulls off a W against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, then a new record would be a strong argument for superiority.

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To determine which between the two legendary team's the boss, we did some number-crunching, breaking down each squad's stats during their respective magical season. Here is a by-the-stats comparison between the '95-'96 Bulls and '15-'16 Warriors, in hopes of defining what it took to match (and probably surpass) the NBA's once-elusive single-season wins record:

Golden State's average three-point attempts

This particular stat says a lot about how the game is being played now. The Warriors easily doubles Chicago's (16.5) average, dialing 13 more attempts from long distance. Although the percentages aren't too distant (.415 for CHI, .403 for GSW), volume is what makes the difference.

Average points scored by opponents against the Bulls

Despite having one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, Chicago was actually a double-edged sword, having ranked first in points per game (105.2) and third in limiting the opposing teams' offense. It's an incredible feat that could be easily explained by the numbers of the people guarding the Bulls' perimeter—No. 33 (Scottie Pippen), No. 91 (Dennis Rodman), and even No. 23 (Michael Jordan) himself...

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In contrast, Golden State gives up 104.1 (20th), which is not really a problem when you're putting up a league-leading 114.8 ppg.


Average age of Bulls roster

One could say that the abundance of fresh legs (average age: 27) is beneficial to the Warriors' style of play. Chicago, on the other hand, proved that age was just a number: The team bannered a starting lineup mostly made up of 30-somethings (center Luc Longley was 27 back then), with 34-year-old Rodman leading the way. Although it's quite unfair to factor in the years, considering Pippen and Jordan were undoubtedly at the peak of their powers at the time.

What's scary, though, is the fact that most of Golden State's stars are just approaching their primes (Stephen Curry, 27; Draymond Green, 25; Klay Thompson, 25; Harrison Barnes, 23), and what we're witnessing now is just the tip of the iceberg for the other 29 teams.

Losses at home of both teams during record run

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The Warriors' final regular season game is also their last at the Oracle Arena, and judging from their season series (Golden State up, 3-0), the odds are fairly stacked against the Grizzlies. Other than the record-setting number of wins, another thing GSW and CHI share (so far) is that both dropped two home games in the month of April.

The Dubs were surprised by the Boston Celtics (106-109) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (117-124) at home earlier this month. The Bulls, meanwhile, were caught napping first by the Charlotte Hornets, and then the Indiana Pacers, their final opponent at the United Center that year. Will history repeat itself or will the Warriors make their own?

Number of Chicago's championships following historic regular season

After all was said and done, Jordan and Co. punctuated their regular season dominance by bringing home the hardware later that year—and rode that momentum all the way to a three-peat. Let's say Curry and the rest of the Dubs break the record, will they also be able to go all the way? We seriously can't wait for the playoffs.

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