The Warriors have achieved unmatched success for the past two years with the same formula: create just enough space for Stephen Curry to launch a shot.
The distance from the basket no longer served as an obstacle for Curry, or for the entire Golden State roster, as the team buried a league record 1,077 shots from beyond the arc.
Not only has the team managed to convert at an alarmingly high rate, it has piled up the 3-point shots with unbelievable accuracy, converting 41.6 percent of its long range shots. The figure was 4.1 percentage points higher than any other team in the league this year.
Golden State led the league in field goal percentage (48.7 percent), assists (2,373), points per game (114.9) and outscored its opponents by 10.8 points a night, matching the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls for the fourth highest point differential ever recorded in NBA history.
A 125-104 victory over the Grizzlies Wednesday night — the final night of the 2015-16 regular season — left the Warriors alone atop the record book, as the win moved the team one game past the 1995-96 Bulls mark with 73 victories, more than any other team during the 70-year history of the NBA.
The unprecedented success of the Warriors stemmed from another MVP effort from its point guard.
Curry all but locked up a second straight selection as the most valuable player as he joined the hallowed 50/40/90 club following another impressive outing.
Membership is reserved for only the most efficient scorers the league has ever seen, as Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Mark Price, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant are the only players prior to Curry to convert at least 50 percent of their attempts from the field, 40 percent of their attempts from 3-point range and at least 90 percent of their free throws during the course of an entire season.
The 28-year-old managed to lead the league in scoring (30.1 points per game) as he led all point guards by connecting on 50.4 percent of his attempts from the field, ranked second in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.5 percent and led the NBA in free throw shooting at 90.8 percent.
Curry closed out the 2015-16 campaign by pouring in 46 points as he shot 62.5 percent from the field, 52.6 percent from 3-point range and sank each of his six attempts from the foul line.
Entering the game, the former Davidson star had already obliterated his own record for 3-point field goals made in a single season, converting 392 times from beyond the arc, an increase of 106 from the previous year.
With 400 made 3-pointers in reach, Curry vowed to chase the historic mark. Once again, all he needed was three quarters to display his precise shooting.
For the fourth time this season, Curry managed to connect at least 10 times from beyond the arc, closing out the year with 402 made shots from 3-point range.
After setting the mark for most 3-point field goals made in a single season a year ago, Curry shattered the mark by 140.6 percent this season.
To put in perspective just how much separation Curry created between himself anyone else in league history, a Major League Baseball player would have to hit 102 home runs to create an equal distance from the single season record of 73 held by Barry Bonds.
All the Warriors needed was a simple screen from center Andrew Bogut to create just enough space for Curry to convert his historic 400th shot from beyond the arc.
Curry managed to find an open space in the corner, planted his feet and swished home an easy look.
The corner 3-pointers have been especially kind to Curry, has he connected on 50 percent of his attempts from both sides of the court.
The proximity to the rim hardly served as a factor for his accuracy, as Curry sank at least 42 percent of his shots from any of specified zones from the perimeter.
All he needed was a bit of distance from his defender, as Curry has made 40.2 percent of his attempts with at least two feet of space between him and his opponent.
Golden State managed to separate the defender from Curry on average five times a night and the results were devastating.
For the year, Curry averaged 10.2 made shots a night, featuring an equal split of 5.1 shots from inside the arc and an NBA record 5.1 made 3-pointers a night.
The 402 made 3-pointers jumped Curry 32 places on the NBA’s all-time leaderboard for made long range shots in a career, going from 51st to 19th.
During his 15-year career, Michael Jordan, the architect behind the 72-win Bulls, converted just 581 times from beyond the arc, a figure Curry has surpassed in his last 123 regular season appearances.
No player has been more devastating from beyond the arc and no team has been more successful than Curry’s Warriors.