How many games will the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors Win?

As of March 9, the Golden State Warriors have a 56-6 record – the best through 62 games of any NBA team in history.  It’s really time to discuss whether or not they’ll break the record held by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls of 72 wins. That basically means they can only lose four more games out of the twenty left. I thought it’d be fun to build a data table within Excel to determine the likelihood of breaking the record.

Quick thanks for for publishing the winning percentages for the rest of the Dub’s schedule.  With that data, I was able to put together a quick model in excel to determine how many games they are likely to win the rest of this year.

Let’s break down how I did the analysis.

Warriors Remaining Schedule_2016

The first thing I did was build a quick table that showed each of the twenty remaining games, and included the following variables.

Game: The count of each of the remaining Golden State Warriors games.
TM: We’ll focus on the Golden State Warriors which we’ll abbreviate as GSW.
OPP: Opponent
TM%: The GSW team winning percentage in the form of a whole number. (via
OPP% The Opponent team winning percentage. (via
RAND: A random number generated between 1 and 100.
WINNER: A formula that calculates if GSW are the favorites and if the result (RAND) larger than the underdog winning percentage.

Let’s dive deeper into this and look at our first game: GSW vs UTA. Let’s assume that we have 100 marbles in a bucket. 91 of those are labeled GSW, while 9 are labeled 9. At random, I select one of the balls and declare that as my winner.  In order to offset the fact that GSW could be underdogs in a game, I wrote a formula that returns the team that would win based on the random number. Test it out – I think it works pretty well.

After this table was completed, I wanted to replicate this process 5,000 times. This is where the data table function in Excel is so useful. The iteration table below is what I calculated within Excel to offset some of the variance I would get from just doing the simulation once.

Warriors Iterations_2016

After all of that, I calculated a quick histogram based on how many total wins the Dub’s would get between 56 and 82.  Here are the results below.

Warriors Predicted Schedule_2015-16

Based on all of this analysis, the Golden State Warriors have a 62% chance to either tie or beat the record for most wins in a season. Specifically, they have a 25% chance of exactly tying – the highest likelihood of any full season record.

There is the second highest chance that they will get 73 wins – or one more than the 1995-96 Bulls to break the record. We’ll have to see how the season plays out, but you know that I’ll be watching intently.

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Photo by Keith Allison

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