It was a fascinating season in the NBA, with history being made, new stars emerging, and plenty of drama oozing from the action on the floor. Thanks to these factors, there were a number of great moments this season as well as players who proved themselves as the best of the bunch. These are the best moments and players of the 2015-2016 NBA season, one that will be remembered as one of the best in league history.
Golden State Warriors Make History
The biggest story for the duration of this NBA season was whether or not the Golden State Warriors could continue to build on their championship run from last season. Not only did the Warriors continue to build on that success, but they blew that success out of the water with an historic season that will live forever in basketball lore regardless of their performance in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Golden State won a league record 73 games, blowing the rest of the league away en route to a second consecutive Western Conference championship. Steph Curry won the league’s most valuable player award unanimously, and made over 400 three point shots on the season, shattering his own record for made three point shots in a season. While how fondly these numbers will be remembered will hinge on how the NBA Finals goes, those are still numbers that cannot be taken away from the Warriors.
Damian Lillard Steps Up
Things could have been terrible this season in Portland given the roster situation surrounding the Trail Blazers. With four of their five starters from the prior season leaving the squad, it was up to the only remaining starter to step up and make the plays necessary to keep the team playing up to its standards. That player was Damian Lillard, and he stepped up and then some to deliver the Trail Blazers to a brilliant season.
Not even expected to make the playoffs this year, the Trail Blazers qualified as a top five seed in a loaded Western Conference, even winning their first round series against a Los Angeles Clippers team that suffered too many injuries to overcome. After that, they gave the Golden State Warriors a very difficult series in the second round before bowing out after delivering one of the league’s truly pleasant surprises this year.
San Antonio Spurs End An Era
Perhaps the saddest moment of this NBA season was when the San Antonio Spurs bowed out of the NBA Playoffs despite having the second best record in the league during the regular season. It meant that the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker will not exist in the same capacity ever again on an NBA floor, which is a sad day for the game of basketball to say the least. The Spurs will still be a great team with their young core of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, but the old guard will be missed in spite of the Spurs’ constant competitiveness.
By: Jason Sanin