It’s been a long and winding season for the Golden State Warriors. They’ve set records, they’ve wooed crowds and they’ve flat-out been dominant. With 70 wins already under their belt—just the second team in NBA history to reach that total—the regular season has already been a sizzling success for last year’s champions.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry during  an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry during an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Once the Warriors set an NBA record for most consecutive wins to start a season (24), the comparisons between their squad and the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10, became inevitable. Until two weeks ago, Golden State was on pace to best the Bulls’ record. Losses to the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves let some of the wind out of Golden State’s sails, but besting and perhaps even matching Chicago’s record is still possible. A loss to Minnesota on April 5 was followed by talk in post-game interviews that suggested that some of the Warriors players were simply ready for the postseason to begin. They’ve come so far in their chase of Chicago’s lofty record, but should the Warriors pack it in until the playoffs? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.

Riley: Golden State is only one game away from at least tying Chicago’s 20-year old record, but with 71 wins already recorded, it’s time to rest. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I believed Golden State’s chase for 73 wins could cost them in April and May, and I stand by that belief. The season has been so grueling—every single opponent in the 80 games that they’ve played so far has given the Warriors their best effort. I wouldn’t say Chicago flew under the radar on their way to a 72-10 record but that team wasn’t coming off a championship season like the Warriors were. The road to history has been flat-out grueling for Golden State, and they’ve shown it in their last few losses. This team is flatlining down the stretch, and I think head coach Steve Kerr would be wise to get some players their rest.

Green: After fueling themselves all season with the chase for this record, it would be a major letdown if they just packed it in to earn a few days of extra rest. The bulk of the roster is in their early- to mid-twenties and with one last week remaining, it’s time to go full throttle. Winning 71 games would be enough of an accomplishment for me, but it’s bigger than that for these Warriors. Nothing would be more surreal than topping Chicago’s record and winning it all this year. They’ll go for 73 wins at all costs. I’m not sure they’ll reach their goal but they’ll go out swinging with a valiant effort.

Riley: A regular-season record won’t make or break this campaign for the Warriors. When all is said and done, we’ll remember this season’s Warriors team for whether or not they won the NBA title, not how many games they won during the season. The thing that made the Bulls’ feat so memorable was the fact that they followed up those 72 wins with an NBA trophy. Had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and company failed to reel in their fourth title after such a strong season, then that lofty record would’ve gone out the window. The 72 wins were huge because they dominated the postseason just as they did the regular season. It was a superior campaign from an all-time great team. They were creating history, not chasing it like this Warriors team. The chase has left the team gassed and it’s time to refocus as the big stage nears.

Green: I don’t think it’s the chase that has left the team tired, so much as the grind of the regular season itself. The fact that this team returned from a championship run improved and stronger than a year ago is a feat in itself. They’ve dominated their competition the same way the Bulls did 20 years ago, so we can’t let a pair of late-season losses reprogram our thinking. Winning 73 games would be an amazing feat and Golden State is in a position that neither they, nor any other future team, will likely be in again. There’s a reason why Chicago’s record has stood for 20 years: teams simply don’t win 70-plus games in today’s NBA. The league is a lot stronger than what it was during Jordan’s era, and with so many superstars playing in today’s Association, I think even the Warriors themselves are surprised how far they’ve come. They’re less than a week away from rewriting league history. With a bunch of hungry, mid-twenty-somethings on the roster, it’s now or never for the Warriors. It’s rare that a team has a chance to do something this historic, and they almost have to go after it at this point. Winning a title is the ultimate goal, but in the meantime, Golden State’s focus should be set on beating the Bulls’ record.