Golden State Warriors emerged as legitimate title contenders in the first part of the NBA season. Steph Curry played lights out, and things looked incredibly promising. However, on December 15th, in the first quarter against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, the game was stopped for a standing ovation as the greatest shooter of all time. Steph Curry broke the NBA’s all-time 3 point record with 2974 made threes, surpassing Ray Allen.
On top of that, after two seasons plagued by significant injuries, the other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, returned to the lineup in mid-January. Warriors were fighting with the Phoenix Suns for the top spot in the West for most of the season, but injuries struck the Bay area team again.
What can we predict about the playoffs?
Warriors star James Wiseman won’t be returning to the team this year because of an injury. Draymond Green missed a substantial part of the season and hasn’t yet recovered top form. The latest blow to the Warriors’ season was the foot injury Steph Curry got from an unintentional Marcus Smart dive for the ball. The MRI showed there is no structural damage, and Curry hopes he can return to the start of the playoffs.
If Curry, Draymond, and Klay are all on-court come playoff time, all things are possible since that is the championship core of the dynastic Warriors team. That might make fans want to support their teams via online sports betting websites. While the outcomes might sometimes be hard to predict, basketball and other sports fans mostly stick with their favorite team and players when they’re setting their bets on apps on their smartphones.
However, the sports world is puzzled by the Golden State in light of the upcoming playoffs. The team looks subpar, losing seven of their last ten games.
Stats are in the Warrior’s favor
When it comes to historical stats, the Warriors team headlining the big three of Curry, Klay, and Draymond lost only two playoff series since 2015. On a positive note, the former first pick in the draft, Andrew Wiggings, is playing his best basketball, contributing substantially on both ends of the floor. In addition, Jordan Poole is an ascending young guard and great scorer, and the Warriors can rely on Otto Porter and Kevon Looney.
If Steph Curry returns on time for the playoff, it’s still a question of which version of the great shooter we will get. In the first part of the season, Steph played some of his best basketball. Or the second part of the season post-record-breaking game where he struggled shooting from the floor with career-low averages.
Warriors basketball and Splash Brothers changed the way game is played, and with a healthy duo of Steph and Klay with the ball movement and unselfish Steve Kerr’s style of basketball Golden State can overpower any team.
However, with Wiseman out, the Warriors lack length on the defensive end, and teams with dominant or above-average bigs could take advantage of the small lineups.
There are no clear favorites for this year’s title. Phoenix Suns are the team with the most consistency and depth and look like the team to beat in the West. However, Eastern Conference is now loaded with great teams, and defending champions Milwaukee Bucks have stiff competition in Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. It will be exciting to see if the Warriors shoot their way into another title run.