With Tuesday night’s win over the Lakers, the Warriors are 33-2, 1 game ahead of NBA’s previous best, the Chicago Bulls at this point in their 1995-1996 season. Their next game is tonight at Portland. MVP Steph Curry has been playing through the pain with a shin injury that he should rest for 4 weeks but if he doesn’t rest it he is not in any great danger. According to ESPN Scorecenter, he attended full practice yesterday and will be playing tonight.
Even when a key player like Curry or Klay Thompson are out of the game, their line-up is big and they have other key players like Draymond Green who will step up big time and they still win. Green just won player of the week for the Week of December 28th. An average team will have to play GREAT to beat them says former basketball player and ESPN analyst Tim Legler, and the majority of their remaining games are versus average teams. They seem relaxed but hungry at the same time. Only a serious injury to one of their main players can stop them. Will Matthew Dellavedova kick Curry in the shin and just end his season? If the Warriors break the Bulls 72-10 record, it would only be right that they go for and win the NBA Championship title based on pure logic and historical statistics.
So which other teams are in the mix and who actually poses a serious threat?
To date, considering both the Eastern and Western Conference, the League standings for the Top 10 teams are as follows:
So for the West, if Warriors meet the San Antonio Spurs it will not be easy. At the looks of it now, only the Spurs pose a threat to the Warriors in the West and vice versa. The Spurs probably still have the deepest bench in the league. Their bench alone scored 70 points in the 123-98 blowout win over the Jazz on Wednesday.
They also finally have some young, fresh players that Coach Pop is giving time on the Court. There is Past Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and more. Then the Big Old 3 are still present. Old Man River Walk, Tim Duncan is still looking good, not to mention Manu Ginobili who looks like he got his act together. Tony Parker is forever talented but hardly ever consistent. Perhaps he has his young baby on his mind.
Even though Suga gives the Spurs and Warriors the edge in the West, OKC is not to be forgotten. Past MVP Kevin Durant is back! He is on form after a broken bone in his right foot that needed 3 surgeries and after spraining his big toe last week. Hopefully he doesn’t continue to break a leg. No pun intended. He returned Tuesday night to beat the Grizzlies 112-94 and note that OKC went 12-3 in December. Westbrook is great, Ibaka and Adams are good, but without Durant, OKC will lose.
Now where all my LeBron James haters at? Sorry folks, he won’t go away. He has won player of the month 29 times now and his stats keep buzzing, equalling and breaking record after record. He scored 9 points in 1 minute Wednesday night versus the Wizards at Washington. It’s a pity he isn’t pretty to watch though. Suga predicts the Cavs will go straight to the NBA Finals again this year. All eyes are on the Warriors, so no immense pressure on LeBron, which is good because we all see how he buckles under pressure. There is also no serious threat on the East side. The Bulls are doing well but the Cavs will still destroy them. The Cavs are the kind of team that elevate their game based on their opponent. They are confident, arrogant, hungry and some bitter.
I would say LeBron’s partner in crime is back, but LeBron is a lone, selfish soldier on the court. Kyrie Irving is back yall! Now HE is pretty and exciting to watch, just 23 years old and full of energy. He is back on form, scoring well, up to 32 points Wednesday night versus the Wizards compared to LeBron’s 34 points and these are under restrictions in minutes he is allowed to play, which the Cavs will soon remove. The Warriors beat them on Christmas Day 89-83, but with a healthy Kyrie Irving and no minutes restrictions, it will be a whole new ball game. The Cavs also have a good starting line up and bench with dangerous players like Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith. When teams feel excited about catching up with the Cavs or lessening a point deficit, J.R. will just burst their bubble with a 3-pointer. Then they also have Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and Sasha Kaun.
Sad to say but Suga believes if the Cavs meet the Warriors in the Finals again with a now healthy Kyrie Irving, they will get the formula right this time and get revenge. But if somehow the Spurs, a team with a totally different dynamic and ball movement make it to the Finals, they may actually make a more exciting match up versus the Cavs and LeBron could have a Finals nightmare all over again. But we just have to wait and see. It is just January and there is still time for players to grow and teams to make adjustments. Don’t you just love this game?!