Following a devastating loss in game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to eventual champions the Cleveland Cavaliers, league MVP and Golden State Warriors stalwart Stephen Curry said they will “keep this memory so that it will fuel us as we stay together as a team,” because they will be back on this stage.
And while no one betting on basketball doubts that GS will be once again an odds-on favorite next season – and when the time comes you know where to find a sportsbook to bet on NBA –, the fact remains that the former champions’ postseason performance raises more questions than it answers.
For example, the aforementioned Curry had the worst performance by an MVP in the NBA Finals with 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 4.3 turnovers per game, and 40.3 field goal percentage. Of course, ‘worst’ is a very relative term; however, you can’t be the best if someone is better, and that someone was LeBron James. And speaking of the King, if he wore an Ultimate Warrior shirt when bringing home the gold, then Curry must out on a Seth Rollins ‘Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim’ t-shirt. Interestingly, Curry mentioned the team sticking together, and GS fans betting on basketball can rest assured that the Warriors core will remain intact.
All Curry, Shaun Livingston, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Kevin Looney, and Andrew Bogut are under contract. This means that the this roster which are deadly on offense and rabid on defense will continue to wreak havoc in the Pacific Division. The Warriors’ average victory margin in the regular season (10.76) was the 6th-best in NBA history and the best since the 1996-97 season. Furthermore, Curry’s increase in scoring average after winning the MVP award (23.8 in 2014-15 to 30.1 while winning the award again in 2015-16) was the biggest for a reigning MVP ever. However, the Warriors need to work on getting and keeping a hold on the ball. Golden State finished 19th on offensive rebounds, and turnovers remain their Achilles’s heel.
The Warriors might also have to deal with the departure of several free agents such as Leandro Barbosa, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Anderson Varejao, and others – though it is debatable how many of them would choose, of their own volition, to leave a contender like GS. And with a 30th in the first round of the draft, it’s unlikely that a hot rookie will take any of their places. On the other hand, the Warriors front office reportedly wants to come on very strong in free agency, and rumor has it they are after Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. That would be another reason for fans betting on basketball to put their money on GS at a sportsbook to bet on NBA.