One day after the Warriors’ coup that signals the beginning of their dictatorship, err, dynasty, Golden State is the basketball gambling favorite to win the 2017-18 NBA championship. In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet. Oh, and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers have one year to figure out how to beat the Warriors when the two teams predictably and inevitably meet each other – again – in the next NBA Finals. Perhaps they can just take the easy way out like the Warriors and sign James Harden or something. But what about the other 28 teams? Who stands a chance of being more than just filler in a two-team league?
Speaking of taking shortcuts, the Celtics will be the first team with a winning record to get the top overall pick in the NBA draft since the Orlando Magic in 1994-95, thanks to a trade with the Nets that could be described as “like taking candy from a baby” except that a newborn would show more common sense. Fans who enjoy betting on NBA games can just picture Danny Ainge explaining what happened to Sean Marks thusly, “Here: if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw; there it is, that’s the straw, see? Watch it. My straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake: I… drink… your… milkshake! I drink it up!”
San Antonio Spurs
Like Classic Empire in the Triple Crown Championship, the Spurs just had bad basketball gambling luck – if by bad luck one reads Zaza Pachulia. San Antonio lost franchise player Kawhi Leonard to injury in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and, if a facing the champs with a healthy roster was already an uphill battle, doing so without their best player was like trying to ice skate uphill (TM Wesley Snipes). In a way the Spurs should have the best odds of beating the Warriors because, for Leonard, this time it’s personal.
James Harden is so good his beard alone is in the short list for Sixth Man of the Year. However, just plain good is not enough, nor is really good, or even pretty damn good. In this day and age, nothing short or Curry-fic, Durant-a-bulous, or LeBron-tastic will get you a championship ring. The question fans betting on NBA games need to ask themselves is, do you feel lucky, punk? Well, that, and also, will Harden be more than just good and become great? In other words, is he a Yao Ming or a Hakeem Olajuwon?
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder’s basketball gambling odds are rather long, but c’mon; Westbrook versus KD makes sense – at least in a creative writing course sort of way. It would be like Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton in Warrior, or like Hulk versus Macho Man. Why did they have to break up the Mega Powers? The point is, it would be entertaining – something of which the NBA is in dire need.