Sacramento at Golden State
Time: 9:30 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: GSW -17.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Golden State Warriors stumbled for a brief time under the sun in losing three-straight, but Golden State does not stay down long: The Dubs have won their last five and still lead the San Antonio Spurs by two full games in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Hosting the lowly Sacramento Kings should result in another easy home victory, as NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes set the line 17.5 points in favor of Stephen Curry and company. The betting total is set at 214.5 points, and the game will air at 9:30 (CT) on NBA League Pass.
Golden State is turning it on again at just the right time, even without Kevin Durant. Durant is making good progress towards a return, and all indications are that he will likely be ready for the postseason. Without Durant available, Patrick McCaw has drawn starts at the 2-spot with Klay Thompson sliding into Kevin Durant’s usual role as starting small forward. This is a bit of a departure from expectations: Many expected veteran forward Matt Barnes to assume the starting small forward role until Durant is healthy once again.
Nevertheless, McCaw had 10 points, two assists and three boards in 30 minutes while posting a +6 court differential. Crucial will be the play, too, of Shaun Livingston who came off the bench to score six and dish three dimes in 20 minutes. Ian Clark was the sub of the game for Golden State in that 112-87 win over Dallas, scoring 18 points on 8 of 16 shooting. Golden State shot 55.1 percent as a team in the game and connected on 13 of 30 from downtown.
Golden State has played much better defense throughout this five-game win streak. Only one opponent (The Philadelphia 76ers) have managed better than 100 points, and three of the five have scored 95 points or less. Defense is an underrated aspect of the Dubs’ attack, because of their scoring prowess and rapid game pace. When the Dubs need to put on the clamps, they can. It has been most noticeable with the team focusing harder defensively due to the absence of Durant’s 25-plus points per game.
Even so, the key to Golden State is its ability to spread the floor, create defensive switch nightmares, and play similarly brilliant basketball with its own defensive switches on the other end of the court. It won the Dubs 73 games last year, just not another NBA Title. That is the goal this year, as the playoffs are nearing. Simply having run up a 57-14 record does little more than prove the expected: Golden State is a tough team to keep pace with, and that knocks off the majority of the NBA without second thought, Durant or not.
Sacramento has lost eight of its past 10 as it turned its attention to the development of rookie Buddy Hield, who the Kings basically bet the farm on when they dealt DeMarcus Cousins for the Former Neismith Award winner.
Hield should become a very good player, but the overwhelming thought around the league was that Sacto really should have garnered more for the likes of a franchise player like DeMarcus Cousins.
Even so, the Kings do have some nice young talent on the roster—per usual—but are nevertheless gearing up towards their 11th straight trip the NBA draft lottery. Which rookie will have the unfortunate fate of joining Hield on this forsaken franchise?
The Kings continually add good players, but none seem to flourish in Sacramento. It has to be an organizational problem.
Whatsoever the case, it is pretty improbable their current collection of rag-tag youngsters gives the now-focused Dubs much of a contest.