NBA Betting Advice: Handicapping the Golden State Warriors Drama
I was supposed to write about the Warriors a week and a half ago, and it was going to be a very different article than it will be now. A simpler, happier one. That was right before Draymond Green lost his mind and set off a chain of events that could ruin everything that has been built with the Warriors. Or it might not mean anything in the long term. But the uncertainty is something we haven't been used to with this team. They had been so stable and dominant it was almost boring. But it's not boring anymore. Just confusing. So, what do we know?
This whole mess - three straight losses and a lot of confusion - came about when Draymond Green kept the ball late in a game, Kevin Durant wasn't happy about it, and the two had words - on the court and reportedly into the locker room as well. We can only speculate about what was said, but it was bad enough that Green was suspended for a game by the team. Durant, who normally likes to talk, has had very little to say since, and the tension is palpable. Heck, it's more than palpable - it hangs heavily over every aspect of the team. This wasn't an isolated incident, and it wasn't just about Durant's feelings being hurt. Despite all of the success the team has had, there was obviously a raw nerve sitting out in the open, and Green pushed it. Hard. And now the questions are all about what happens now.
The first thing that stands out is the swiftness with which the team acted against Green. A couple of things seem clear from that. First, this isn't the first time that Green has been a problem. If he was a first-time offender, things would have gone differently. And second, Steve Kerr has been a freewheeling and easygoing guy for so long, so the fact that he acted like he did is a sign that someone needed to be the adult and to try to fix things before they got out of hand.
It seems very unlikely that things are going to get blown apart in the short term. The biggest thing this young season has proven so far is that the Warriors are very much good enough to win a title again, and that the gap between them and the rest is still large. They just need to keep things together for now. And while it is no guarantee that they can do that, it is unquestionably in the short-term self-interest of all parties to put their differences aside and get it done. Winning is more fun than not winning - even if you are tired of everyone you are winning with. And if they can't work together and they blow things up, then they will just all have to watch someone else win. There is no short-term upside to destroying a good thing.
And beyond that? There is no way of knowing. Durant could decide to stay after this year because he knows that there is no more likely place for him to win than here. No situation where he is improving his fate. Or he can look for a new situation - one where he can be more of a clear alpha. And that's not all. Green could look to get out. Or Thompson. There is a lot that could happen, but we can't have any meaningful insight into the likelihood of any of it, so we might as well not spend any time worrying about it at this point.
Of course, even this can't be that simple. There is another possibility. Steph Curry has already missed six games with a groin injury, and he is expecting to miss at least three more. If Curry can't come back in any hurry, or if he comes back and gets hurt again, or if he comes back but other key players go down, then this team could struggle. And if they struggle and find themselves in a rough spot - down the standings, or well below where they expect to be - then these wounds could be picked raw again.
So, what do we do? Well, we have a couple of choices. We can try and outthink this and get ahead of the possibilities. But that is just going to be too tough to do well. There are too many possibilities and too much uncertainty. So, the alternative is that we just step back, show some patience, and wait to see how things play out. This is not a team that has been about the regular season - at least not the last couple of years. So, there is no need to hurry or to worry about the short term. All we need to figure out is whether this team will be ready once the postseason rolls around to cruise to what previously seemed to be another inevitable title.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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