2018 Golden State Warriors Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
Seriously, is there anything more boring than reading a Golden State preview at this point? I can think of one thing - writing one. They are a stunningly dominant team with four all-stars in their prime on the roster, and they kept everyone and added another all-star for good measure. They were the best team in the league by a wide margin last year - at least when it mattered - and they probably will be again. The West is deep and getting tougher, but they are still well positioned to come out on top. They are the team to beat, and it's tough to see anyone beating them. The only thing that has really changed is that it is a certainty that they won't be facing LeBron James in the finals for once.
So, even a team like this must have some vulnerabilities, right? I guess. Sort of. They have so much star power that they have shown that injuries don't have to be a big issue. But Steph Curry has struggled to stay healthy, and Kevin Durant has been banged up in the past. The team has had to play without Curry at times, but losing him for a significant time wouldn't be ideal, and losing Durant would hurt. Draymond Green is such a defensive force that a long absence would be a blow, too. So, the reason for hope for other teams is that the Warriors could be vulnerable to injury. But the bad news is that they are far less vulnerable than every other team in the league.
If you want something to be negative about, I guess it could be the distraction of next year and the changes that could come. Kevin Durant signed a new deal this offseason, and he can opt out after this year if he wants to. And DeMarcus Cousins will be looking for a big deal next year - likely somewhere else. If those guys start thinking about the then as much as the now, it could become a problem. But this team is so professional and business-like that I am not too worried about that - or anything else, for that matter.
A guy I am really interested in watching this year is Quinn Cook. The four-year player at Duke was undrafted and played a total of 14 games for two teams in the first two years of his NBA career. He signed a two-way deal with the Warriors last year, came up for the second half of the season, and really found his stride when Curry was hurt. He wound up playing more than 22 minutes per game and averaged 9.5 points per game. The team obviously liked and trusted him, and with a full offseason around the team he could take a stride forward - even though he likely won't average as many minutes this year.
2018 Golden State Warriors Additions and Departures
The obvious story here is DeMarcus Cousins. It's not too often that a team gets an all-star big man for the NBA equivalent of pocket change. But Cousins is coming off a major injury, isn't going to be ready for a while, and may never be up to full steam. While that could be a problem for a lot of teams, which is what kept his price reasonable - along with the strong chance of getting a title, of course. But for the Warriors it doesn't really matter. They know that they don't need him to win, so anything they get from home is just gravy. It is no given that he can find a way to mesh with the stars on the team - keeping up with them could be a lot to ask of him. But if he can find a way, or if the team can use him effectively with the second unit - which his ego would struggle to accept - then the upside here is huge. And while he hasn't been a great teammate to this point in his career, that probably isn't a major concern here. This dressing room is so established and professional that he won't be able to be the diva he has been in the past, and he should be focused on being a good soldier to help him earn the big long-term deal he is surely imaging for next year and beyond. This is a signing with crazy upside and little risk.
Beyond Cousins, it was just about shuffling the depth. Jonas Jerebko was added from Utah, and he will eat up some depth minutes. Gone are Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee and Omri Casspi. Not a lot of reason for concern or excitement anywhere there.
A team this good obviously doesn't get a lot of immediate draft help. Their first-round pick, 28th overall, was shooting guard Jacob Evans from Cincinnati. Needless to say, I don't see him winning the Rookie of the Year crown.
2018 Golden State Warriors Futures Odds and Trends
NBA title odds ( from Bovada ) : -195
Western Conference title odds : -245
Kevin Durant MVP Odds : +900 (Fifth best)
Steph Curry MVP Odds : +1500
DeMarcus Cousins MVP Odds : +17500
Season win total: 63.5
The team was 45-57-1 ATS through to the end of the playoffs, so the money was made in betting against them. Despite all the offensive tools, the team went "under" the total 56 times and "over" just 46. So, betting against them and taking the under was where the money was - the opposite of where the public would be drawn to.
2018 Golden State Warriors Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
Yawn. They are going to be as good as last year. Probably better. And they are probably going to win the championship again.
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