It’s only been two games but it hasn’t been pretty for the Golden State Warriors without team leading scorer Kevin Durant.
The Warriors are 1-1 straight up and 0-2 against the spread since Durant sprained his knee, which will leave him out at least a month. But it’s not just the failure to cover that’s so concerning for Golden State – it’s the fact they look so ugly doing it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Warriors play worse than the slop we saw in their 94-87 loss to the Bulls Thursday night as 7.5-point favorites. Golden State had 15 turnovers and just 23 assists, a considerable drop from their league-leading 30.3 assists per game this season.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 3-for-23 from 3-point range in what was the team’s lowest scoring game of the season.
Move ahead to Sunday and you gotta wonder if the Knicks didn’t time a certain ‘promotion’ based on what they saw from Golden State against the Bulls. The Knicks opted to go with no in-game entertainment or music for the first half and the Warriors looked like the exact same team we saw against the Bulls.
Golden State trailed by one at the half despite being double digit underdogs and they were a mess once again. Curry even missed back-to-back free throws during one trip to the line.
The Knicks to covered as 10.5-point dogs in a 112-105 loss… So was it fixed?
“It was ridiculous. It changed the flow of the game. It changed everything,” said Draymond Green after the game. “You get used to playing a certain way. It completely changed it. To me, I think it was completely disrespectful to everyone from [NBA senior VP of entertainment and player marketing] Michael Levine to [Warriors president and COO] Rick Welts and all these people who’ve done these things to change the game from an entertainment perspective.”
Kinda smart of the Knicks if you ask me.
“Did you see that first half?” Green said. “It was just bad, sloppy, all over the place. There was no rhythm to the game. All this stuff makes a difference in a game, believe it or not. You get in a rhythm. … You turn on music, it just helps you get into a certain area, takes you to a certain place. I don’t think they were doing it to, like, throw us off, but it definitely threw the entire game off.”
That marks four straight games that have gone UNDER for Golden State to go along with six straight games in which they’ve failed to cover. And if I’m their opponents, I’m looking for ways to keep them out of sync. Even if that means turning off the music for a half.
Tonight they opened as 6.5-point road favorites against the Atlanta Hawks. The early money bet the Warriors down to 5.5.
You might want to be careful of this one, though. The Warriors found a bit of a groove in the second half as Steph Curry seemed to remember that he is the leader on this team. I wonder if they might have found something in that second half.