It’s more than a one-horse race in the West.
The Golden State Warriors’ 12-game win streak came to end yesterday but they still stand atop the league standings... however, don’t let their 16-3 record fool you.
Their 132-127 double overtime loss to the Houston Rockets yesterday is a timely reminder the Warriors are far from certainties to win it all.
Now, there is no doubting Golden State’s remarkable ability to find the basket. It’s like watching an All-Star game at times. They lead the league in scoring with 118.1 points per game (8 points more than the Portland Trail Blazers), and are averaging a league high 31.1 assists per game with a 49.6 field-goal percentage... but there are glaring holes in their 21st-ranked defence conceding 106.3 points per game, with a defensive rating of 101.7 which is ranked eighth in the league.
While there’s still plenty of time to fine tune their defensive woes before the playoffs, the Warriors are playing a dangerous game with the third-placed Los Angeles Clippers hot on their heels, particularly after a massive 113-94 statement win over the reigning NBA champs in Cleveland yesterday.
It may be a final roll of the dice for the 15-5 Clippers and it is clear they are hell bent on making one last major run at the title after recent years of stumbles. Coach Doc Rivers made sure he relayed his message of urgency after his dramatic ejection in the Clippers third-straight loss in Brooklyn earlier this week.
And then there are those silent killers, the San Antonio Spurs, who are casually humming along under the radar in second place with an impressive 15-4 record.
It's going to make for a fascinating three-way race in the West.
Written by Joel Moss