Wayne Root: Golden State Looks Unstoppable
One of the great things about living in Las Vegas is that all West Coast basketball happens in "prime time" on our local TVs whether it's in our living rooms or on the walls at our favorite sportsbook. The mainstream media has an East Coast bias (whether it's sports or politics!). Too many prominent writers and announcers don't have a full appreciation for all the stuff that happens after they go to bed.
That's part of why it took the media so long to recognize what was happening with the Golden State Warriors when they started revolutionizing the NBA a few seasons ago. And, it's a big part of why it took so long to appreciate how good this team is right now.
Golden State isn't just the best team in pro hoops (which they have been for the past three seasons when healthy). They're so great that they can crush a talented young team like Portland in four straight games even with Kevin Durant missing two games, and head coach Steve Kerr taking some time off to deal with his surgically repaired back.
Even an "assistant" coach can lead this team to dominating victories with shorthanded lineups! Heaven forbid everything lines up at one time with everybody healthy, sharp, and hitting on all cylinders.
I mentioned at the beginning of the playoffs that it's worth looking for betting value across the full brackets even if you've already decided that Golden State is going to win the trophy. There's still a chance that this juggernaut provides value all by themselves because the betting markets just won't accept how good they are. This is a team you can lay points with in the right situations.
*Golden State either went 3-1 ATS or 2-1-1 ATS against Portland in the first round depending on when you bet the Game Three line. And, they did that while shorthanded and realizing the importance of pacing themselves.
*When it was time to put their foot on the accelerator, they found a height that possibly no team ever in history could reach. To finish off their series sweep, they jumped to leads of 14-0, 22-3, and 35-9 in the first quarter in Portland Monday night. Michael Jordan's Bulls were always great...but they would methodically bury you rather than launching like a rocket off your head. You have to go back to Magic Johnson's Lakers to see this kind of explosiveness. And, those were in high scoring games that featured less defense.
*Golden State is a "complete" team rather than one that just jams its strength down your throat. They defend with a passion when defense is needed to get blocked shots and steals. They know the importance of rebounding. They patiently work the ball around for good looks whether it's near the rim or behind the arc. Opponents can't stop ALL of that! Well, unless somebody on the Warriors gets hurt and the opponent has LeBron James.
In terms of intensity, Golden State is like Magic Johnson's Lakers offense AND Michael Jordan's Bulls defense.
You longtime readers know that WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS. I'm just not seeing that on the horizon for the Warriors unless they lose at least TWO key starters to major injuries.
*Golden State gets the winner of Utah/LA Clippers...which looks to be one-sided either way now that Blake Griffin is out for the playoffs with an injury. Utah can temporarily frustrate the Warriors for spurts. They're not going to win four games from them. The Clippers may get into a bunch of fistfights with the least composed Warriors. Four wins? No way.
*The ultimate survivor from the other half of the Western draw (projected to be either San Antonio or Houston) will have had to survive a very tough series just to get to what will probably be a well-rested Warriors squad. Good luck with that. As great as Kawhi Leonard or James Harden will be, they can't beat GS by themselves.
*Maybe we'll see Warriors/Cavs in the Finals for the third straight summer. Unless Steph Curry gets hurt again, what chance does Cleveland have? Cleveland's defense is the worst it's been during their recent run. Golden State is playing with a chip on their shoulder. It's not like the Warriors are going to be flat from complacency. They're playing on a mission that won't end until they avenge last year's loss.
I'll obviously be scouting out underdogs in the other series...and whenever I think Golden State is priced too high in a game they may not be prioritizing. But, this isn't the year to call for a surprise winner. Smart bettors have to pick their spots.
I'm a smart bettor! I'm the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas. I'll make sure my clients are on the smartest picks each and every night and we'll let the record take care of itself.
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You know what the Golden State Warriors are? They're the WAYNE ROOT of the NBA! I revolutionized the industry and continue to lead it to new heights. It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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