After their 16-game winning streak was ended by Memphis, what kind of response will we see from the Golden State Warriors tonight?
Equally of interest, what type of adversary will the Oklahoma City Thunder prove on their visit to the Bay?
If the Warriors are sitting proudly on top of the Western Conference, then OKC are playing catch-up fast – after seven successive victories that have taken them to the brink of earning a .500 record for the first time this term.
The Thunder are certainly much better than their 12-13 mark suggests and although Kevin Durant is averaging a mere 21.5 points during his seven games to date, the 2013 NBA Finalists have maintain the fortitude of their defence which is now the league’s stingiest.
Giving up 93.9 points over the campaign to date, that number has dropped to 93.1 since the reigning MVP returned.
Yet their ascent has been flattered by the strength of opposition – with only Cleveland currently possessing a winning mark amid the teams beaten off.
After the Warriors, who are 1.68 for the win, Oklahoma City gets Portland, San Antonio and Dallas before the year’s end. By that point, we should know if their current title odds of 11.00 are way off mark.
Golden State doesn’t have much to prove at this juncture, other than that their performance against the Grizzlies was a blip. It was, after all, only the seventh time in 24 games to date they had been held under 100, and a rare cold shooting night for Stephen Curry who scored 19, 3.4 below his seasonal clip.
But the Thunder are rolling nicely. And if they can keep their would-rivals below the century mark, there’s a very good chance their own streak will stay alive.
Best bet: Take Oklahoma City on a handicap of -2.5 against Golden State at 2.55