Steph Curry and three other members of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors are currently in Las Vegas attending a three-day minicamp for USA Basketball in anticipation of the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio. Vegas also happens to the epicenter of sports betting, a hub for the odds-makers who project the outcomes of things like next year’s NBA Finals.
And much to his amusement, Curry and his Dubs are not, in fact, the odds-on favorites to repeat as champs next spring, according to the sports gambling entity Bovada.lv. That distinction apparently belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers, aka the team the Warriors bested in the Finals back in June. Here’s what a nonplussed Curry had to say about that in a recent interview with Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
“We obviously are the champs, and you’ve got to think that we’re gonna be a better team next year with our experiences that we’ve had, and we’re not the favorites,” Curry said. “Obviously there’s been a lot of noise, teams retooling and trying to boost their lineups. You have teams that haven’t set foot on the floor yet and are heavily favored to kick us off our throne.”
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the fact that the Cavs weren’t at full strength during the Finals, and the odds-makers obviously took that into serious consideration when they made Cleveland the 11-4 favorites to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2016. Meanwhile, it should be noted that Golden State is in a dead heat with San Antonio for second with 9-2 odds.
It was the Spurs who arguably made the biggest splash in free agency when they not only landed LaMarcus Aldridge, but somehow also signed David West to a bargain-basement contract, almost as an afterthought. The Warriors, on the other hand, essentially dug their heels in and made retaining Draymond Green their number one priority, while simultaneously shedding a bit of dead weight by shipping the infrequently-used David Lee to bean town.
Still, it’s hard not to imagine just how things might have been different had the Cavs had a functional Kyrie Iriving and a healthy Kevin Love. Despite the outcome, the series was both a slug fest and a chess match at various points. If everything goes as planned for the two teams in the coming season, we might get treated to a Finals rematch and find out whether those odds are correct.
(via CBS Sports)