A knee injury to star point guard Stephen Curry and a singular first-round loss haven’t dampened oddmakers championship expectations for the Golden State Warriors.
As Curry has begun shooting again in anticipation of a potential return to action in Game 3 of the Warriors' second-round playoff matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, Las Vegas prognosticators at Bovada.lv have increased Golden State’s chances of returning to and winning the 2016 NBA Finals from +150 a week ago to now -140.
Knotted 1-1 in their second-round dance with Oklahoma City, the San Antonio Spurs still stand as Golden State’s biggest threat for the title at +300. However, the Spurs did slide from +180 a week ago.
The Cleveland Cavaliers remain the top contender in the East and Golden State’s likely partner in the finals at +325, which holds steady from last week after they swept the Detroit Pistons in the first-round and took a 1-0 series lead over Atlanta on Tuesday.
Curry, the presumed back-to-back MVP and NBA leading scorer, sprained his right MCL in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets in the first round and hasn’t returned to the court since. However, it’s widely been presumed the Warriors and head coach Steve Kerr were only exercising caution with Curry.
According to ESPN, Curry could resume running on the court as early as Thursday or Friday in hopes of returning on Saturday when the Blazers host the Warriors.
"To me they're pretty good, so I'll do anything I can this week to make that happen," Curry said.
And even with Curry on the mend, the Warriors have handled Portland more than adequately behind guard Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green. Golden State’s sewed up two double-digit victories and their defense has completely disrupted Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, the two biggest cogs of the Blazers offense.
The Thunder, despite evening the series with San Antonio after a disastrous 32-point Game 1 loss, saw their chances slip from +900 to +1400.
Odds To Win 2016 NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors -140
San Antonio Spurs +300
Cleveland Cavaliers +325
Oklahoma City Thunder +1400
Miami Heat +3300
Toronto Raptors +7500
Atlanta Hawks +10000
Portland Trail Blazers+25000