TSN Edge: The Warriors Are Back!
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are back atop the NBA pyramid.
They might just be the team to beat in the association. I certainly wouldn’t bet against them right now.
Golden State is a league-best 15-2 heading into tonight’s game with the Philadelphia 76ers.
It might not seem that way after a chaotic couple of years, but it really wasn’t that long ago that Curry was a perennial MVP contender, and the Warriors were a perennial championship contender.
No one is going to anoint them 17 games into the regular season, but Curry has performed at an MVP level, Draymond Green is in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, Jordan Poole is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, and Klay Thompson could be back sooner than expected.
It’s easy to forget about how special this team was as recently as a couple of years ago.
Fortunately for everyone holding a Warriors’ futures ticket, they keep reminding us just how good they can be.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.
Curry emerges as NBA MVP frontrunner
On the opening night of the season, Curry was +800 to win NBA regular-season MVP.
Fast forward one month later, Curry is now the consensus favourite to win that award at +200.
While his scoring average is slightly lower than his 2015-16 unanimous MVP campaign, Curry has averaged more three-pointers and rebounds with an almost identical assists per game.
Thursday was Stephen Curry's 3rd career 40-point game with 1 or no free throw attempts, passing his Splash Brother, Klay Thompson for the most in NBA history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 19, 2021
They're the only 2 players in NBA history with multiple such games.
Two of Curry's games have come this November. pic.twitter.com/ZAJZ3DXnPp
In 2015-16, Curry averaged 30.1 points, 5.1 made three-point field goals, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Through 17 games this season, Curry has averaged 28.4 points, 5.4 made three-point field goals, 6.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds.
As he closes in on Ray Allen’s all-time record for three-point shots made with nearly identical numbers to his unanimous MVP campaign while guiding Golden State to the top of the NBA standings, there’s no doubt that Curry is the deserved MVP frontrunner.
The Warriors opened the season at +1200 to win the title. As of this morning, that number is down to +650.
Kevin Durant has never won a title without Steph Curry— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) November 17, 2021
James Harden has never been to the NBA Finals because of Steph Curry
LeBron James is 1-3 in the NBA Finals against Steph Curry
While they are still the second choice to win the NBA championship behind the Brooklyn Nets (+260), Golden State has leapfrogged the Los Angeles Lakers as the favourite to win the Western Conference.
The Warriors are currently +320 to win the West, versus the Lakers at +440.
Does Klay Thompson think the Warriors can win the title: "Oh, yeah. We're 15-2. It's a great indicator. Our defense is top 3 in the league along with our offense. And I'm not even out there yet. Think about that. Really think about that."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 23, 2021
Full soundbite pic.twitter.com/S4t3qf0v16
For as impressive as Curry has been early on, perhaps the biggest difference with this year’s team is the fact that they’ve been able to win even when he hasn’t been at his best.
Golden State is 5-0 this season when Curry is held to 20 points or fewer. Last season, the Warriors went 3-7 when Curry was held to 20 points or fewer.
Golden State currently leads the association in Defensive Rating, and opponents are shooting just 42.2 per cent from the field against them.
The fact that they have been so good at both ends of the floor is a big reason why they have exceeded expectations over the first few weeks.
In addition to a 15-2 SU record, the Warriors are an impressive 12-4-1 against the spread.
As of this morning, Golden State is listed as a 10.5-point favourite for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Maybe it is too soon to anoint them the NBA’s best, but with the team performing at such a high level at both ends of the floor and Thompson’s return right around the corner, I’m certainly not betting against the Warriors.
Cincinnati enters College Football Playoff top four
The College Football Playoff committee released its four set of rankings on Tuesday night.
After spending the past three weeks on the outside looking in, the Cincinnati Bearcats became the first team from the Group of 5 to make the committee’s top four.
Coming off a big win over SMU on Saturday, Cincinnati joined Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama in the top four, with the Buckeyes leapfrogging the Crimson Tide at No. 2 behind the Bulldogs.
While the Bearcats aren’t a lock to make the playoffs by any means, it’s worth pointing out that 22 of the 28 previous playoff participants were ranked in the committee’s top four at this point in the season.
As for the odds to win the FBS Championship, oddsmakers still consider it a three-team battle.
Georgia remains the consensus title favourite at -125, followed by Ohio State at +300 and Alabama at +400.
As of this morning, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State are both +4000 to win it all this season.
NHL favourites sweep light Tuesday slate
NHL favourites went 3-0 on Tuesday night, although the game between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers was a pick’em at some spots.
The Stars (-120) beat the Oilers 4-1 to improve to 5-2-1 at home this season.
The Calgary Flames (-220) beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 for their fourth win in a row.
2021-22 @NHLFlames rankings in franchise history for the first 20 games of a season (following their 5-2 defeat of the Blackhawks tonight):— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) November 24, 2021
Goals against- 28 (1st)
Regulation losses- 3 (2nd only to 2 in 2001-02)
Goal differential- +30 (3rd only to +37 in 1988-89 & +31 in 1978-79) pic.twitter.com/bedzQu8FDV
Vezina Trophy favourite Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning (-175) blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside all 34 shots he faced as the @TBLightning extended their win streak against the Flyers to nine games dating to Jan. 25, 2018, their longest active such run against one opponent.#NHLStats: https://t.co/7UJ0gNmzl0 pic.twitter.com/sPAcr952sY— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 24, 2021
With no games scheduled for American Thanksgiving Thursday, we have a monster slate of 14 games for Wednesday night.