The Golden State Warriors have run into little trouble during their title defense thus far in the 2015-16 NBA season, losing just four games and leading the NBA with the best overall record. As amazing as they’ve been, all four of their losses have come on the road, where they appear to be their most vulnerable. That could be good news for John Wall and the Washington Wizards, who host the defending champs in D.C. on Wednesday night.
The history between the Wizards and Warriors is solid, with 186 regular season meetings and one clash in the playoffs back in the 1975 NBA Finals. Golden State has dominated the regular season series with a 105-81 record, and also won both of the meetings last season. The Wiz did steal a win two years ago, but Golden State has been on quite the run in this series, winning eight of the last nine contests. During that stretch, the games have produced a good amount of offense, with both teams scoring 100+ points in four of the game and at least one of the teams topping 100 points in eight of the games.
Warriors Preview (-11)
Not much new can be said about the Warriors, who began the season on a record 25-0 run and have still lost just four games all year. They boast the best shooter/scorer in the game in Stephen Curry, and when he doesn’t feel like piling on the points, sharpshooter Klay Thompson (30+ points in his last three games) gladly takes over. The Splash Brothers are alive and well, helping the Warriors lead the league in points per game (115!), while still helping the likes of Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut put the clamps down as a sound defensive unit. With Harrison Barnes back and healthy, Golden State is as good right now as they’ve been all year.
Wizards Preview (+11)
Washington has been in decline this season, as they went from a team seemingly making progress in the playoffs the past two years to one (at just 21-25) struggling to keep their heads above water. Superstar point guard John Wall has been their saving grace, but the Wiz haven’t been able to consistently withstand key injuries to guys like Brad Beal, Otto Porter and Nene Hilario. All three are healthy and back in the lineup now, but a certain feel of continuity is still lacking in the nation’s capital. One would think this clash with the Warriors would benefit the Wiz due to their up-tempo brand of offense, but it’s Washington’s defense (105 points allowed per game) that could be the death of them in this showdown. The Wiz have the goods on offense to run with even the best team in the league, but a 10-15 mark on their own floor still makes an upset – even at home – as quite the tall order.
The line is tricky in this one, as the Warriors are extremely dominant offensively, but the way they run up the score tends to impact their defense at times. Because of that, games that aren’t really that close can end up looking closer when it’s all said and done, or lesser opponents can heat up just to try to keep up with them and eventually its just a shootout.
All of that being said, Golden State has been pretty darn reliable against the spread, going 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 road games. Washington hasn’t been reliable at all, going 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.
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