The NBA is no stranger to dynasties. The Boston Celtics in the 1960s, the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s and early 2000s, and the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s have all made the NBA their kingdom, stringing together multiple championships and engraving their name on the history of the sport.
But the latest franchise to dominate the league is arguably the most impressive yet. Under the guidance of Steve Kerr, who was himself a key part of that great Chicago Bulls side, the Golden State Warriors have graced the NBA with some spectacular basketball in the last few seasons.
In 2015, 2016 and 2018, they reigned supreme, and their one slip came in 2017, at the hands of one of the game’s greatest ever players, Lebron James, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This season, once again, fans of the NBA tuning in to watch on Sky have the chance to see Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson claim the NBA title.
Golden State have, once again, defeated the Houston Rockets, and now only Portland Trailblazers stand between them and the NBA finals. The betting markets suggest that neither Portland nor whichever contender emerges from the Eastern Conference final, will be able to prevent Golden State from earning a fourth NBA Championship in five years. The Warriors are as low as 4/7 with some bookmakers, while their likeliest Finals opponents, the Milwaukee Bucks, are 11/4.
Portland will be no pushovers. They came through a tough series against the Denver Nuggets and have plenty of experience to call upon. But Golden State know all about them, and even though they will be without Kevin Durant for the series opener, they have the depth to brush aside their Western Conference opponents. In fact, Durant’s injury, sustained in Game Five against Houston underlined how formidable an organisation they are. In his absence, the Warriors bench players stepped up and gave regular starters Thompson, Curry and Green the platform to secure a 4-2 series win.
What about the Eastern Conference? Milwaukee, powered by the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors would both be strong opponents, with the depth and grit to push the Warriors deep into the series.
But that squad depth that Golden State called upon against Houston complements another key aspect of their dominance: their determination. In many ways, this has been a less than ideal season for Golden State, plagued with speculation about the future of Durant and Green, which in turn underlined a messy public spat between the two, and complicated by the injury problems of DeMarcus Cousins. And yet, they have come through all of it, to once again win the Western Conference and once again progress to the Western Finals, setting records along the way.
The biggest challenge for Golden State may come next year, when, as seems inevitable, Kevin Durant moves away. But given the resilience they have shown this season, it would be a brave person to write them off next year, and punters looking for the best odds on Bigbetbookmakers ahead of the 2019-20 season will bet against them at their peril.