The NBA season is just over halfway through, and, while the Warriors mostly killed the buzz last night by beating the Cavs again and showing the playoffs are probably set in stone short of an injury, there’s still money to be made in the betting and DFS markets. To have an edge, however, it’s important to make sure you’re up on each team’s motivation moving forward. Some teams are already looking ahead to the 2018 NBA Draft, some will need to fight until the last day for playoff positioning, and some are only concerned about resting up for a run. Let’s run through each team.
Note: Projected records and probabilities courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.
The Sure Things
Golden State Warriors (36-9)
Projected Record (Rank) and Playoff Probability: 65-17 (1), Greater Than 99%
2018 NBA Draft Picks: Have their own first-round pick
The Warriors lead the league with a +10.7 net rating, and their starting lineup has a massive +18.6 net rating in 260 minutes this season. They’re in the middle of a dynasty, although they have shown a (tiny) chink in their armor, as they’ve been much worse offensively with Stephen Curry off the floor. Per nbawowy, the Warriors have scored at a rate of 125.1 points per 100 possessions when Steph plays — 10 points/100 better than the best offense in NBA history. With him off, that has dipped to 109.2. They can still win the title without him, but their room for error is much smaller. Their main goal for the rest of the regular season should be keeping him healthy.