The Golden State Warriors suffered their heaviest home defeat in 12 years when they went down 126-91 to the Dallas Mavericks at the weekend.
<p>Steph Curry was rested for the game, but Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins spent plenty of time on court. They bounced back with a 121-114 win over the Detroit Pistons last night, but their position at the top of the Western Conference table is now in jeopardy. The Denver Nuggets have won seven in a row and they can move level with the Dubs on 50-23 if they win their game in hand, while the 47-27 Houston Rockets are not far off either.</p><p>The Warriors have lost four games this month, but they remain clear favourites to win the NBA Championship for a third year running. They are priced at 5/11 (1.45) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> to pull it off, but is it worth opposing them after their recent downturn in form? That would be risky, because the Dubs often drop games throughout the regular season while resting key player. They always seem to turn it on when the playoffs begin and they have been invincible for the past two years, ever since they signed Durant.</p><h2>No Curry, no Championship?</h2><p>However, it does illustrate how reliant they are on Curry. He spreads the floor, giving Durant and co space in which to operate, and he is a huge miss whenever he is absent. He returned to the team the following night and inspired Golden State to that victory over Detroit, scoring five three-pointers in a game-high 26 point haul. Durant has been the Finals MVP for the past two years, but Curry could be more vital to this team and if he suffers an injury during the playoffs it might be worth fading the Warriors.</p><p>Right now the Milwaukee Bucks lead the Eastern Conference and they are 9/1 (10.0) second favourites with Bet365 to win the NBA Championship. Next up are the Raptors at 19/2 (10.5) and the 76ers at 11/1 (12.0), and only then do you come to another team from the west, the 14/1 (15.0) Houston Rockets. The in-form Nuggets are still as long as 30/1 with bookmakers like 888 Sport and Unibet.</p>