The odds on the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA Championship are the longest they have been all season after they lost in Toronto this week.
<div><p>The Dubs are bidding to be crowned champions for the third year in a row and they were priced at 4/6 (-150) pre-season to pull it off. By December the odds on them had gone in to 13/20 (-154) and after the trade deadline they were priced at just 2/5 (-250) to win the NBA Championship. They breezed through to the NBA Finals for the fifth year running, despite missing the injured Kevin Durant, and they were heavy favourites to vanquish the Raptors. Yet they lost 118-109 at the Scotiabank Arena in Game 1 and they have now drifted out to 4/5 (1.80) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" target="_blank" title="Betway">Betway</a>.</p><p>That looks like a very enticing price. It is easy to see why the odds on them have drifted. They lost both meetings with the Raps in the regular season and they missed Durant badly in Game 1. Toronto got the better of Golden State in the 2-point battle and the 3-point battle, and the Raptors were superior when it came to turnovers and transitions. Toronto’s pick-and-roll defence was smart, physical and aggressive and the Dubs did not have the answers.</p><h2>Shaking Off the Rust</h2><p>“I think that the biggest thing coming in is we really didn’t feel like we knew this team very well,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr after the defeat. They do now. It is hard to image the Warriors being so accommodating in future. The Raptors star player, Kawhi Leonard, struggled during Game 1 and tendonitis in his bad knee could become a problem. The Raps were ultimately reliant on Pascal Siakim, who had a Finals debut for the ages. But he is unlikely to be so effective in the rest of the series.</p><p>The Warriors looked rusty in Game 1, following a nine-day break, and they could be accused of taking the threat posed by the Raptors too lightly. They should approach the rest of the series with renewed energy, focus and intensity. Kerr will realise that picking Jordan Bell was a mistake. Durant will return at some stage. “Now that we got a feel for it, we know how to adjust,” said Draymond Green. “We know how important that it is, and it’s on us to then make the effort.”</p><p>Klay Thompson promised that the Dubs would respond “like the champions we are”. Once this Warriors team gets rolling, they can wipe the floor with anybody. Their movement, rhythm and passing is impossible to live with. They will engage better on defence and they still boast the formidable offensive talents of the Splash Brothers. They can also tap into a vast bank of experience. They know how to get the job done in the NBA Finals and that makes odds of 4/5 on them winning this series look extremely compelling.</p></div>