Hours after going down 3-1 in the Western Conference finals with a 118-94 beating at the hands of the Thunder, the Golden State Warriors -- who have now lost consecutive games for the first time all season -- are favored by Vegas to win Thursday's Game 5 by 7.5 points. SportsLine projects a similar result as well. That sounds a little crazy, given that the defending champs have lost the last two games by a combined total of 52 points but they do have a stellar home record and feed off the energy of Oracle Arena.
For most of the series, the Thunder have looked like the more composed team. They have used their superior athleticism and length to overwhelm the Warriors, which doesn't generally happen. This line reflects a belief that it will not continue to happen.
Here's one person who surely would agree with Golden State being favored:
Marreese Speights has a point. The Warriors won more games in the regular season than any team in NBA history, and they're nothing if not resilient. Their two best scorers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, can explode at any time. Draymond Green, arguably a top-10 player, has had two uncharacteristically bad games in a row. In a must-win game, it would be silly to count Golden State out.
There is a counterargument to all of this, however: Oklahoma City is clearly the biggest threat the Warriors have ever faced, and it has shown no signs of slowing down.