The Golden State Warriors suffered a shocking defeat on Sunday. Steph Curry and all were in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers, the worst team in the Western Conference. By all accounts nothing but a win was expected for the Warriors, however, the Lakers posted a huge spread, winning the game by seventeen 112-95.
The loss brings Golden State’s total to six on the year. While they are still runaway leaders in the Pacific Division, it’s a different matter in the conference overall. San Antonio have won eight straight, and they are just three games back of the Warriors with most clubs having about 20 games to go in their regular seasons.
Steph Curry, who is considered a lock for the MVP Award, had just 18 points in the loss. It will take a lot more off-par games before people start to wonder if he should win the MVP Award, but one player who should probably get more attention than he has is Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers.
Lillard had 26 points in a loss at the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. The scoring total was actually a little below his norm of late. For instance, Lillard had 50 against the Toronto Raptors on Friday in another losing effort.
The Trailblazers still aren’t posting wins on a regular enough basis to be considered a contender. Even with OKC dropping some games of late, the division that the two teams share is largely decided. However, Lillard and CJ McCollum could make Portland a dangerous low seed if they can hang on to playoff positioning.
In the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Hornets could be a dangerous low seed as well. However, unlike Portland, Charlotte are a team very much on the rise. They are one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference as they have won eight of their last ten. Kemba Walker has been a big part of Charlotte’s surge of late as he has been one of the most effective players in the Eastern Conference in 2016.
Toronto and Cleveland have comfortable leads for the top two spots in the East, but the three seed is up for grabs with Charlotte one of the teams in the mix at the moment. The Hornets will play on Monday as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a stretch of home games (7 pm ET).
Golden State are also back in action as they will return home to host Orlando, a game that ‘should’ be a win (10:30 pm ET). The Trailblazers will return home on Tuesday as they host Washington at 10 pm ET. Later this week, on Thursday, the Lakers will host Cleveland in a final meeting between Lebron James and the soon-to-be retired Kobe Bryant (10:30 pm ET, TNT).