Oddsmaker Says Steph Curry's Warriors 12.5-Point Favorites over Shaq's Lakers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Jonas Jerebko #21, Draymond Green #23, and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors congratulate one another after the Warriors made a basket against the Toronto Raptors at ORACLE Arena on December 12, 2018 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are far and away the most dominant NBA team of their era, and at least one Las Vegas bookmaker has them heavy favorites against a legendary squad from years past.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook's Jeff Sherman told Nick Friedell of ESPN.com the Warriors, led by star Stephen Curry, would be 12.5-point favorites over the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers from 2001.

On Wednesday, O'Neal expressed confidence in a hypothetical matchup with the Warriors, per USA Today's Scott Gleeson: "I think we'd easily win. Other people might feel different, they (the Warriors) might feel different. But we had one of the best teams of all-time in 2001 when we went 15-1 in the playoffs. We would've gone 16-0 but A.I. (Hall of famer Allen Iverson) went off on us and stepped over (former Laker) Ty Lue."

The 2000-01 Lakers won a solid but unspectacular 56 games during the regular season, with O'Neal and Bryant combining to miss 22 games. As Shaq noted, however, L.A. hit its stride in the postseason, losing only once en route to the second of three straight titles.

That team had one Hall of Famer (O'Neal) and another destined for Springfield, Massachusetts (Bryant), while boasting one of the greatest coaches in basketball history (Phil Jackson). Still, the Lakers would have their hands full with the Warriors, regardless of what Shaq might think.

The Warriors have three and potentially four future Hall of Famers among the quartet of Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Assuming Bryant would match up with Thompson, imagine Rick Fox trying to guard Durant or Derek Fisher attempting to slow down Stephen Curry.

Granted, Golden State wouldn't have anybody to counteract O'Neal inside, but Shaq might find life difficult against an opponent that plays at a much quicker tempo and constantly runs him around the floor on defense.

Although a 12.5-point spread between the present-day Warriors and 2000-01 Lakers might at first sound a bit favorable to Golden State, the Warriors more than warrant such a strong endorsement.

Related

    Ranking Bosh's Best Heat Moments 🔥

    As Miami retires his jersey, we look back at some of Bosh's greatest hits

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Ranking Bosh's Best Heat Moments 🔥

    As Miami retires his jersey, we look back at some of Bosh's greatest hits

    Dan Favale
    via Bleacher Report

    Nurkic Out for Season After Gruesome Injury

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Nurkic Out for Season After Gruesome Injury

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Blazers Clinch Playoff Berth 💪

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Blazers Clinch Playoff Berth 💪

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    Jazz Ruin Booker's 59-Pt Night

    Utah beats Phoenix 125-92 despite Devin Booker's 59 pts (19-34 FG) and 5 threes

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Jazz Ruin Booker's 59-Pt Night

    Utah beats Phoenix 125-92 despite Devin Booker's 59 pts (19-34 FG) and 5 threes

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report