NBA teams have to wonder. The Golden State Warriors are not only on a winning streak, and winning by an average of more than 15 points per game, but for one recent victory the team was without Kevin Durant, and without Steph Curry for another. The pattern was the same: the opponent played their best for two quarters, the Warriors zapped past them for a big lead in the third quarter, and an entertaining combination of veterans and new players kept most of the margin through the fourth.
The only team in the NBA with a better record is the surprising Boston Celtics. Kyrie Irving looks like this year's Durant in terms of not only the team he left but the team he went to. That is, pretty damn smart. As Steve Kerr said, maybe this year but in any case pretty soon, Boston is going to be the top team in the East.
On Thursday the Warriors and Celtics meet for the first time this year, and it will be a fascinating test for both teams.
Another game to be played Thursday should also be a test that may suggest the rest of the season in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been winning, but all facets of their game haven't come together in a single contest. Thursday they play the Tenn Titans. It's a short week since they barely beat a much inferior Indianapolis team, and exposed their latest weaknesses, in the defensive secondary and in completing long passes on offense.
Unless the Steelers defense is utterly stifling, they may have to actually score multiple touchdowns in order to match the Titans. If Pittsburgh (or the Titans) expect to go deep into the playoffs this year, this game may tell the tale.
Update After the Games:
No question now that the Celtics are for real, as they squeezed out a dramatic 92-88 victory over the Warriors. Poor shooting (the lowest point total ever when the big four all play), stellar defense by Boston, an off night for Steph Curry after his game off for injury and some very friendly calls and no-calls for Boston in Boston, and that was the game. Most important to Boston was their ability to come back from 17 point deficits not once but twice with runs. They blocked shots that the Warriors aren't used to seeing. Too bad the game was technically won on a bad call. Promising for the Warriors: the Celtics have no answer for Kevin Durant.
Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Steelers began to answer doubts with an offensive explosion primarily through the air, as they topped 30 points for the first time this season with their 40-17 victory over the Titans. Antonio Brown was the star, and Big Ben was his most impressive. But despite that bundle of points, the Steelers still suffered from an uncertain offense at times. Though they exploited Titans weaknesses in their defensive secondary, whether the Steelers can play with the best teams is still to be tested. But they are in good position for the playoffs.
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