The Cleveland Cavaliers were so close they could taste it in game one, but they grew complacent down the stretch in regulation and completely fell apart in overtime. In the blink of an eye, a Cavs team that gave the Golden State Warriors all it could handle blew their best chance to taking over the 2015 NBA Finals. Add Kyrie Irving’s season-ending kneecap fracture to the mix and this Cavs squad just might be sunk.
Of course, the Warriors need to win three more games before that’s truly the case and if LeBron James has some more of those 44-point efforts left up his sleeve, the Cavaliers at least have a chance. Let’s break tonight’s game two down and see which side you should be leaning on when it comes to NBA betting:
Cleveland Cavaliers (2) @ Golden State Warriors (1) on ABC at 8:00 pm ET
With Kyrie Irving out for the remainder of the Finals, a huge amount of pressure goes on LeBron James to find a way to win this series almost completely by himself. He’s now down both Irving and Kevin Love and something called a Matthew Dellavedova is slated to start at the point. Ideally the Cavs just start either Iman Shumpert or James there, though. That would allow James to score and make plays at will, while Shumpert is a passable point guard who can shoot and create. He can also defend extremely well. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, neither is likely to be the route David Blatt goes, so what Dellavedova can do offensively (and on Stephen Curry defensively) could truly dictate the way the rest of this series goes. In other words, on the surface, it’s not looking good.
We saw what the Cavs look like when James scores a ton. They almost beat the Warriors, but then they didn’t. Golden State seems completely content letting James try to do everything himself – provided he also doesn’t dish out 10+ dimes and get everyone else involved. If that continues to happen – as it probably should – the Warriors will have the Cavs right where they want them. They already do with a 1-0 series lead, and here they are in game two at the Oracle Arena, where they’ve lost a total of three times all year. That really can’t be said enough, can it?
LeBron James is going to come into game two like a mad man and he should keep things interesting, but Cleveland will need a miracle to keep it tight late and actually win the game. The oddsmakers agree that it won’t be easy for the Cavs, who come in as +7.5 underdogs. That being said, Golden State pushed the pace and both teams can score, so the 199.5 Total is worth chasing. I’ll take the Cavs against the spread just because James is insane and I still like Golden State at home, straight up.
Pick: Warriors 107, Cavs 101