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Can Golden State Seize Back Momentum In Game 3?

Posted by on 6/9/2015 9:28:27 AM

This is the NBA Finals that everyone wanted, and now we’re seeing why. With a pair of thrilling heartbreakers in the bag, the series heads back to Cleveland and the NBA playoff betting lines are still favoring the Warriors. And for good reason.

Game 2 was a myriad of errors amidst a flood of intense action. Cleveland blew a pair of massive leads and barely squeaked out of overtime with a win. You can credit Cleveland’s defence all you want, but that was also an abhorrent night for the Splash Brothers.

Yes, even with Klay Thompson dropping a team-high 34 points he was virtually absent in the fourth quarter with just nine points in the final leg. People don’t discuss it a lot but that’s a habit of Klay; erupting in moments and vanishing in others. It’s what he does.

But you don’t toss yourself at NBA playoff betting lines because of Klay Thompson. The silver lining in Game 2 is that the Warriors suffered a two-point loss with Curry having the worst game of his entire season. Curry wen 5-of-23 from the field and 2-of-15 from long range, breaking a record for the most misses from beyond the arc in NBA Finals history.

Why did I call that a silver lining? Because Curry won’t have another game like that during the NBA Finals. He seemed insulted by the post-game press conference questions that seemed to credit Matthew Dellavedova with “shutting him down”. Banking on the idea that Curry won’t show up for Game 3 is almost idiotic. He’ll be back in his MVP form in no time.

Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Tuesday, June 9th --- Quicken Loan Arena --- 9pm EST Game 3 NBA Playoff Betting Line: Golden State -1 (194)

The Cavaliers’ defence has thrust itself to the forefront after a stingy performance in these finals. They held Golden State to just 39.8% shooting from the field and 22.9% from range. A lot of that, however, was simply because Curry was relentlessly heaving shots despite an unusual off-night for him. He still go the shots he wanted, he just couldn’t buy a damn bucket. These things happen.

What’s being underscored is how well Golden State’s own defence played in that game. One of the main reasons the Warriors are heading in to Game 3 as tight road favorites is because they eviscerated Cleveland’s field goal percentage, giving them a mark of just 32.2%. Even if Curry is way off rhythm, the defence is strong enough to do its job justly.

There’s no doubt that Cleveland’s defence has stepped up, but they’re getting far too much credit for taking something away from Golden State. The Warriors are a shooting team, and they simply didn’t have a good night on the court, which brings me back to the most important part about that game. Even with Golden State playing abysmally compared to their standard, they only lost by two-points in a game where Cleveland threw everything they had at them.

Heading in to a hostile Quicken Loan Arena where the Cavaliers have gone 6-1 SU and 3-4 in these playoffs, it’s hard to believe that the Warriors aren’t going to have an answer for what the Cavaliers showed them. To be frank, the Cavs have made a lot of tough shots in this series. However, as we saw with Harden and Houston, eventually those shots don’t go in. Everything that Cleveland is getting right now are the shots Golden state wants them to take. No team can stay lucky forever.

The NBA Finals are clearly Golden State’s to lose. They have routinely played solid defence, and even when they’re not performing well offensively, they still have enough to give their opponent an overtime game. There is consistency there for the Warriors, and it’s hard to believe that Cleveland’s sordid reliance on inconsistent three-point threats is going to hold up in the long run…or even in the immediate future.

Follow the oddsmakers’ lead on this NBA playoff betting line and back the Warriors despite a misleadingly ugly Game 2 performance.

Game 3 NBA Playoff Betting Pick: Golden State -1

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