Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers (-2.5, 207.5 o/u)
The Golden State Warriors (15-7 SU, 14-8 ATS) are nearly unbeatable at home. Nearly. With Draymond Green on the sideline, the Warriors failed in their bid to clinch a second straight NBA title on Monday, dropping Game 5 (112-97) to the Cleveland Cavaliers (14-5 SU, 10-9 ATS) and seeing their series lead trimmed to 3-2. The series now shifts back to Ohio for a pivotal Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday (9:00 PM Eastern).
Green’s absence was felt most on the defensive end. The versatile defender had been one of Golden State’s main weapons in slowing LeBron James; the King went off for 41 points and 16 rebounds with Green barred from the building.
Kyrie Irving also had a huge game for Cleveland, scoring 41 points of his own, shooting 17 of 24 from the floor, and 5 of 7 from three.
As a team, the Cavs scored 61 points in the first half and shot 53-percent for the game.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both had solid nights for Golden State on offense. Thompson had 37 points on 11 of 20 shooting, while Curry was 8 of 21 from the floor for 25 points and seven dimes. But the team, as a whole, shot just 36.4-percent on the night; Harrison Barnes was particularly off, going 2 of 14.
The Warriors got more bad news on the personnel front when center Andrew Bogut when down with a knee injury early in the second half. The big man isn’t expected to be in the lineup for Game 6.
It’s obvious that the Warriors missed Green, they still could have come out on top if they’d shot better. One thing this team has proven time and again is that they rarely play two off games in a row. I fully expect their shooting-percentage to vault back up in Game 6; and with Green back on the floor, they should look a lot more like the record-setting team we saw in the regular season. I expect Curry and company to capture their second straight NBA title on the road in Game 6, just like last year. I’ll certainly take them with a 2.5-point cushion.
Pick: Golden State (+2.5).
(Photo Credit: Erik Drost (Kyrie Irving) CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)