I would love to congratulate the Cavaliers on a gutsy Game 2 victory, but as someone who thought that Cleveland was dead and buried this series, I’m sure Lebron James would rather I just shut up. “King” James silenced all of the Cavs critics, topping a great Game 1 performance with a massive triple-double (39 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists) which led the team to 95-93 OT win.
Now Cleveland has stolen home court as the series shifts to Quicken Loans Arena tonight (9:00 PM Eastern), and the Warriors, who entered the finals as runaway favorites, will be feeling the pressure to respond.
Golden State will need its biggest star to bounce back in Lebronian fashion; NBA MVP Steph Curry had a miserable night shooting on Sunday, going a dismal 5-23 from the field including 2-15 from beyond the arc. Much credit has been given to the defense of Matthew Dellavedova; while Dellavedova did show nice hustle, one game does not a trend make. We’re going to confidently guess Curry should bounce back nicely tonight and help running mate Klay Thompson, who dropped 34 points in Game 2.
If the Cavs are going to keep winning, it will have to be with their defense. Only two other Cleveland scorers hit double-digits in Game 2, Timofey Mozgov and J.R. Smith, and the Cavs won’t be winning any races to 100. But Cleveland has done a good job hitting the offensive glass and limiting the high-flying Warriors to 31 fast-break points over the first two games. (The Warriors averaged 24 per game at home during the regular season.)
The one worry about this inspired Cavaliers effort is the amount of minutes everyone is being asked to play. Lebron went over 50 in Game 2, while Dellavedova played over 42. The Cavs are not a deep team at the best of times, and the longer these games keep going, the more their production could slip. Granted, not every game can go to overtime (though that would be awesome).
With the Warriors only a two-point favorite, this game is basically a pick em’. So while I have been thoroughly impressed with the Cavs efforts, I have to keep going with my brain here. And since we probably won’t get OT tonight, take the under.
Picks: Warriors (-2); under (195).
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Stephen Curry) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)