Never in the history of the NBA have two teams met in the finals three times in a row… the Warriors and Cavaliers made that history last year and now they will lock horns for the 4th straight season in the final round to decide the NBA Champion!
The road to getting here was tougher than expected, maybe the toughest since these two teams decided to monopolize the NBA Finals back in 2015. Both successfully came back from 3-2 down in their respective conference finals.
The focus now switches to the ultimate match-up and it’ll be interesting to see who responds better after their comeback. Golden State’s familiar offense hasn’t looked as well oiled as in the previous four seasons, but make no mistake they are the heavy favorites to take game one. The opening game of the NBA Finals hasn’t been this lopsided since the 2001 Finals when the LA Lakers were 12 point favorites in Game 1 against the 76ers… and lost that game after Overtime.
We’re sort of accustomed to calling LeBron James the underdog when it comes to playing the Warriors. With a completely revamped roster he somehow made it out of the East, but against the Warriors in their own gym it will be difficult to say the least.
The biggest key for Cleveland in Game 1 and in this series will be who will guard Kevin Durant. The Cavs ranked near the bottom of the league when it comes to defensive efficiency in the regular season, so stopping KD as a team is probably not the best of ideas. Players like Jeff Green, Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. will all take turns on him, but we don’t really see either of those players posing a threat to last year’s Finals MVP.
Golden State’s number one priority will be slowing down Lebron James. His averages in these Playoffs speak for themselves – 34 ppg, 9.2 rebs and 8.8 assists per game. In addition to that, Lebron hasn’t gotten much rest and is averaging 41.3 minutes per game while playing all 48 in the deciding Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.
Almost everyone is counting out the Cavs even without a single basket made in this series and I would agree the Warriors are massive favorites in Game 1. However, with the fatigue from a 7 game series against Houston and still the lack of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors will be vulnerable. I don’t see Cleveland upsetting the odds and beating them, but they should cover the spread at least. My bet is Cleveland Cavaliers +15 Point Spread at 50/81 odds.
Defence is what got both teams through in their Conference Finals series and I expect the level of defending to stay at a high in this series as well. Interestingly enough, Under is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 road games and 4-0 in Warriors last 4 home games. Because of that I’m going Under 214 Total Points at 10/11 odds. (Source)
|Zeusbet JUN 01, 2018||1-2||HANDICAP||1X2||DC|
|8593||02:00||Golden State Warriors – Cleveland Cavaliers|
HEAD TO HEAD
Golden State won both regular season meetings. They’ve won 3 in a row in the regular season and 5 out of the last 6. They lead the all-time regular season series 59-52.