I thought that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ best chance to steal a game at Golden State in the 2016 NBA Finals would have been Thursday’s Game 1 because the Cavs were so well-rested and the Warriors were off a grueling seven-game series against Oklahoma City. However, the Warriors improved to 10-1 at home in these playoffs with a 104-89 win and look to take a 2-0 lead on Sunday night before the series shifts to Cleveland. The Warriors are -6.5 on online betting odds.
Inside Look at the Cleveland at Golden State NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Preview & TV Info
When: Sunday, June 5, 8 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland
NBA Odds: Warriors -6.5 (207)
Cavaliers at Warriors Historic Betting Trends
Cleveland’s Game 1 strategy was pretty clear: let anyone but Steph Curry and Klay Thompson beat you. And it worked in terms of slowing Curry and Thompson. But Golden State’s supporting case was great. Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, and Shaun Livingston scored a personal postseason best of 20 off the bench. Another bench standout was Leandro Barbosa, who shot 5-for-5.
Golden State’s bench outscored the Cavs’ reserves 45-10. The Warriors’ bench had a plus/minus of plus-15; the Cavs’ bench players were minus-15; the Warriors won the game by 15 points. One reason the Warriors’ bench was so good is coach Steve Kerr returned Andre Iguodala there after using him to start Game 7 of the conference finals — in addition to the second half of Game 6. Iguodala scored 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range. He added seven rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in 36 terrific minutes. Meanwhile, Curry and Thompson combined for only 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting.
It is now the sixth consecutive time the Warriors have beaten the Cavaliers, dating back to last June.
LeBron James kicked off his sixth straight Finals with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. He was just 2-of-9 from the field when guarded by either Iguodala (last year’s Finals MVP) or Green. James broke his own personal best with his 25th consecutive playoff game with at least 20 points. He passed Larry Bird (1,683 playoff rebounds) for 10th in league history in postseason boards, and by doing so became the only player in NBA history to rank in the top 10 for playoff points, rebounds, and assists.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, 11 on free throws. Kevin Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Usually if those guys combine for 63 points, the Cavs will win. The Cavs entered the series against the Warriors with the second-best offense in the postseason, averaging 106.9 points on 47.5 percent from the field. They shot 38.1 percent in Game 1. J.R. Smith was basically invisible.
“We will have a better game plan going into Game 2 for sure offensively,” James said, speaking about Cleveland’s 17 assists on 32 baskets and describing the lack of continuous ball movement. “Sometimes your offense dictates your defense, and the fact that we had 17 turnovers and that led to 25 points is not a good ingredient for our offense for sure.”
Here’s one reason to feel confident if you are a Cavs fan: Both of James’ titles with the Heat came after losing Game 1. James is 2-4 all-time in the Finals, and he’s only won Game 1 once. In all that time, his teams have only gone down 2-0 in the Finals once, and that was when the Spurs swept the Cavs in 2007.
Expert Betting Prediction
Take the points on betting odds. The Cavs in many regards got what they wanted in Game 1. Guys like Livingston and Barbosa won’t be that good again (although Curry and Thompson likely will be better). The winner of Game 2 wins this series in my opinion.