Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Late Thursday night…many pro basketball fans (as well as many in the sports betting realm) assumed that the NBA Finals were already over. NO WAY Cleveland had a chance to win four of the last six games against Golden State with Kyrie Irving joining Kevin Love in street clothes. The rest of the series was just a formality.
LeBron James and company had other ideas!
After an inspirational 95-93 overtime victory, the shorthanded Cavs have now wrested home court advantage for what amounts to a best-3-out-of-5-series for the O’Brien trophy. But, there’s no room to relax…as Cleveland must defend home turf immediately Tuesday night. Lose that game, and Sunday’s upset will be for naught.
Let’s run the numbers from that Sunday upset…
GAME TWO STATS
Cleveland 95, Golden State 93 (in overtime)
Shooting Pct: Cleveland 32%, Golden State 40%
Three-Pointers: Cleveland 9/27, Golden State 8/35
Free Throws: Cleveland 28/40, Golden State 19/25
Rebounds: Cleveland 55, Golden State 45
Turnovers: Cleveland 13, Golden State 18
Vegas Line: Golden State by 8, total of 200.5
Yes, Cleveland won on the ROAD despite shooting only 32% from the field! Those extra free throws sure helped. And, they were largely earned because the Cavs attacked the basket much more often than the Warriors did. Obviously, a horrible shooting night from Steph Curry was a large factor as well. You can’t expect Golden State to shoot 8 of 35 very often on treys. As we’ve mentioned earlier in the playoffs…the Warriors get very sloppy and turnover prone when overconfident. They have to keep learning that lesson over and over again. Thus far, they’ve learned it in time to dispatch with playoff foes.
The good news for Cleveland is that they’ve proven they can stay on the same floor. The bad news is that they barely won on a night when Golden State played about as badly as possible. Can Cleveland win when Golden State stops turning the ball over and starts making treys? Memphis couldn’t. Houston couldn’t. Shorthanded Cleveland is still in that class of opponent, and will now be dealing with fatigue concerns in an every-other-day scenario in this Game 2-3-4 stretch.
Tuesday’s Game Three Line: Golden State by 1, total of 194.5
The market is trying to figure out how to balance Golden State’s obvious bounce-back scenario (and this is a proven bounce back team) with the public’s newfound love affair for LeBron James…and the looming reality that the Warriors may just be flat overrated (7-10 ATS at the end of regulation through 17 playoff games). This is clearly a game that could miss the spread by 5-7 points (or more in either direction).
*A Golden State bounce back could see a Warriors rout
*If Cleveland is forcing OT’s on the road, they may win more comfortably at home!
JIM HURLEY recognizes that this is likely to be the most important game of the series. It’s the tonesetter. Golden State either restores order…or we have disorder the rest of the way with a fired up underdog trying to make history. He’s been working round the clock with his scouts, his sources, his statheads, his computer programmers, and his Wise Guy connections to make sure every angle is pinned down.
You can purchase the final word for Tuesday (along with bonus baseball) right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service or combination packages, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours.
We’ll have additional NBA previews later in the week for Games 4 and 5. Interspersed will be some baseball action. Here’s the schedule…
Wednesday: MLB Big Game Preview…Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers
Thursday: NBA Game Four Championship Preview
Friday: MLB Interleague Series Preview…Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals
Saturday: NBA Game Five Championship Preview
Monday: MLB Interleague Series Preview…LA Dodgers at Texas Rangers
Tuesday: NBA Game Six Championship Preview (if necessary) or more MLB Interleague notes (all 30 teams in IL play next week!)
Some great stuff coming up in the bases…and the NBA Finals just took a turn for the dramatic after the Irving injury caused too many viewers to assume a GS title was a done deal. We have a pair of conference champions who now realize what it takes to go the distance. When championships are on the line…you need WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!
Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters