Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Though…we’ve seemingly been here before (before the series started, after Game One, after Game Four, and now after Game Five), it looks like the Golden State Warriors are a virtual lock to win the 2015 NBA Championship. Even if Steph Curry got hurt…this team would still be favored to finish off their best-of-seven series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As it stands, the Warriors are healthier, hungrier, and already in command with a 3-2 series lead.
The legal betting markets will have Golden State as a 4-5 point favorite Tuesday…and then probably a 9-10 point favorite at home in Game Seven if there’s a Tuesday upset. The key for handicappers is determining who’s going to cover the spread Tuesday evening. Worry about Friday if that comes into play.
Let’s review what happened Sunday night in Game Five…
GAME FIVE STATS
Golden State 104, Cleveland 91
Shooting Pct: Cleveland 40%, Golden State 48%
Three-Pointers: Cleveland 12/35, Golden State 12/26
Free Throws: Cleveland 15/21, Golden State 20/34
Rebounds: Cleveland 37, Golden State 43
Turnovers: Cleveland 10, Golden State 16
Vegas Line: Golden State by 9.5, total of 195
Worth a moment here to note what isn’t in the boxscore above. Minutes played! Golden State made some very smart adjustments on Mozgov that basically took him out of the game. The big Russian was only on the floor for nine minutes. Cleveland doesn’t have the depth to deal with that kind of development. J.R. Smith got hot for the first time in a while to keep things interesting. But, ultimately, the continuing “wear down” of the Cavaliers continued. Golden State is deeper, more versatile, and smarter. LeBron James could only make up for that for so long.
Above, you see that three-pointers cancelled out. Golden State was +5 on free throws despite having 13 more attempts. They should have won by more! Good hustle by the Warriors on the boards, helped by the elimination of Mozgov. The Warriors are still too mistake-prone when trying to push tempo. Didn’t hurt them here…though it might have if the Cavs had one extra guy who could carry some of the scoring load.
Tuesday’s Game Six Line: Golden State by 4.5, total of 195
The trick here is knowing whether or not Cleveland has mentally thrown in the towel. If that’s the case, then Golden State is going to run away and hide early before coasting to another blowout win. We’ve seen that time and time again in these playoffs from both directions. Golden State knows how to close. Series losers often lose their fight in the finale.
That being said…Cleveland has established that they can hang with Golden State for roughly the first 40 minutes of a game when fresh and focused. If the Warriors make the mistake of getting overconfident (which they’ve been prone to do way too often in the playoffs), then there’s still a chance this series gets interesting. Cleveland with a chip on its shoulder has a chance to win this game outright, let alone cover the +4.5 points.
JIM HURLEY knows that INFORMATION MEANS EVERYTHING in game like this! He’ll be working all day with his sources to properly gauge the mindset of both teams. Know that…and the game picks itself. Heck, the total might pick itself too. Maybe NETWORK will have a blockbuster PARLAY!
You can purchase the final word for Game Six right here at the website with your credit card (along with a great slate of interleague baseball). If you have any questions about extended service or combination packages, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 any day this week during normal business hours.
Back to baseball tomorrow. If Golden State finishes off the series, it will be all baseball for the next several days. If we have a Game Seven, we’ll post an expanded preview on Thursday that will run two days for the Friday finale.
Wednesday: MLB Big Game Preview…either Tampa Bay at Washington, NY Mets at Toronto, or St. Louis at Minnesota.
Thursday: Either NBA Game Seven Championship Preview (for a Friday finale if it goes the distance) or MLB Notes.
Friday: MLB Series Preview…San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (if there’s no basketball).
Saturday: MLB TV Preview…Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees on FOX
Sunday: MLB Notes
Monday: MLB Series Preview…Los Angeles Dodgers at the Chicago Cubs
This may be the last chance we have to say this until a baseball champion is crowned in October. Heading into Game Six of the 2015 NBA finals...don’t you dare forget that when championships are on the line, you need WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!
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