Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 1:52 PM
THE NBA FINALS: WARRIORS GO FOR THE JUGULAR IN GAME 3
THE TOP 5 SPORTS PEOPLE IN THE PAST 50 YEARS
You tell us: Is it beginning to feel a whole lot like 2007?
You remember that year's NBA Finals when the mighty San Antonio Spurs squished the Cleveland Cavaliers in four straight ... in fact, that was the last time we had a clean sweep in this championship round of play and it sure feels as if the Cavs could get "broomed" again here some nine years later.
Keep in mind as we head into Wednesday's Game 3, the Golden State Warriors are the first team since the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers to own a two games-to-none series lead in an NBA Finals (the Lakers wound up besting the Orlando Magic in five) and - more history coming here, folks - there hasn't been an NBA team that won a title after overcoming a two games-to-none deficit since the magical 1977 Portland Trail Blazers starring Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Bobby Gross, Lionel Hollins and friends.
So, it's a daunting task ahead for the Cavs who've lost the first two games of this series by a grand total of 48 points - yow! - and it's rather amazing that the so-called "Splash Brothers" of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson actually have done very little damage in Games 1 and 2 with a combined 55 points.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to rake in the profits in this year's NBA Finals as we roll on big-time this post-season! Go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers (Game 3 is Wednesday night) and cash in. Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners every day when you check with us ... America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay hot all month long!
GOLDEN STATE at CLEVELAND - Warriors lead series 2-0; 9 p.m. ET, ABC
First things first: The Cavaliers - who have averaged 83 points in the first two games of this disastrous NBA Finals - may well be without F Kevin Love (concussion) who sat out Tuesday's practice and so that's even more reason to believe Cleveland's LeBron James will take it upon himself to deliver a home win here in Game 3.
Hey, the Warriors could double- or even triple-team "The King" at times here or merely sic Andre Iguodala on 'em for 40-or-so minutes but the proverbial bottom line is James will be attempting way more than 17 field goals here (see Game 2) and you can expect Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue to allow James to be the point guard/small forward and chief, cook and bottle-washer here ... hey, does Lue really have any other options with G Kyrie Irving coming off a 5-of-14 FG game and with shooting guard J.R. Smith suddenly shy about shooting (see 2-of-6 FGs for 5 points in Game 2).
On the flip side, the Warriors - now a one-point betting favorite for this road tilt in Ohio - figure to play loosey-goosey and so expect more long chucks from the aforementioned Curry and Thompson (a combined 17-of-33 from the field last Sunday night with 8-of-16 triple ties) and don't be surprised if Draymond Green - fresh off a Game 2-high 28 points - goes hard to the hole once the Cavs' defenders come out to play 'em at the top of the key.
The Warriors own all the edges heading into Game 3 - especially all the psychological ones - but perhaps the big question here is can Lue's bench provide an energy lift after the Golden State bench was so critically important in the Game 1 (see Shaun Livingston's 20 points and Leandro Barbosa's 5-of-5 FG shooting) and in Game 2 (10 points for Barbosa and some lay-it-down defense by Iguodala)?
Paging Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova!
Now, here's the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|6-2||GOLDEN ST.||- 6||Cleveland||104-89|
|6-5||GOLDEN ST||- 6||Cleveland||110-77|
Spread Notes - NBA Playoff Betting Favorites enter Game 3 of the Finals with a splashy 48-31-0 ATS (against the spread) mark with two pick 'em games tossed into the mix. Folks, that now means NBA post-season chalk is winning at a .607 rate ... better than anything we can remember in a long, long time. P.S., both games in this year's NBA Finals have gone "under" the totals price - the Game 3 totals number right now is 206.5 after being set at 211 in Game 1 and 209.5 in Game 2.
TOP 5 SPORTS PEOPLE PAST 50 YEARS
Hey, just wanted to have a little fun to cap this mid-week Jim Sez column ... after all, the death of boxing great Muhammad Ali late last Friday night has stirred plenty of conversation about sports and, well, the world in general and as folks get ready to say their goodbyes at Ali's memorial services this week, we thought it a good time to hail "The Greatest" one more time while putting him atop our list of the Top 5 Sports People the past half-century:
#1 - MUHAMMAD ALI ... The citizen of the world had a massive impact on all sorts of social issues and did you happen to notice his 56-5 career record that included 37 KOs?
#2 - MICHAEL JORDAN ... The basketball icon won six titles in the NBA, one in college and no one has "branded" his name quite like MJ. The best team sports player in our lifetime, right?
#3 -- TIGER WOODS ... Maybe his career (and life) fell apart a few years back but whoever ruled a sport like this one-time golfing great?
#4 - WAYNE GRETZKY ... The four-time Stanley Cup champ is the unquestioned best player in hockey history and did any team sport player make others around him better than "The Great One"?
#5 - TOM BRADY ... Four-time Super Bowl champ has separated himself from a batch of Mount Rushmore QBs to become the best to play the game at the position but, in our eyes, doesn't have enough oomph to surpass these four other men here.
NOTE: There's more NBA Finals coverage in the next edition of Jim Sez!