For a while, it didn’t look as if the Cleveland Cavaliers were even going to be able to defend their world championship against the Golden State Warriors this season.
Then the playoffs started.
The Cavs went through the regular season in what evolved into a four-way race for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and eventually finished second – behind the Boston Celtics in the post-season queue.
Admittedly there were not a heck of a lot of people, including VietBet customers, who took the Celtics all that seriously as a potential champion in the East, but after sweeping the Indiana Pacers by relatively narrow margins, then beating the Toronto Raptors four straight in much more convincing fashion, they came into Beantown and blew away the Celtics twice, and, after suffering a mental lapse in the second half that led to an unlikely Boston victory at the Quicken Loans Arena, they won two more games decisively, and anti-climatically, to earn their way here.
NBA Finals Betting – Warriors vs Cavaliers – Odds to Win Title:
In the NBA Finals betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at VietBet, the Warriors, who have the home court advantage, are the favorites to win the series:
Golden State Warriors -265
Cleveland Cavaliers +225
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NBA Finals Betting – CJ’s Take on the Cavs:
There were, without question, certain mitigating circumstances involved with each of these teams winning world titles over the last couple of seasons. A couple of years ago, the Cavs were banged-up, as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love suffered injuries. Last season the Warriors suffered when Draymond Green caught a one-game suspension, which illustrated just how valuable he can be to a team.
As this series begins, there are no injury situations that would appear to impact either side all that strongly.
During the playoffs, the Cavaliers have averaged 120.7 points per 100 possessions, which is sensational. They have simply done what they’ve wanted on the offensive end, and obviously there is no guarantee that is going to happen against the Warriors, who are far from being a one-dimensional team.
Everyone knew that there were weapons on the Golden State side, but the defensive “culture” with this franchise began with the coaching tenure of Mark Jackson, now an ESPN color commentator. And it continued under Steve Kerr, who has been sitting out with complications from the back surgery he had last season. The “Dubs” surrendered just 99.1 points per 100 possessions during the post-season, which was the best figure of any team in the playoffs. This was no fluke, as they had the #2 Defensive Rating in the NBA this season.
VietBet patrons understand that for the Cavs to have a chance, they are going to have to identify the potential chinks in the Golden State armor and exploit them. In this way they are kind of fortunate, in that they have an aggressive man on the offensive boards in Tristan Thompson, who has pulled down 4.2 offensive rebounds per game so far in the playoffs. Second-chance opportunities are quite possible against G-State, which was ranked 29th in the league in defensive rebounding percentage (74.9%). And if you are a team that relies on the three-pointer the way the Cavs do, at least when they are not banking on LeBron James, that minimizes the risks of shooting from downtown.
As great a player as Stephen Curry is, he is still someone the Warriors don’t want to completely expose on the defensive end. But if Cleveland can space out the floor with their shooters, that task will be more difficult. One of the keys for the Cavs is that they don’t necessarily have to have Love on the floor to be successful from three-point range. And that is an important consideration here, because if there is anybody that coach Tyronn Lue has to hide on the stop end, it’s him.
LeBron had one lousy game in the playoffs, where he shot 4-for-13 and had eleven points in Game 3 against Boston. But that isn’t going to happen often, and the Warriors, as good as they are as a team on defense, don’t have anyone who can stay with him on a consistent basis, with the possible exception of Draymond Green, who still won’t be able to deal with him in “space.” King James is averaging 32. points in the post-season, with his highest playoff shooting percentage to date (56.6% overall, 42.1% from downtown). If he isn’t slowed in some considerable way, the Warriors won’t meet with success, whether they have Kevin Durant or not.
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