Categories: NBA

Cavs vs Warriors Series – NBA Game 2 Pick

Game 1 of the NBA Finals was, for lack of a better word, bizarre! First of all, just about every analyst or sportsbook had Golden State destroying Cleveland in the first game. Well, that didn’t happen. In fact, Cleveland showed a toughness that surprised even the Warriors. Secondly, Cleveland actually led for most of the first half. They also hung there during Golden State’s 3rd quarter bonanza. At the end of regulation, Cleveland had multiple chances of winning but fell short. Once into overtime, the Cavs were drained physically and emotionally from several questionable referee calls and JR Smith’s bonehead play at the end of the 4th quarter.

With that said, Cleveland is here to make it a competitive series and don’t be surprised if they come out angry and put themselves in a position to win Game 2. The Warriors got lucky in Game 1. Even their head coach Steve Kerr proclaimed that they got lucky. The biggest reasons why people believe Golden State got lucky is because JR Smith ran out the clock at the end of regulation instead of trying to hit a game winner and because of at least 3 controversial calls that went against Cavs. None more controversial than the blocking foul called on LeBron James with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th. Originally called a charge, and supported by both the announcers and the ref in New York, the on-court refs overturned it and called a foul on LeBron.

After the game, and the next day, many analysts, fans and talking heads blasted the refs for their terrible calls late in the 4th quarter. The NBA came out and even said that the refs missed some calls. Another reason why the Warriors got lucky is because LeBron had a historic performance, but became the 1st player to score over 50 in the NBA Finals and lose. King James put up 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He did this on 19-of-32 shooting.

I don’t expect LeBron to put up 50 in Game 2, but I do see him having another massive impact on this game and potentially leading the Cavs to victory. However, he can’t do it all by himself and Cleveland will need to improve in areas to really give them a chance to win. The Cavs shot 27% from beyond the arc as they went 10-of-37. Just hitting 2 or 3 more three pointers in regulation would’ve probably given the Cavs the win. Another area for improvement is at the free throw line where they only shot 72.7% and missed a crucial go-ahead free throw with less than 5 seconds remaining in the 4th.

The Cavs will need another strong performance from Love who had 21 points and 13 rebounds in Game 1. They will also need Korver, Clarkson, Hill and Thompson to score more than 16 total points and grab more than 12 rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, for the Cavs to keep the game close, they need to limit the Warriors second chance opportunities. And in Game 1, they did a good job at that by outrebounding the Warriors 64 to 42.

For Golden State, if they want to win Game 2 without luck or blown calls by the refs, then they need to rebound better and get more production from their bench. The starting unit scored 100 of their 124 total points for the game. When the Cavs went to the bench, they outplayed the Warriors.

Durant had a poor shooting night as he went 8-of-22 from the floor. He scored 9 of his 26 points from the free throw line including two late free throws on that controversial blocking foul. Curry and Thompson combined for 53 points and went 10-of-21 from downtown. All three scorers will need similar production for their team to beat the Cavs. They will also need to find a way to slow down LeBron as they had no defensive answer for him in Game 1.

I like the Cavaliers getting 11.5 points in Game 2. Although I believe they have a chance at winning the game, the safe bet is taking the points.

Golden State is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 home games, 8-20 ATS following a game against the Eastern Conference, 8-21 ATS after 3 consecutive wins, 6-12 ATS on two days rest, 4-7 ATS versus the Central Division, and 3-7 ATS when leading a playoff series. The Cavs are 12-8 SU on two days rest, 4-2 ATS when trailing in a playoff series, and 17-10 ATS as an Underdog.

Rick Rockwell

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Rick Rockwell

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