Here’s Your NBA Finals Preview -- Cavs-Warriors Part III
THE NBA FINALS: CAVS VS. WARRIORS PLAY IT AGAIN BUT IT'S DEFENDING CHAMPS THAT ARE HEAVY-DUTY DOGS
It's a fact: Even in the halcyon NBA days of Boston Celtics versus Los Angeles (seemingly) every year, we've never before experienced a "trilogy" when it comes to the NBA Finals.
Lots of championship round repeat matchup series (there's actually been 13 in all!), including this here-and-now Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors rivalry the past two years but this is hoops history and - better yet - it's the "rubber match" with the defending champ Cavs actually a major underdog priced at + 220; the Warriors right now are priced for the series at - 260 (and keep in mind Golden State began this year's playoffs at a price of - 250 to win it all).
Juicy stuff - and it couldn't come at a better time 'cause, let's face it, this NBA post-season has not exactly been riveting stuff. In fact, we looked it up and discovered that in the 74 games played thus far in this NBA playoff season, a whopping 44 of 'em have been decided by 10-or-more points.
Really, that's nearly 60 percent of this NBA post-season that has sported double-digit victory margins and so the last thing NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his minions need here is a batch of lopsided contests.
NBA FINALS - THE LAST 10 YEARS
Here's a look back the past 10 years of NBA Finals:
Now, this quick reminder...Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will bang out plenty of big-time winners in this year's NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors beginning Thursday night -- plus there's Major-League Baseball winners every day as we zoom into June. Just remember to call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here each/every day and cash in with huge winners. Make sure you're piling up the dough!
THE NBA FINALS PREVIEW
CLEVELAND vs. GOLDEN STATE - Game 1 on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, ABC
We know you love your numbers, so have at it: The Golden State Warriors are 12-0 SU (straight-up) this post-season; the Cleveland Cavaliers are 12-1 SU this post-season. It's been a case of sheer and utter dominance by both clubs this spring - no real surprise there - and when you check out our up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart you see the following:
Wow ... the Cavs and Warriors are a combined 16-7-2 ATS (against the spread) for a sizzling .696 winning rate and that's somethin' special when you consider all the hefty pointspreads these clubs have been laying so far.
As far as these games go, it's strange to see Cleveland such a big underdog - the Cavs are a 7-point pup for Game 1 - and it's quite possible that G-State will be 2- or 3-point road favorites in Games 3 and 4 this series but the other part of that coin is can you imagine this red-hot, sweep-happy Warriors team being an underdog at all here?
Lots of X's and O's stuff in tomorrow's Jim Sez column when we dissect what we believe will happen in Game 1 but let's go on record here to state Golden State can afford to have an "off" game from any of its megastars - that's Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson - and still win while Cleveland needs the one-two punch of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to average more than 50 points a game and keep their turnovers down to a half-a-dozen or less between 'em.
Simply stated, the Cavs have a minimal margin of error here plus the bench must be better than Golden State's better-than-you-think reserves and - let's be frank - Cleveland needs some monster out-of-the-blue games from the likes of shooter J.R. Smith and/or Deron Williams to "steal" a game or two here ... if that happens, "Cavs in 7" might be a repeat performance though the oddsmakers are hinting more like "Warriors in 6" here.
Let's get it on, already!
Now, here's the regular-season head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Warriors (note all teams are in CAPS below):
|12-25||CLEVELAND||+ 3.5||Golden St||109-108|
|1-16||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Cleveland||126-91|
Here's a little summation of the two regular-season games between the Cavaliers and the Warriors:
Dec. 25 ... CLEVELAND 109, Golden State 108 - Déjà vu time here as Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving popped in a fade-away jumper with just 3.4 seconds left to complete a massive fourth-quarter comeback. Cleveland trailed 94-80 in the early stages of the final frame but charged back as LeBron James registered 31 points and the aforementioned Irving finished with 25. On the flip side, Golden State's Kevin Durant poured in a game-high 36 points but couldn't get off a last-second shot.
Overall, Golden State canned just 9-of-30 trifectas - G Stephen Curry connected on just a pair of triples on seven tries - and the not-so-silent bench starring Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert kicked in 25 points and 9 rebounds.
Jan. 16 ... GOLDEN STATE 126, Cleveland 91 - In-season revenge was sweet for Dub Nation as Klay Thompson (26 points), Durant (21 points) and Curry (20 points including five treys) powered the Warriors to a truly one-sided win as Golden State led 37-22 after one quarter, 78-49 at the half and 95-71 heading into the fourth quarter.
They combined for 37 points while shooting a rotten 12-of-37 from the floor. The Cavs were the ones that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from three-land while going 9-of-34 from beyond the stripe.
NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 1 Preview in tomorrow's Jim Sez plus there's MLB Notes too.