NBA Finals Report: Can Cleveland Climb Back in the Series?

THE NBA FINALS - HERE'S THE GAME 3 PREVIEW AS CAVS LOOK TO REPEAT (2016) HISTORY ...
PLUS SOME DIZZYING MLB POWER STATS

Maybe the best thing the Golden State Warriors have going for 'em here in Wednesday night's Game 3 of the NBA Finals is the unpleasant memory of having blown a 2-0 (and 3-1) series lead in last year's NBA Finals.

Wait a second. Who are we kidding?

The best thing the Warriors have going for 'em is they have Kevin Durant playing at the highest possible level these days - he's the runaway Finals MVP after the first two games of this best-of-seven series - and now all this talk of the "best player on the planet" seems to be moving away from Cleveland's LeBron James and in the general direction of Durant whose numbers after two games in the Finals reads like this: 71 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists and - don't forget this one - 5 blocked shots (all of them in the rollicking 132-113 win last Sunday night in Game 2).

Now, whether or not Durant and Company can keep on this incredible post-season run - that's 14-0 SU (straight-up) and 10-4 ATS (against the spread) - with a Game 3 win/cover in Cleveland here remains in question.

But, suddenly, 16 wins, 0 losses in a post-season is very much "on the table" for Golden State ... our Game 3 Preview in just a sec:

Remember that 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 at 9 p.m. ET) and cash in big-time. 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!

 

NBA FINALS - GAME 3 PREVIEW
GOLDEN STATE at CLEVELAND - Warriors lead series 2-0; 9pm (ET) ABC

Okay, so by now everyone in the hoops world knows that the Cavaliers cannot win here unless and until they slow down the pace of these games ... the Warriors are averaging 122.5 ppg through the first two tilts in these here-and-now NBA Finals and it's really reminding us of the "good old days" with the ABA back in the 1970s when 250-or-more points were scored per game on pretty much a nightly basis.

If Cleveland - and we're talking to you, head coach Tyronn Lue - is gonna slow this dance down a little bit than they must start off by winning the board battle: One item that generally was overlooked in Golden State's Game 2 win/cover was the fact "Dub Nation" sported a healthy 53-to-41 rebounding advantage.

Once the Warriors snatch down a rebound, they're off to the races where Durant, Stephen Curry (32 points in Game 2) and Klay Thompson (a born-again 22-point showing in Game 2) are absolutely lethal in the open floor and never mind the fact that Cleveland's half-court defense has been putrid - hey, we lost count of just how many open jump shots the Warriors were allowed to take in the first two games of this series and that's downright unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Cleveland - a 3-point pup here for Game 3 at home - has to get those so-called supporting role players involved in the mix more and that means even if James is getting another triple-double (see 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in Game 2) the likes of J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Iman Shumpert must be faring better than their combined stat line of 3-of-17 from the floor. Ugh!

Folks, if Durant keeps playing lights-out ball here and Curry/Thompson/Draymond Green are chipping in somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 points, than it's unlikely the Cavaliers are gonna snag their first win in these Finals. But if a couple of the above-mentioned Warriors come back to earth and James/Kyrie Irving (just 8-of-23 FG shooting in Game 2) get in a groove, than we might be back to where we all were a year ago with G-State holding a two games-to-one series lead.

Let's see what unfolds at "The Q".

Here's the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):

DATEWINNER SPREADLOSERSCORE
6-1GOLDEN ST.- 7.5Cleveland113-91
6-4GOLDEN ST- 9Cleveland132-113


Here's the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart for the still-alive teams:

TEAMWONLOSTTIEPCT
Golden St.1040.714
Cleveland852.615

 

THE MLB REPORT

As if you needed to be reminded, scoring is "up" in Major-League Baseball this year and that means there's been plenty of home runs getting launched out of MLB's 30 ball parks:
The Houston Astros entered Tuesday's action with an MLB-high 92 dingers so far in 58 games for an average of 1.6 homers a game. Consider that the Astros are "on a pace" to whack 257 home runs this season. Gong!

And flying a bit below the Astros - but not much - are the Tampa Bay Rays (88 HRs in 59 games), the Washington Nationals (87 HR in 56 games) and the Oakland A's (86 HR in 57 games).
Maybe it's no coincidence at all that the bottom team stat-wise when it comes to home runs this year - the San Francisco Giants - have just 45 taters. Once upon a time, the Giants could win with "small-ball" but that's not happening this year and the power outage is a direct correlation to San Fran's slumbering 24-35 record.

If we wind up with a Houston vs. Washington showdown in the World Series then we also might well be pitting (by then) the two best power-hitting teams in baseball. Gee, wonder if the game's sluggers out there are considered more "valuable" next winter.

NOTE: There's more NBA Finals coverage in the next edition of Jim Sez plus MLB and NFL notes coming your way too!

21
Aug

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