Golden State @ Cleveland
It was a fill-up for Wolf followers in Game 2 as the Warriors dominated the Cavs yet again to claim a 2-0 series lead.
Where to now for the Cavs… Well the easy answer is Cleveland as the series shifts to Quicken Loans Arena for Games 3 and 4 but in terms of turning the series around – there really is no answer according to The Wolf.
In Game 2 Cleveland would have been happy with a lot of the numbers on the stats sheet. Their big 3 combined for 75 points, LeBron had a triple-double, they had 15 steals and forced the Warriors into 20 turnovers. They also attempted 11 more field goals than the Warriors and were down by just 3 at the half yet they still lost by 19!
It has become increasingly evident that LeBron, Love and Kyrie will have to combine for at least 90 for the Cavs to stand any chance of winning a game in this series and that is a lot to ask for. The role players should improve back on their home court but with JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and the Cavs bench adding very little thus far, it is hard to see how they can turn it around.
Conversely, the Warriors are playing amazing basketball. Curry posted his first playoff triple-double as the Warriors had 6 men in double figures. The man who led the way and has been the best player in the series Kevin Durant. He had a complete game – 33 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists. 5 blocks and 3 steals. When they needed a bucket or a defensive play it was KD that just kept turning up. He has now scored 25 or more in all 7 of his NBA Finals games and The Wolf says the Cavs have no answer for him. We will ride KD in the player props all series long!
Cleveland tried to push the tempo in Game 2 but it is a tactic that clearly will not work moving on. They gave up 40 points in the first quarter and a total of 132 with the Warriors shooting over 50% from the floor and finishing +30 from beyond the arc. With Durant the Warriors are a different beast and The Wolf says there will be no repeat of last season’s collapse.
Tyronn Lue is likely to make a change to the starting 5 and we could see Shumpert earn a starting role. We are also unlikely to see Korver, Williams and Frye all on the floor at the same time. The second unit has proved ineffective and we are likely to see at least one of the big 3 on the floor in any rotation. This is the 3rd consecutive year that the Cavs will host Game 3 and they have won the previous two. That will change this time around…
The Warriors improved to 22-6-1 ATS in their last 29 and are a perfect 11-0 ATS in their last 11 road games. They are also 4-0 in their last 4 when playing on 2 days rest and 17-3-1 ATS in their last 21 when their opponents score 100 or more in their previous game. If this game were in Oakland we would see a double digit line and The Wolf refuses to believe that home court is worth close to 10 points. The Cavs are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 against West teams and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 at home.
In relation to the total The Wolf is 2-0 in the series and says that the flood gates are now open. Cleveland’s shooting percentage and role player contribution should improve at home and an increased output from them can only mean more points. The Over is 7-1 in the Warriors last 8 road games and 6-1 in their last 7 following a win. It lines right up with the Cavs Overs trends. The Over is 7-0 in the Cavs last 7 at home following a road trip of at least a week and 22-8 in their 30 following defeat. We could see both teams eclipse 120 points in Game 3.