NBA Betting: Can Cavaliers Compete In Game 2 With Irving Out?



The Cleveland Cavaliers were in position to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals for a full 48 minutes including a pair of missed opportunities on potential game-winning shots in the dying seconds of regulation. It’s hard to quantify exactly how devastating what happened next was for them. Kyrie Irving limped off the floor with an injured knee, the Cavaliers tied an all-time playoff low with two points in overtime and the Golden State Warriors ripped Game 1 away from them with a 108-100 win. Now the Warriors suddenly appear to be in complete control as they look to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series with Game 2 on Sunday evening with serious question marks surrounding the Cavaliers and how they can possibly overcome the hole they find themselves in right now.

Cleveland Warriors @ Golden State Warriors
Sunday June 7, 2015 – 6:00 PM ET
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
GS Leads Best-of-7 Series 1-0
NBA Odds: Warriors -7.5, Total 201

What It Will Take For Cavaliers To Win

LeBron took 38 shots and scored 44 points in Game 1 but he wasn’t very efficient from the field and he is on pace to have the worst single playoff 3-point percentage in NBA history right now. LeBron has never been at his best as a volume scorer when he is forced to carry the offensive load but he will need to rise to the occasion this time around if Cleveland is going to have any shot at winning Game 2 on the road. Irving was absolutely brilliant in Game 1 and his absence will be impossible to make up for especially with Kevin Love already out. Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert were a combined 8-20 from the field in Game 1 and they will need to be much better than that to help provide LeBron with some support. JR Smith had nine points off the bench on 3-13 shooting and he also has to be much better than that not to mention the rest of the Cavaliers bench, which didn’t register a single point in Game 1.

What It Will Take For Warriors To Win

The NBA MVP scored 26 points with eight assists and four rebounds while Klay Thompson chipped in with 21 points and three other players finished with double-digit point totals including 15 points from Andre Iguodola off the bench. Curry and Thompson can both win games for Golden State but with the depth this team has they only have to do so much in order to win. Iguodola was excellent off the bench as his 15 points were more than the entire Cleveland bench and he also did an outstanding job helping to keep LeBron in check at the other end of the floor. The Warriors looked rusty out of the gate and barely held on to force overtime but after beating the Cavaliers despite a relatively mediocre performance they should feel confident heading in to Game 2 at home.

Outlook & Pick

Cleveland looked like the better team for 48 minutes of Game 1 but that should only make the end result that much more difficult for them to get past as they still lost not just the game but also the second-best player on their roster as well. It’s unlikely the Warriors will perform as poorly as they did early on in Game 1 when they looked very rusty and with a better start and no Irving to help the Cavaliers hang around there is a good chance that Game 2 could get ugly in a hurry.

Pick: Golden State