NBA Betting: LeBron, Cavaliers Look To Take Control Of NBA Finals With Game 3

The Cleveland Cavaliers were written off after losing not just Game 1 of their NBA Finals best-of-7 series but their star point guard and second-best player Kyrie Irving to injury. It didn’t take long for them to flip that narrative. The Cavaliers responded to a sledgehammer of adversity by bouncing back with arguably their best game of these playoffs with LeBron James leading a makeshift supporting cast of role players to a 95-93 overtime win in Game 2 that evened the best-of-7 series at 1-1. Now LeBron and company head back to Cleveland with home court advantage and the opportunity to take control of the series against a Golden State Warriors team that suddenly appears vulnerable.

NBA Finals – Game 3
Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Tuesday June 9, 2015 – 9:00 PM ET
Best-of-7 Series tied 1-1

What It Will Take For Warriors To Win

There are those that will blame the Warriors for their Game 2 loss even more than they will give credit to the Cavaliers for their Game 2 win and the reasoning is actually pretty simple. Stephen Curry was 5-for-23 from the field in Game 2 and admitted after the game that his mechanics were way off, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes were a combined 7-for-17 on the floor and the bench was held to 17 points after lighting up Cleveland’s bench in the series opener. Golden State will need its star players to settle in with the MVP Curry in particular being relied on to step up especially from beyond the arc where he went a terrible 2-for-15 on 3-point shooting. Klay Thompson absolutely torched the Cavaliers in Game 2 with a team-high 34 points on 14-for-28 shooting so don’t be surprised if they lean a little more on him in order to exploit his size mismatches against whoever is attempting to cover him. The Warriors have a very deep and talented cast but they need to play with the same urgency that Cleveland showed in Game 2 as they attempt to steal back home court advantage.

What It Will Take For Cavaliers To Win

One aspect of the Cavaliers play that hasn’t gotten enough attention dating back to their second round series against the Chicago Bulls is how dominant their defense has been. LeBron has been absolutely dominant while Timofey  Mozgov and Tristan Thompson have held down the fort in the paint and Matthew Dellavedova has emerged as an absolute X-factor after helping to limit Curry in Game 2. Cleveland will need to continue to outhustle and outwork Golden State at the defensive end of the floor while different players continue to step up around LeBron. Mozgov and JR Smith combined for 30 points in Game 2 while Dellavedova chipped in nine points including a crucial 3-point shot in the fourth quarter that helped the Cavaliers get to overtime. LeBron might not be able to match his stat line from Game 2 when he scored a game-high 39 points with 16 rebounds and 11 assists but he will have to come close to hitting those totals if Cleveland is going to seize control of this series.

NBA Outlook & Pick

LeBron and the Cavaliers deserve all of the credit in the world for the way they answered back to win Game 2 on the road but there should be obvious concern in Cleveland for how long they can continue to work at such a high level at both ends of the floor before wearing out. The Cavaliers were arguably the better team in each of the first two games but they nearly lost them both. We still haven’t seen Curry and the Warriors at their best in this series and if they can shake off their Game 2 loss and bring more urgency to Game 3 they should certainly be able to rely on their talent and depth to take Game 3.

Pick: Golden State