NBA Finals Preview: Cleveland at Golden State, Game 5
After Game 2, it looked like the NBA Finals would be a short series indeed. The Golden State Warriors had followed up a 15-point win in Game 1 with a 33-point demolition of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2, and national sportswriters were talking about how the Cavaliers were about to be laughed off the biggest stage in all of basketball, after the team had put together the roster that LeBron James wanted and promoted the assistant coach that LeBron James wanted running the team. But then Game 3 came, and The Q Arena was filled with the angst of a city that has gone more than five decades without a title in any major sports league, and Cleveland pulled off a 30-point rout of its own. After Game 4 takes place in Cleveland, what can we expect Monday night in Game 5? Find the latest NBA betting odds here.
NBA Finals Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors, Game 5
When: Monday, June 13, 2016, 9:00pm Eastern time
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland
Radio: KNBR 680 AM Oakland
Live Stream: NBA-Stream.com
NBA Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Golden State?
After practice on Thursday, reporters gathered around Golden State forward Draymond Green and asked him why the Cavaliers were able to go up by 30 points early and, despite the Warriors closing within eight, pushing the rout back into their favor with a 38-point third quarter. Green responded, “We were extremely soft. We got bullied, punked, whatever word you can find for it” when talking to ESPN.com. While the Warriors’ defense was soft (Steph Curry got benched for missing two back cuts in a row), and the Cavaliers shot 48 percent from behind the arc and 52.7 percent overall, the Warriors realize that their effort needs to be more intense. Also, they will be back at home, where they almost never lose.
Why should you put your money on the Cavaliers?
The real answer to this question will come in Game 4. In Game 3, the Cavaliers had their backs against the wall — a 3-0 hole would have been impossible to recover from — and they had a Warriors team that was probably taking them a little lightly after having won seven straight against them. In Game 4, can the Cavaliers keep their home record in the postseason undefeated? Or will the Warriors elevate their game once back to where it was in Games 1 and 2? The Warriors will commit to their ball movement and sticky defense again, so if the Cavaliers can beat the Warriors again, in Game 4, they have an excellent shot at taking the Warriors’ confidence away.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Whether the Cavs win Game 4 or not, I don’t see them going into Oracle Arena and taking a playoff win. The Warriors are too locked in for that — and the Oklahoma City series showed them what happens when you’re not mentally ready. I’m predicting a 120-111 Golden State win.