Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers Game 3 Pick

What can the Cleveland Cavaliers do to turn around what is beginning to look like a really one-sided series? There will be those who will point out that Cleveland were 0-2 down to the Golden State Warriors last season too, as well as the famous recovery from 1-3 down in the NBA Finals, but this feels much different from twelve months ago.

There are plenty of fans who suggested Steph Curry was the best player in the world when the Warriors were leading 3-1 last year and looking to be on the road to back to back NBA Championships. However, most real NBA fans would have recognized that LeBron James has held that title and he underlined his status by dragging the Cavaliers back for the win.

Most would’ve also had Kevin Durant very high on any top five list of the best current active players at that time, but Durant’s influence on the first two games had Paul Pierce suggesting he’s the best player in the world now. Durant is certainly right there behind James for me and his arrival at the Golden State Warriors makes it much harder to see this current rotation of players blowing this lead.

The Cavaliers got a triple-double from LeBron James and continue to get points out of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving while also earned a huge number of turnovers in Game 2. However, they still lost 19 points and with the addition of Durant to a strong Warriors team, closing the gap looks much more difficult.

You can see how irritated the Cavaliers have been with James not happy with questions he has been posed and the frustration that the veterans of the bench haven’t been able to contribute as Cleveland would have liked. The Cavaliers are trying their best to find the right Defensive formulas to try and limit what the Warriors are doing, but there look to be too many options when it comes to shooting as well as the speed that the older Cleveland players are struggling to stay with.

Being back at home for Game 3 is important for the Cavaliers who responded as a narrow underdog twelve months ago to take this game. The Cavaliers blew out Golden State by 30 points as complacency set in for the road team, but I don’t think a team who has won all fourteen Play Off games will do the same having remembered the pain of blowing the NBA Finals in the manner they did in 2016.

Opposing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as a home underdog is tough. Have no doubt the players are likely to be inspired to prove they’re still much alive in the NBA Finals and they’ll know that most people are ruling them out and suggesting the broomsticks will be needed later this week.

I expect that is going to see the Cavaliers produce an even bigger effort, but I’m not sure they have the talent or energy to stick with Golden State. Ultimately it feels like the Cavaliers need the Warriors to have a bad game to get into this series and Golden State have been playing at a level where they don’t look like they’re in a mood to drop their standards at all.

The Warriors have covered in all six road games they’ve played in the NBA Play Offs this season and it is too hard to oppose what is looking like clearly the best team in the whole League. Backing against the Cleveland Cavaliers as an underdog is actually 12-5 against the spread this season and I am looking for the Warriors to move into a 3-0 lead and look to become the first team to potentially win all 16 Play Off games in a single post-season soon afterward.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: Golden State Warriors – 3 Points at 1.86

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak

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