The Golden State Warriors went into the 2016 NBA Finals favored over the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the results of the first two games, during which State blew the Cavs away, surprised many. It was not surprising that Golden State won, but it was startling that they did so in such a convincing manner. In game one, the Warriors beat the Cavaliers 104-89. In that victory, Warrior guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were less than effective.
In game two of the 2016 NBA Finals, where the dynamic backcourt duo excelled, the results were even more dramatic, as State hammered LeBron James and the Cavs 110-77. At times in the contest, Cleveland pulled near to Golden State, only to see the home team ramp it up and rebuild a big lead.
2016 NBA Finals: Game 3 Let Down?
One major question concerns the potential game three let down for Golden State. Certainly, State is a candidate for such an outcome due to two facts. The first being that they took the first two games in such a convincing fashion. The question becomes will they be a tad tired, over confident and/or distracted due to their initial two wins? The other fact concerns the move to Cleveland’s home court. That advantage should help the Cavs some.
However, will this combination of factors be enough to give Cleveland a shot at winning game three of the 2016 NBA Finals? It is a classic setup for such. But in order for this to happen, the Warriors will need to contribute by having a bad game, and that may not be possible with this team being just two wins away from clinching their second straight NBA championship.
Does Cleveland Have the Stuff?
In the 2016 NBA Finals, it’s become clear that Cleveland has some major shortcomings. The first, and it’s extremely important when the stakes are so high, is its bench. They simply do not possess the depth that Golden State does, and that’s a huge factor when it comes to resting players and maintaining momentum.
Golden State’s outside game is superior. There is simply no comparison. When Curry and Thompson are on target with their shots, there is no stopping them. And when they aren’t hitting, both offer fine defensive chops and playmaking skills. In game two, the Warriors hit 45.5% of their three-point shots while their opponents were good just 21.7% of the time.
The Warrior inside game has been dominant. Draymond Green has been giving a clinic and James has been forced to be Example A in how to neutralize the contributions of one of the game’s best players. By the way, overall team field goal success rate over the course of both games has Golden State at 52% and Cleveland at 37.5%. That one stat has to change dramatically on both ends for the Cavs to win this game.
Game 3 Picks
Here’s the skinny on tonight’s 2016 NBA Finals game in Cleveland. In both games when it comes to the over/under, the score has been way under. In both games, the Warriors beat spreads of about 6 to 8 points. For this third game, the over/under and spread have both been lowered.
The over/under sits at 205.5 points, which is about 5 points lower than the first two games. The spread varies, as you can get Cleveland at -1.0, the Warriors at -1.5, or the two teams even. If the game three let down is going to occur and Cleveland is going to win, the Cavs must score more points than they have, and, at the same time, they have to curb Warrior output.
Let’s say tonight James puts it all out there and leaves everything on the floor. He has to for Cleveland to have any shot in this series. Let’s say State has a bit of a let down, and they’re off. Finally, factor in the hometown effect, and you have a Cavalier victory. In game three of the 2016 NBA Finals take the Cavs at -1.0. The final score 100-97. Bet the under.