Cavaliers vs. Warriors – NBA Finals Game Two Pick

One bounce. One miraculous Iman Shumpert garbage-heave bounce the other way and the discussion in completely different. Instead of saying “will the Cavs get swept?” “Why did they settle (LeBron) for such a lousy last second shot attempt?” “Does Cleveland have any chance against one of the ebst regular season teams in NBA history?” the narrative is instead wildly different.

It would instead read “why on earth did Steve Kerr not double team LeBron??!?” “Can Golden State do anything to slow down LeBron James?” “The King is carrying his team, his city to a title.”

But that’s not the narrative today by a long shot. In fact, for all LeBron’s brilliance, he did heave up 38 shots to get his 38 points, settled for a ridiculous step-back one-footed heave with a full five seconds on the clock instead of backing down and getting a quality attempt, and oh, now they are without Kyrie for the rest of the series after he fractured his kneecap.

Uh oh Cleveland. It’s looking pretty grim. So do the Cavs have any chance of evening the series tonight, or is it already time to start fitting Steph and company for rings?

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Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors-8 (Total: 200.5)

The “no Kyrie” headline has dominated the NBA news, and for good reason. Despite the heroics for Matthew Delavedova in the Eastern Conference Finals, he looked REALLY shaky Thursday night. Every time he got the ball he was swarmed like the kid in middle school who can’t dribble so the other team jumps him and takes the ball. It was really strange to watch. I imagine he will be a little steadier tonight, but it is fair to say that if Golden State was content to not double team and let people get open shot BEFORE, than that strategy will hold again tonight. If LeBron’s 44 weren’t enough to win WITH Kyrie having a good game, then where on earth will the offense come from tonight?

I thought Golden State played pretty poorly (overtime excepted) Thursday night. I expect them to be sharper. I think it is also fair to expect slightly less than a second straight playoff career-high from LeBron. If those two things happen, this game isn’t close. In fact, if those two things happen AND Draymond Green and company do a better job keeping Tristan Rodman Thompson off the offensive glass, than this thing could get “Spurs vs. Heat 2014” ugly in a hurry.

Eight points is a healthy amount to lay, but I think the Dubs cover it with some room to spare. The “LeBron can win them one game on his own” narrative might be true, but I think the game he could win by himself was Thursday… and they came up a bucket short. I don’t expect them to get nearly as good a look tonight.

Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -8