It appears reports of the Cavaliers demise might have been slightly exaggerated. Can’t flip the switch? Au contraire! The Cavs look a lot like the team that won the NBA Title last year in this series, where they are simply wiping the Raptors away with a casual ease that reminds us we are all just biding our time until Cavs v. Warriors III in June. Last night’s 115-94 victory in Toronto all but ended the series and the 36-17 fourth quarter was a jarring blow-by demonstration of the exact extra gear we have been waiting for the Cavs to display. Game. Set. Match. Good luck Wiz/C’s…
I think tonight’s contest has a similar inevitability quality to it; the Warriors seem to be almost toying with their prey in the Jazz series – winning games with ease but never really putting in a max effort in the process. Tonight has the potential to be a little different. The Warriors are on the road, which means a little more of a challenge, and the game is the only game of the day and nationally-televised on ABC. I expect a little extra bounce in the Dubs step tonight.
So, can the Jazz make this a series? They are 2-0 ATS, but 0-2 in real life and have left the lingering impression that the covers were more charitable that a sign of competitive life…
Today’s NBA Pick:
Golden State Warriors -5 at Utah Jazz
Teams lose games in the Playoffs. Even the best of them. Two teams lost only once; the 2001 Lakers and Moses Malone’s fo-fo-fo 1983 Sixers. Four more lose just twice en route to a championship. Other than that, even the greatest teams in NBA history drop three or four games on the way to hoisting the trophy. So it is highly likely the Warriors drop a few games on this journey.
But I don’t think it will be tonight. As I mentioned above, this team has been BORED in this series. You can see it in the playfulness, you can see it in the reduced minutes, you could even hear it in the pre-series comments about the Utah nightlife. They are BORED and still winning easily. A little national television exposure and only-game-on-the-slate juice could be just what this team needs to feel a little adrenaline and to finally push on the gas pedal.
The Warriors stats are self-evident. They are the best offensive team in the NBA. Quietly, they are also the most efficient defensive team. They are basically healthy now as well, which is the only real hiccup I can see on their road to a second title in three years. I think they learned their lesson last year in the Finals and are not going to give away games, even in a series as routine as this one.
The Warriors have won both games this series by double digits and haven’t even played well. I like a nice blow-by game tonight and a message to Cleveland that they too have another gear they are just beginning to flirt with.
I’ll eat the points tonight and take the Warriors on the road.
Today’s NBA Pick: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -5