Game One: Friday, June 3, 2016, at 11am AEST, at Golden State
Game Two: Monday, June 6, 2016, at 10am AEST, at Golden State
Game Three: Thursday, June 9, 2016, at 11am AEST, at Cleveland
Game Four: Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 11am AEST, at Cleveland
Game Five (if required): Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at 11am AEST, at Golden State
Game Six (if required): Friday, June 17, 2016, at 11am AEST, at Cleveland
Game Seven (if required): Monday, June 20, 2016, at 10am AEST, at Golden State
Golden State Warriors: 73-9 (39-2 at home, 34-7 away)
Cleveland Cavaliers: 57-25 (33-8 at home, 24-17 away)
Golden State Warriors ($1.43 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Cleveland Cavaliers ($2.90 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Game one head-to-head odds:
Golden State Warriors ($1.42 with sportsbet.com.au)
Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.10 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Game one line odds:
Golden State Warriors: -5.5 ($1.95 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Cleveland Cavaliers: +5.5 ($1.95 with WilliamHill.com.au)
IT all comes down to this.
The NBA Finals rematch every one has been waiting for.
Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers get their chance at revenge against a Golden State Warriors team on the brink of history – the same Golden State Warriors team that bundled the Cavs out of the finals in six games last year.
With such a juicy match up comes many questions, with their outcomes to decide the fate of the two teams.
Can the Warriors cap off their remarkable season with four more superlative performances?
The dubs are hot favourites for a reason.
Many think the finals series has already between played, after they fought back from 3-1 down to claim victory in game seven over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were absolute monsters in that series, but the Warriors survived and now they have a chance to turn their record breaking 73 win season into back to back titles.
The Cavs certainly have one of the best players on the planet, but how they stop back-to-back Most Valuable Player Steph Curry, red hot Klay Thompson, heart and soul star Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors offensive tricks is hard to see. Curry and Thompson each average better than 26 points per game across the playoffs an both are hitting 4.5 treys a game at better than 45 per cent. Curry is ludicrous at 52 per cent from outside the arc – some from way outside. Green had two stinkers in the OKC series, but is still averaging 15 points, a tick under 10 boards and nearly six assists, to go with 2.1 blocks and they have four guys around that averaging seven points or better.
What impact will a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have for the Cavs?
Many reckon if Kyrie had not gone down early on in last year’s series, the result may have been different. The King was forced to become a one man wrecking ball and did manage to pinch two games from the Warriors, but he missed his running mates. Irving is putting up 24 points per night through the playoffs to go with seven dimes and 2.2 steals, while Love is third on the team at 17.3 points per game, to go with a team leading 9.6 boards. There is no doubt the Cavs are more dangerous with stretch four Love and sweet shooting point guard Irving on the floor, but it is defensively where this line up falls down. The Warriors are obviously a superior team on last season and there’s no doubt they will be trying to stick Irving and Love in pick and roll situations, where they give up more than 100 points per 100 possessions. It feels like a bit of addition by subtraction here, but we shall see.
Can Lebron add to his legend?
James has as many detractors as he does followers and part of the reason is his ability to win big games. He’s been to the finals six straight times and seven times overall, yet he only has two rings to show for it. One way to silence the critics would be to lead his side to victory over what some are calling the greatest basketball team of all time. He is having another monster playoff series with nearly 25 points, nearly nine boards to go with seven dimes and 2.2 steals, all on 55 per cent shooting. But He has the heir apparent in Curry standing in his way.
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Series result: Golden State Warriors to win ($1.43 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Correct series score: Golden State Warriors to win 4-2 ($5.90 with sportsbet.com.au)
Finals MVP: Klay Thompson ($8 with sportsbet.com.au)
Series top scorer: Lebron James ($3.08 with sportsbet.com.au)
Series most assists: Draymond Green ($3.50 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Series most rebounds: Kevin Love ($2.25 with Sportsbet.com.au)
While we don’t subscribe to the theory that the Finals series was fought and won in the Westerm Conference Finals, we do think the Warriors will take their second title in a row. The Cavs have had a superb season and Lebron might still be the best all round player on the planet. But the Warriors are on another level. You only have to look at the remarkable record breaking 11 three point performance from Klay Thompson on the Thunder’s home floor in game six to see why the Warriors are so good. If Curry doesn’t kill you, Klay will. Speaking of Curry, he is coming off a monster 36 point performance against the Thunder and it doesn’t appear his hunger is subsiding. Beware the man who writes Lebron James off, but it is just hard to see the Cavs getting past the Warriors, especially with home court advantage. In two previous meetings this season, the Dubs eked out an 89-83 win at home and then absolutely slaughtered the Cavs at the Q, 132-98. We’d love to tip LBJ for the finals MVP in a losing effort, but considering he ridiculously missed out on it last season, we’re going with Klay Thompson to steal the limelight from his Splash Brother Curry.
Game one tips
Game one result: Golden State Warriors to win ($1.41 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Game one line prediction: Golden State Warriors -5.5 ($1.95 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Game one total game score: under 210 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
A rabid Golden State Warriors crowd that has become accustomed to winning will welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers and we’re expecting Curry and company to come out firing. If they are to win the series, they have to look after home court and it is something they have done with monotonous regularity throughout the season. Look for Curry, Thompson and Green to overwhelm the Cavaliers Big three, although you can bank on Lebron having a monster.
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