Warriors vs Cavaliers – NBA Finals Game 4 Pick for June 8th
Whether Cleveland wins Game 4 or not, the Warriors are clearly the better team and will win this series tonight or in Game 5 on Monday. The Cavs gave Golden State their best shot in Game 1, but lost in controversial fashion. They then lost Game 2 in a blowout as the Warriors’ shooting was on fire especially with Steph Curry. In Game 3, Cleveland returned home, but couldn’t hang with the Warriors late in the game and lost due to an elite performance by Kevin Durant. So, here we are in Game 4, and the Cavs are just trying not to get swept on their home court.
I thought this series had a chance to go at least 5 games, but the Warriors decided to flex their muscles and show the NBA world that they’re still the best team in the league. It’s pretty impressive how they’re winning each game. One game it’s a team effort (including the refs), the next game it’s Curry leading the charge, and then Durant takes the reigns in the third game of the series. With that in mind, will tonight be Klay Thompson’s turn to go off for 30 points and splash the Warriors to victory?
LeBron James will need a superhuman effort tonight in order for the Cavs to win. We’re talking a triple-double with at least 40 points. Additionally, he’s going to have to make his presence felt defensively as well. We all know that the Cavs are outmatched in the Finals, but they have the best player in the world and he’s going to have to show that in Game 4.
James is averaging 34.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, and 9.0 apg in the playoffs. Those stats will have to be the bottom line numbers for him in Game 4. Basically, these numbers won’t cut it. He had a triple-double in Game 3 with 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but still lost. He also had 2 blocks and 2 steals. James will need more blocks, more steals, more assists and more points to prevent a sweep. He will also need more help.
Kevin Love has been the one consistent help for James this series, averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. He poured in 20 points and 13 rebounds in Game 3, but could not put the defensive clamps down on Durant late in the 4th. Outside of Love, most of the role players didn’t do much at all in Game 3. Hill scored 5 points, Thompson had 8 points, Korver had 0 points, Green had 3 points and Nance had 5 points. JR Smith finally decided to show up in the Finals as he chipped in 13 points.
The one bright spot for the Cavs (outside of Love and James) was the play of Rodney Hood who had 15 points off the bench on 7-of-11 shooting. I believe the Cavs are going to give Hood more minutes in Game 4 to see if he can be a difference maker and the 3rd scorer that the Cavs desperately need.
Typically, when you hold Curry and Thompson to just 21 total points, you will win the game. Unfortunately, it happened to be on the night where Durant goes off for 43 points, Iguodala returns with his pesky defense, and McGee pours in 10 points.
The Cavs need to get the Warriors shooting under 50%, which means a better defensive performance. They will also need to create more than 10 turnovers.
I do believe that Cleveland will win Game 4 and delay the inevitable championship win by the Warriors. The only way Cleveland can make history, is if Rodney Hood scores 25+ points along with Love’s 20 points and James’ 40 points for each remaining game of the series. As for today, go with the Cavs getting 4.5 points at home and preventing the sweep.
Cleveland is 7-1 SU after losing 2 consecutive games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, 8-1 SU in their last 9 home games, 34-17 ATS on Friday nights over the last 3 years, 9-3 SU in their last 12 opportunities to avenge a home loss, and 17-12 ATS as the underdog. The Warriors are 10-20 ATS after an Eastern Conference game, 5-9 ATS on Friday nights this year, 5-7 ATS when leading a playoff series, 6-7 ATS versus the NBA Central Division, and 42-49 ATS this season as the favorite.
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