Are we going to see the end of the NHL and NBA seasons just 24 hours or so apart? The hockey year concluded in Game 6 Monday and the Golden State Warriors can finish off host Cleveland in Game 6 on Tuesday. Here are a few team props that stand out.
Do you ever remember Michael Jordan boasting that he's the best player in the world? Jordan clearly was and I'm sure he trash-talked such things on the court but never in an interview. Never heard Kobe Bryant say that, either, and he's about as boastful as they come. When asked why he was confident the Cavaliers could win Game 6 , LeBron James said: "Because I'm the best player in the world. It's that simple." Is LeBron right? Certainly. But it was rather out of character for him to say it publicly. I don't think he was so much bragging but trying to instill confidence in his teammates. Will it work?
Team to score first 10 points -- Warriors -135, Cavaliers -105
First quarter moneyline -- Warriors -125, Cavaliers -105
Team with highest-scoring quarter -- Warriors -145, Cavaliers -115
Largest lead of game -- 'over/under' 15.5 points
I believe the Cavaliers will come out like gangbusters knowing it's their final home game of the season, and certainly the fans will be in full roar. I also think the Cavaliers are tired because their starters are playing so many minutes. So the worst thing that can happen is for Cleveland to get down 15 points or whatever and have to expend extra energy just to get back even. That will be the end of this series. In Game 3's 96-91 home win, the Cavaliers led 24-20 after a quarter and were the first team to 10 points, leading 10-5 on a Matthew Dellavedova basket. In Game 4's 103-82 home loss, the Cavs were down 31-24 at the end of one despite leading 7-0 at one point and again becoming the first team to 10 points. That was the first game in which Warriors coach Steve Kerr started Andre Iguodala over 7-foot center Andrew Bogut. I don't think either team is going to win by a blowout or get ahead by more than 10 points.
NBA Free Picks: Cavs on first two, Warriors on quarter and 'under' largest lead.
Cavaliers Team Specials:
Will LeBron score more than 45.5 points: no -800, yes +500
Will LeBron have more than 14.5 rebounds -- no -650, yes +450
Will LeBron have more than 14.5 assists -- yes-only at +1000
Will LeBron have a triple-double -- no -260, yes +200
Will Timofey Mozgov have a double-double -- no -800, yes +500
Will J.R. Smith score more than 25.5 points -- no -1000, yes +600
Will Matthew Dellavedova score more than 19.5 points -- no -1500, yes +750
If there ever was a time to expect a big game from James, it's now. Especially after his best in the world boast and the fact you know he 100 percent doesn't want to lose the Finals at home and add more misery for Cleveland sports fans. That said, topping any of those totals seems near impossible. His series high in points is 44, in rebounds 16 and assists 11. He does have two triple-doubles and only missed two others by two assists each. Will Cavs coach David Blatt play Mozgov more than nine minutes here? I would think so, especially as the Cavs were outrebounded in Game 5. Without Bogut on the floor, the Warriors really can't do much defensively against Mozgov. If you want to blame one Cavalier player for this series loss, it's Smith. He's shooting just 30.6 percent from the field and 26.2 from 3-point range. He has yet to top 14 points. Smith also has been a detriment on defense. Perhaps now you see why the Knicks happily gave Smith up. Dellavedova has become a cult hero in Cleveland but he's totally spent. "Delly" has totaled just 15 points the past two games. He's not used to playing so many minutes, plus he has to continually fight through screens on defense and chase Steph Curry around. I'm guessing that's rather tiring.
NBA Free Picks: I only like the triple-double for James and I'm going to take a shot on the Mozgov double-double for my NBA picks. He should get double-digit rebounds easily against that small Warriors lineup and getting to 10 points shouldn't be hard as long as Blatt gives him at least 25 minutes of action.