GSW can clinch their first NBA title in 30 years tonight in Cleveland, but the Cavs are tough to beat at home as they look to force a Game 7. Here are a few player prop picks that stand out for Game 6.
I don't give Cleveland much chance of going to Oakland and winning that Game 7, but there is one benefit in that the clearly gassed Cavaliers players would get that extra day of rest. They need it. So that might slightly increase their chances. Plus, frankly, I'd like to see what LeBron James can do in a Game 7 as he hasn't played in one this season. He hasn't since the Heat beat San Antonio in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The Warriors and league MVP Steph Curry also haven't had to play a Game 7 yet. So from a selfish standpoint, I am rooting for the Cavaliers tonight (especially with hockey season having now ended and being denied an epic Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning).
NBA Finals MVP Odds:
Steph Curry -250
Andre Iguodala +2000
Since this award could be given out Tuesday night, I feel obligated to check the updated odds. I do believe that if the Warriors finish things off in six games that Curry will win it. But maybe it should go to Iguodala? This series changed when Warriors coach Steve Kerr inserted Iguodala in the starting lineup. He's averaging 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in this series -- not really Finals MVP numbers. But the intangibles that Iguodala has brought, not to mention his usually strong defense on LeBron ... Iggy at least deserves some votes. He has been the most important Warrior the past two games, that can't be argued. But Curry probably locked it up with his 37-point Game 5. If James has another big game Tuesday and forces a Game 7 with such an inferior team around him, I believe he wins the award no matter what happens that Game 7. He would deserve it.
NBA Free Pick: Curry.
Klay Thompson Props:
Total points -- 'over/under' 20.5
Total rebounds + assists -- O/U 6.5
Total made free throws -- O/U 2
Total made 3-pointers -- O/U 2.5
I'm not sure that Thompson is healthy; there have been reports he is dealing with a thigh injury. And remember he had that concussion suffered in the clinching game of the Western Conference Finals against Houston. Thompson was good in the first two games of the NBA Finals, totaling 55 points. Not so much in the past two where he has totaled 21 and is a combined 9-for-23 from the field with just one made 3-pointer in each. If I'm the Cavaliers, I'm not letting Curry beat me, although that's obviously much easier said than done because he is such a wizard dribbling the ball and has an amazingly quick release. Curry said after Game 5 that Thompson simply being out there is threat enough: "The way they were defending, they were trapping me when they had the opportunity to. I kick it out, and they're obviously not going to rotate off of Klay. So he creates shots for others just by his presence on the floor." And the San Jose Mercury-News had an interesting stat on Thompson: in each of the final two games of Golden State's previous three playoff series this year: He scored at least 20 points in each of those six, averaging 23.0 and hitting 55.3 percent from the 3-point arc. Maybe we see Iman Shumpert get more time on Curry tonight and that leaves Thompson with an easier chore against Matthew Dellavedova, who looks spent.
NBA Free Picks: 'Under' points, 'over' the other three props.
Tristan Thompson Props:
Total points -- 'over/under' 11.5
Total rebounds -- O/U 11.5
Will he record a double-double -- yes, -120, no -120
I am curious what Cavaliers coach David Blatt does with center Timofey Mozgov tonight. With the Warriors going small, Blatt played Mozgov only nine minutes in Game 5 after he had a monster Game 4. I get Blatt is trying to better matchup with the smaller Warriors, but why not keep Mozgov on the floor as a rim protector and to ensure the Cavaliers dominate the boards? If Mozgov is again marginalized, that means Thompson needs to be a beast for Cleveland to win. He was very good in Game 5 with 19 points and 10 rebounds -- he has had double-digit rebounds in every game of the Finals. The guy is a human pogo stick and perhaps the best offensive rebounder in basketball right now. It's going to be tough for the Cavs to pay him big money as a free agent while also keeping Kevin Love since they play the same position. I might rather have Thompson, although he's nowhere near as gifted offensively as Love is. I'm going to presume Mozgov get limited minutes again in Game 6, which means more stats for Thompson.
NBA Free Picks: 'Over' both and yes on double-double.