Remember the days when TV pundits, sports writers & NBA fans were all jumping off the Cavs bandwagon? After Game 2 that train is taking passengers again. Here's what we learn from betting Game 2.
Never Underestimate the Heart of a Champion
No truer words have ever been uttered by a basketball coach. Rudy Tomjanovich basically wrote the script last night, and Lebron James acted it out in another Hall of Fame performance. With his team down and distraught after the broken kneecap of Kyrie Irving, James willed his team to victory last night in a truly memorable performance. James has had some great playoffs and Finals games in the past, but this one may be one of his greatest. Even though he only made 11 field goals, James had his way with the Warriors once again. He scored 39 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out 11 assists to lead his team to an overtime victory. It was the first time in NBA Finals history that the first two games of the series went into overtime, but something tells me that with the series now tied heading into Cleveland, that won’t be the most memorable thing about these Finals.
However, while I will never underestimate the heart of a two-time NBA champ, I will speculate as to how much he is going to have left in the tank after Games 1 and 2. He looked absolutely exhausted after Game 2 in his postgame interview on the court, and while James may be a robot and just putting on another show for us, he also may really be tired. This doesn’t bode well with only one day off in between Games 2 and 3. Both teams obviously have to travel, but hopefully for Cavs fans James gets some much needed rest in the next 48 hours.
Peanut Butter Delly Time
I can’t take credit for this sub headline. My guy, Tyler Rearden, who was also a groomsman at my wedding, made a meme with this text on it before the start of Game 2, and wow was he right. While Matthew Dellavedova didn’t quite cash the over for us in his points prop for Game 2, his presence was felt more so on the defensive end of the court, where he will continue to make his money in this league for year’s to come. Dellavedova’s defense on the MVP, Stephen Curry was nothing short of awesome. He limited Curry to 5-23 shooting on the evening, and while some of that was just Curry missing a few open shots, Delly’s defense can not be understated. It’s going to be tough to continue to limit the MVP to less than 22% from the field, but Dellavedova has become the Cavs new secret weapon on defense, and it may earn the Cavs a title if Delly keeps playing like they did in Game 2.
Game 2 was incredibly low scoring, and so far both games in Golden State have been lower scoring. This could make the total for Games 3 and 4 a little lower as well. On top of that, with both games going into overtime so far, I can bet that the sportsbooks won’t make the same mistake of giving NBA odds like 10/1 on getting a game into overtime again. The quick turnaround is going to hurt the Cavs more than the Dubs, but with the Warriors losing home court advantage, it may not mean as much to the series as a whole. My prediction of a quick series may be out the window, unless the Warriors can find a way to score on the road against this suddenly stout Cleveland defense.