Warriors vs. Cavaliers NBA Picks: Back Golden State to Bounce Back and Regain Home Court Advantage in Game 3

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 9:57 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2015 9:57 PM UTC

NBA odds makers favor the Golden State Warriors by 2 points for Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won Game 2 95-93 in overtime.

Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers (-2) 9:00 ET ABC TV
Game 3 of the best of 7 NBA Championship series, resumes at 9:00 ET on Tuesday, June 9th with the teams changing venues to Cleveland’s home court. In one of the more shocking NBA Playoff upsets this season, Cleveland claimed a 95-93 victory to avenge a 108-100 loss in Game 1. It marked consecutive games that have gone to OT in the series. 

With 3 minutes to go in Game 2, Golden St. trailed Cleveland by 11 points. Then the magic of Oracle Arena, where the Warriors had been 48-3, entering Game 2 took place. The Warriors pulled even at the final buzzer forcing OT yet again. This time, it was Cleveland who proved to be the more resilient team, as the Warriors booted away numerous opportunities down the stretch to win the game. Unlike many other Golden St. games this season, this was a defensive war reminiscent of classic NBA Playoff basketball. In a rare instance, there were fewer assists (30) than TOs (36), a strong testament to the defensive nature of the game. The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson on offense, who made 14 of 28 shots from the field for 34 points. But the Warriors, who converted 40% of their triples in the regular season, went just 8-35 from behind the arc (good for only 32%). The main culprit was Stephen Curry who shot 5 for 23 for the game, including just 2 for 15 from behind the arc.  His 19 points on offense were an inefficient offensive performance.

Many will look to LeBron James’ line that saw him lead the Cavs with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, as the dominant reason for the Cleveland victory. But, there were other Cleveland stars as well who stepped to the fore in replacement of the injured Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Big man, Mozgov, contributed 17 points and 11 boards. But, it was defensive star of the game, Matthew Dellavedova, who was largely responsible for Curry’s offensive ineptitude. The Cavs could shoot just 32% from the field and 33% from the arc, but controlled the flow of the game both defensively and with a 55-45 edge on the boards.  

The question now becomes whether the Golden St. Warriors, who are 80-19 SU for the season can make the necessary adjustments to defeat the Cleveland team who has slowed these contests to a half-court pace. From a historical perspective, this is an outstanding opportunity for a zig-zag. Greater than .700 Game 3 road teams, priced as road favorite to +2 on the NBA odds, are a resounding 85% play in NBA postseason action when facing an opponent who is greater than .625. This includes over 90% winners if our Class A road team is coming off a defeat. Golden State bounces back and regains home court advantage!

Free NBA Pick: Take Golden State -2 with your NBA picks at 5Dimes

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