Facing the possibility of going down 3-1 on the road, Golden State pulled out a huge 103-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. It was clear that the Warriors were the dominant team on Thursday night, as many expected them to be entering the series, and especially when Kyrie Irving went down with a broken left knee cap in Game 1. Given that Golden State now has the momentum, should we now expect them to walk away with the series, or does Cleveland stand a chance as action moves to Oracle Arena? We’ll cover this soon, but here’s a look at the Game 5 betting line:
Game Time: Sunday (June 14) at 9:00pm EST on ABC
GTBets.eu Betting Line:
Golden State -8.5 (-110) Over 195.5 (-110)
Cleveland (-110) Under 195.5 (-110)
Once again, Golden State is a huge favorite while playing at home. Of course, they were also -8.5 favorites in Game 2 as well and ended up losing. So this figures to be anybody’s game from both a betting line and winning standpoint. That said, let’s look at five points to consider going into Game 5 between the Cavs and Warriors.
1. Cleveland’s Unsung Heroes let them down Last Game
Cavs fans have been singing the praises of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova throughout the 2015 NBA Playoffs. But these praises were quickly quieted with Smith (2-for-12), Shumpert (2-for-9) and Dellavedova (3-for-14) all having terrible shooting nights. Smith’s play was noticeably bad when considering that his team was outscored by 27 points with him on the floor. Game 5 presents another chance for these guys to redeem themselves, but can they do it?
2. Don’t let the Warriors get ahead
Stats favor the Warriors greatly when they build a lead. They are 57-0 when pulling ahead by 15 points or more this season. And they are 69-3 when leading after three quarters. One more interesting number is that Golden State is just the sixth team to win a NBA Finals road game by 20 points or more. Throw in the fact that the Warriors were 39-2 in Oracle Arena during the regular season and you have the numbers all favoring the team from the Bay Area.
3. Golden State cut their Rotation, and it worked to Perfection
Much has been made about how thin the Cavaliers are due to injuries. But one should also note that Steve Kerr has cut the Warriors rotation considerably too. In Game 4, they really only played seven players, who all fit into their versatile small ball lineup. The starters all played at least 32 minutes each, while Shaun Livingston and David Lee logged 24 and 15 minutes respectively off the bench. Given the success of this lineup, don’t be surprised to see this combination again.
4. Cleveland played about as Badly as Possible
With what we’ve seen from the Cavs through the first three games, it’s clear that they played about as poorly as they possibly could have last game. Even LeBron James was a dismal 7-for-22 from the field and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. As a team, they shot just 33% from the field and 14.8% from the three-point line. Obviously LeBron is playing with a limited lineup, thanks to injuries to Irving and Kevin Love, but what was seen in Game 4 was just ridiculously bad.
5. The Cavs may not be as Lost as you think
Looking at everything we’ve discussed, it doesn’t seem like Cleveland has much of a chance to win at Golden State. But then again, they weren’t given much of a postseason chance when Love went down, and they definitely weren’t favored to win with the loss of Irving. And here’s a little something else to consider: Cleveland has held opponents to just 40.4% shooting and 25.6% from beyond the arc away from home. Sure, Golden State isn’t just any team; but they also suffered against Cleveland’s D in Game 2, shooting 39.8% from the field and 22.9% from the three-point line. So it’s not entirely possible that Game 5 could feature a rejuvenated Cleveland team winning after a two-day rest.
Final Score Prediction: Cleveland 98 – Golden State 94