But things just got a little bit tougher after a report that LeBron James is dealing with an ankle injury.
Express UK points out that the injury could play a major role in how LeBron does in what could be the final game of the series. Here’s Express’ take on the matter:
“That’s why their must have been a collective gasp inside the Quicken Loans Arena when James limped away in agony after missing a lay-up.
“James battled his way to the post and jumped up to the basket, but came down hard on his right ankle and ended up rolling it.
“Instead of heading to the bench, he decided to play on but during the next timeout he could be seen using a device to help stretch his ankle.”
The injury happened when James drove past the Warriors’ Jordan Bell on his way in for an uncontested layup. He not only missed the layup, but also landed awkwardly afterward. It’s entirely possible that LeBron expected some contact or at least more resistance from Bell on the play.
ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst also tweeted about the injury that James is dealing with:
“LeBron is being affected by the ankle. He’s purposely not landing on his right leg and it’s affected several shots thus far.”
Can Cleveland Win without LeBron at Full Strength?
It’s hard to tell if he slowed down in the second half of Game 3, when he suffered the injury. But he seemed less aggressive down the stretch when compared to usual.
James is almost guaranteed to play. But if he’s not 100%, then it’s unlikely that Cleveland has any chance to win. They’ve already struggled with the Warriors when LeBron was completely healthy. Things won’t get any better if his ankle is really bothering him.
It would take a miracle game from All-Star Kevin Love and role players like Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, George Hill, Kyle Korver, and Rodney Hood to win.
Cavs Warriors Odds for Game 4 of 2018 NBA Finals
Here are our GTBets odds on Game 4 between Cleveland and Golden State:
- Golden State Warriors -4.5 (-108); -177 moneyline
- Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5 (-110); +146 moneyline
- Over 215.5 (-108)
- Under 215.5 (-110)
The Warriors are favored on the spread and moneyline for the fourth straight game. Their odds are about the same as they were heading into Game 3.
But a LeBron ankle injury could give Golden State even better odds to win and cover the spread.