The Cleveland Cavaliers spent a year waiting for another shot at the Golden State Warriors after losing to them in the NBA Finals last season. On Thursday, the Cavs got their wish but failed to take advantage dropping the first game of the NBA Finals to the Warriors in Oakland.
Now that the first game of the series is in the books, the Cavs have to quickly regroup if they don’t want to fall into a 0-2 hole. Game 2 will be played at the Oracle Arena on Sunday, and it’s scheduled to begin at 8 PM. ET.
In game 1, the Cavaliers did a good job keeping league MVP Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in check. LeBron James took it upon himself to defend Curry for most of the night, and was very effective. Curry finished the game with 11 points on 4 of 15 shooting.
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Like Curry, Thompson also struggled from the floor, going 4 for 12 for 9 points in the game. For Cleveland, LeBron James did a little bit of everything, but it wasn’t enough to get his team the win.
James finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Kyrie Irvin added 26 points but he didn’t shoot the ball very well, finishing the game 7 for 22.
Kevin Love also had a good game for Cleveland, finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds. While Cleveland had four starters in double figures, their bench players didn’t play very well, which ended up being the difference in the game.
The Cavaliers got only 10 points from their bench and shot 38 percent as a team, which is opposite of the type of effort that the team was hoping to have in the first game of the series.
While Cleveland’s bench struggled, Golden State’s bench was unstoppable. Shaun Livingston, who caught some flak for his inconsistent performance in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, led the way with 20 points off the bench, on 8 of 10 shooting.
Draymond Green, who struggled at times during the Western Conference Finals, was the difference maker in the game, and provided a lot of energy for the team. Green finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Leandro Barbosa also got it on the action finishing a perfect 5 for 5 from the field for 11 points. Last year’s Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, also had a big night, finishing with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, while having to guard LeBron James.
For the Cavaliers to have a chance to pull off a victory in game 2, their bench has to play better than it did in game 1. Head coach Tyronn Lue has to find a way to get Channing Frye some playing time because he has been shooting very well during the playoffs. Frye played only seven minutes in game 1, taking only one shot.
For Golden State, the Splash Brothers can’t afford to play as bad as they did offensively because their bench likely isn’t going to score 40 points again in game 2.
Cavs vs Warriors Game 2 Odds
BetOnline.ag has the Warriors favored to win the game by 7 points. The money line for the Warriors to win is -270 and +230 for the Cavaliers. The over/under on total points scored is 208.
After the disappointing game 1 defeat, the Cavaliers will play harder in this game. But, Curry and Thompson aren’t likely to have consecutive bad shooting nights and the Warriors are tough to beat at home, so I’m taking the Warriors to cover the spread. Also take the over in this game.
Play: Warriors -7 @ BetOnline.ag