With over a week’s worth of rest, both teams will come out shooting in Game One of the NBA Finals that will feature LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers facing Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors.
Game one will tip-off on June 4 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC from the ORACLE Arena in Oakland, possibly making this one of two playoff finals to be played in California. The other being the Stanley Cup Finals if the Ducks can beat the Blackhawks this Saturday.
A Closer Look At My Cleveland Cavaliers At Golden State Warriors Game One Free Pick
Matchup: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors
Date: June. 4, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 PM ET
Location: Oakland, CA
Stadium: ORACLE Arena
TV Info: ABC
Spread: Warriors -6
Game Total: 203.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Cleveland vs Golden State
The Cleveland Cavs Will Cover the 6-point Spread If
The Cavs can match Golden State’s shooting prowess
Cleveland looked like the best team in the NBA when sweeping Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals, but was that enough to make them my NBA Finals game one free pick? Cleveland played a well balanced team that wasn’t void of the one-two knockout punch (Curry/Thompson) that they face in the NBA Finals starting June 4.
The Cavaliers are just the third team to sweep a 1 seed in the Conference Finals since seeding began in 1984. pic.twitter.com/UrP8jaqWSA
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 27, 2015
Golden State is ranked first in points per game at 110, first in field goal percentage at 47.8%, and first in three-point field goal percentage at 39.8%. When you play a team that hits 4 out of 10 three-pointers, the best way to counter that team is to score three-pointers on your own. Cleveland has the guy to do it with J.R. Smith who shoots 39.6% from behind the arc. When Smith isn’t shooting threes, Kyrie Irving, if he’s healthy enough, is going to have to. Irving shoots 41.5% from three. During the playoffs, Irving is shooting 48.1% from the three-point line. LeBron is going to have to set up Smith and Irving for the three-ball. If he does, the Cavs should cover the spread.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Projected Starting Lineup:
- LeBron James, SF 6′ 8, 26.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 7.8 APG
- Timofey Mozgov, C 7′ 1?, 9.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 0.6 APG
- Tristan Thompson, C 6′ 9?, 7.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 0.6 APG
- Kyrie Irving, PG 6′ 3?, 20.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.5 APG
- Iman Shumpert, SG 6′ 5?, 9.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.6 APG
Golden State Will Cover the 6-point Spread If
The Warriors play good enough perimeter defense
Golden State didn’t have the inside game that Houston had in the Western Conference Finals. But what Golden State did have was the ability to stop Houston’s shooters from dropping too many perimeter shots. Will that be enough to make the Warriors my NBA Finals game one free pick?
Steph Curry is the 31st MVP to make the NBA Finals the same season…MVPs have gone 22-8 in the finals. pic.twitter.com/buA1OjLOzR
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 28, 2015
Even though the Warriors gave up size on the inside, they were able to hold Houston’s shooters to less than stellar games. James Harden went 2 out of 11 from the field and was 0 and 3 from behind the three-point line in Golden State’s 104 to 90 Game 5 win over the Rockets. Golden State needs to guard the perimeter against Cleveland because the Warriors shoot the three so well that if they are able to do that, whatever advantage that Cleveland has inside won’t matter. That’s the best way for Steph Curry and the Warriors to cover the spread in Game 1. They have to be able to hold Cleveland to a low percentage from the perimeter.