With or without Leonard, the Warriors are the pick in Game 3
Warriors will cover again in Game 3
By Eric Uribe
Below odds courtesy of BetOnline.
Over/under 212 points: Golden State (-6) at San Antonio Spurs
There’s one thing and one thing only that matters in Game 3 — Kawhi Leonard’s left ankle. His status remains murky heading into Saturday’s Game 3. However, here’s what we do know.
Leonard did not practice on Thursday. He suffered a similar injury in the second round against Houston, but head coach Gregg Popovich said he expects Leonard’s recovery to last longer this time around.
That’s not good news for San Antonio. Since Leonard went down midway through the third quarter in Game 1, the Spurs have been outscored 194-133 by the Warriors. During that same timeframe, the Spurs are shooting 37 percent from the field — including 8-of-30 from beyond the arc. Golden State has feasted, hitting 57 percent of their shots and 24-of-54 from downtown.
Without Leonard in Game 2, the Dubs completely outclassed the Spurs 136-100. We don’t expect San Antonio to win without their leader, but losing by 36 points? And blowing a 23-point lead in Game 1? They can do better, especially with Popovich on the sidelines.
A lion’s share of the blame falls on LaMarcus Aldridge, who becomes the go-to player without Leonard. He shined in that role during a close-out game against the Rockets, but played horrendous last game. LaMarcus took a mere five shots in the first half, making one. The timid performance amounted to an eight-point outing. He has to do better.
The same can be said about most of the roster, though. It seems like this team — one filled with NBA champions like Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, and Danny Green, among others — doesn’t believe they can win. There’s no fight in them. The lone players that notched double-digit scoring figures in Game 2 were Jonathon Simmons and Davis Bertans. I know, who?
With that said, Golden State still deserves credit. Interim coach Mike Brown has filled in admirably in Steve Kerr’s absence. Andre Iguodala missed Game 2 and Zaza Pachulia, in an ironic twist, left mid-game with an injury of his own. Both are listed as questionable for Saturday’s clash.
Furthermore, Steph Curry is posting eye-popping numbers. In the past three games, Curry has totaled 99 points. But get this, he’s only taken 54 shots to accomplish that. That amounts to a ridiculous 1.83 point per shot ratio.
Curry might not get the headlines he deserves while playing on a superstar-loaded team, but he is quietly having a monster playoff run that almost rivals his rival out East. So far, he’s hitting 43.7 shots from deep — a post-season high for him.
Before making any wagers, monitor Leonard’s health closely. If he’s ruled out, San Antonio’s chances are shot. But even with him in the lineup, likely not at full strength and vulnerable to re-injure himself, the Warriors are the best bet here.
Pick: Golden State (-6)
Category : Sports Betting NewsMore articles...