Gary | Tue 06/06/2017 - 07:04 EDT

Don't write off LeBron and the Cavs

Take the Cavs in Game 3

Below odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

Odds

Over/under 226 points: Golden State Warriors (-3) at Cleveland Cavaliers 

After being blown out 132-113 in Game 2, Cleveland is once again being counted out, some even believing a sweep is imminent. At this point, the Cavaliers are accustomed to it. After all, they heard the same a year ago when they dropped the first two games to the Warriors by 15 and 33 points each.

Of course, we know how that ended. 

That alone should give you enough reason not to write them off just yet. But boy, does Golden State look real good. 

The biggest competition thus far has been between Steph Curry and Kevin Durant for MVP honors. In Game 2, Curry recorded his first-ever playoff triple-double with a scorching 32-point, 11-assist, and 10-rebound outing. Not to be outdone, Durant chipped in 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and five blocks. 

Those two going off is no surprise, but the Dubs got two comeback performances, too. Head coach Steve Kerr returned to the sidelines after a six-week absence. Klay Thompson finally broke out of his slump, knocking down 8-of-12 shots for 22 points — just his third 20-plus-point game of this undefeated postseason. 

klay

A return home should breathe life into the Cavs, but they'll need more to cover the plus-three spread. First and foremost, their Big Three can't do it all. LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving combined for 75 of their 113 points in Game 2. 

We're looking at you, J.R. Smith. In two starts, Smith has a whopping three points total. Last year, Smith contributed 20, 10, 14, and 12 points in the Cavs four wins, respectively. Not explosive numbers, but far from invisible.

Smith

It may be time for head coach Tyronn Lue to insert Iman Shumpert into the starting rotation instead. Looking at the past game's box score, Shumpert's six points, four rebounds, and three steals don't necessarily jump off the page, but his aggressiveness in 22 minutes was a clear upgrade over the ghost Smith.

Tristan Thompson and Deron Williams don't get off easily either. The pair, along with Smith, are a combined 5-of-25 from the field for 11 points during the first two games. Thankfully for the Cavs, role players usually step up in their own arena because Cleveland needs every point to keep pace with the Warriors.

While Cleveland only made one less field goal than Golden State in Game 2, the difference maker was the three-point line. The Dubs drilled 18 shots from beyond the arc — an NBA record — on a gaudy 61.8 percent shooting from downtown, whereas the Cavs were 8-of-29 from three-point range.   

As much as Golden State has outclassed Cleveland so far, we know better than to doubt LeBron. Sans the 2011 Finals, he's responded every time his back was against the wall. Wednesday's Game 3 is another legacy-defining moment for James, and he'll rise to the occasion like always.

Pick: Cleveland (+3)

Total: Under

Results / FixturesCleveland Cavaliers

Category : Sports Betting News

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