Cavs-Warriors: One Step Closer to the Inevitable
The “real” Cleveland Cavaliers are here.
After finishing second in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, the Cavaliers are a perfect 8-0 (5-2-1 ATS) in the postseason, sweeping aside the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors in short order.
LeBron James is playing like a man possessed; he’s cranked it up at both ends of the court, and he’s hit nearly half his 3-point attempts (22-of-47), many of those contested.
The Golden State Warriors have also made it through the first two rounds unscathed. They’re 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS after putting away both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz.
At press time, the Warriors are –900 favorites to win the West on the NBA futures market, while the Cavs are –750 to win the East. That would set up a third straight NBA Finals between these juggernauts – as nearly everyone expected at the start of the season.
The Cavaliers (51-31 SU, 36-43-3 ATS) took the more circuitous route to get here. They had their weakest regular season since James made his return to Cleveland, but they’ve more than made up for it in these playoffs.
Midseason acquisition Kyle Korver is one of the big reasons for this transformation; he was 48.5% from downtown after arriving from the Atlanta Hawks in early January, and he’s 48.5% (16-of-33) during these playoffs.
Korver and James aren’t the only ones lighting it up from long range.
Deron Williams (60.0%), Channing Frye (55.2%), JR Smith (44.1%), Kevin Love (40.5%) and Iman Shumpert (40.0%) are all connecting at 40% or better. But this level of accuracy might not be sustainable. Everyone on this list except Korver is doing much better now than they did during the regular season.
Is it luck, or did they indeed “flip the switch” and find another gear?
Golden State 3-Point Showers
The Warriors, on the other hand, have gotten this far while shooting 37.9% from 3-point territory, down slightly from 38.3% during the regular season. These are high-variance shots, so the Dubs have to be considered the more stable betting commodity of the two.
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