Golden State (2-0) at Cleveland (0-2)
When: Wednesday, June 8th 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 9:05 ET | TV: ABC
The Cleveland Cavaliers desperately need a win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday when they host the Golden State Warriors. Cleveland has been embarrassed over the first two games by an average of 24 points and could be without power forward Kevin Love tonight. Love suffered a concussion during Sunday’s 110-77 loss in Oakland and is listed as questionable. Star LeBron James seems to think the Cavaliers will be without their power forward. “It’s going to be the next man up. We’re down 0-2, and we can’t afford to look and say, Wow, Kev’s not playing. What are we going to do?'” James told reporters after practice. “It’s next man up, because it’s a must-win for us. So obviously his health is very important, but in the situation we’re in now, we’ve got to stay confident. And whoever Coach decides to give the nod to has got to be ready to go, and everybody else has to step up.” If Love sits out, veteran sharp-shooter Channing Frye will likely play a larger role and little-used Timofey Mozgov will be a bigger part of the rotation. The Cavaliers could use a lot more from their bench including J.R. Smith, who is averaging just four points in the series, while backup SG Iman Shumpert is averaging three points.
The Warriors played Sunday’s game much like most of their regular season games – with Steph Curry on the bench resting up for the next game. He and Klay Thompson are averaging just 27.5 points combined over the first two contests. Draymond Green made five 3-pointers while contributing 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists and playing his typical sturdy defense in the Game 2 victory. With one more victory, the Warriors will pass the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (87 wins) for the most overall wins in a season but point guard Stephen Curry made it clear his team isn’t about to relax with a 2-0 series lead. “There’s no point in celebrating or jumping up and down and saying, ‘Look at us,'” Curry told reporters. “We’re two games away from winning a championship. We still have to go out and get the job done. It’s a trap to think that we’ve figured things out and that we have the perfect formula to beat Cleveland and they have no chance in the series.” The Warriors have won the last seven meetings including the last three of the 2015 NBA Finals and two regular-season meetings before the wins in this series.
Love or no Love, the Warriors will win this game. They have Cleveland’s number and much better team chemistry than the Cavs. Cleveland will play these two games closer, but the Warriors will pull it out in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Warriors PK