Lebron James continues to be a one-man show for the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least on the offensive end. On Sunday he was considered to have had one of his memorable performances, which is kind of strange because he only made 11 out of his 35 shots from the field. But he was able to get to the line 18 times, hand out eleven assists and pull down 16 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 95-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors to even up the NBA Finals at a game apiece. Game 3 is slated for 9 PM ET on Tuesday, and it will be televised live by ABC. Remember that BetAnySports customers have the opportunity to place wagers on the side, total and various props through the facilities of Live Betting Extra. It will add a new dimension to your sports betting experience, to be sure.
In the first game of the series, Lebron took 40% of his teams shots. In Game 2, that figure was 39%. Now one would surmise that with such poor accuracy on his part, which essentially reflected the entire team, which hit only 32% of its attempts, that Cleveland would have a very difficult time. But they did manage to make 28 free throws, and amazingly, James was the only player on the Cleveland roster to have more than one assist.
What must also be recognized is this team’s ability to play defense, and it has woken up in an extraordinary way during the post-season. The Cavaliers made the key move to acquire Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets, and he has proven to be a great “rim protector.” On an overall basis, they didn’t look very good in the NBA rankings, at #20 in defensive efficiency. But no one can doubt their performance in the playoffs, as they’ve allowed opponents to shoot just 41%. Clearly it is a transformed squad.
That is a team effort, and Lebron hopes to get more of it on Tuesday night. In the NBA playoff odds that have been established byBetAnySports on this game, Golden State is actually laying points as the road team:
Golden State Warriors -1.5
Cleveland Cavaliers +1.5
Over 194 points -110
Under 194 points -110
All the other Cavaliers aside from James also had an off-night when it came to shooting. They went a collective 18-55, and some of the credit for that has to go to the Golden State defense. Let’s not forget that the Warriors led the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage this season (42.8%). So they are going to make shots difficult for Cleveland. And Golden State certainly hopes that they don’t get a repeat performance out of the league MVP, Steph Curry, who was a terrible 2-15 from three-point range and turned the ball over six times.
Much credit has to go to Lebron, and we suppose head coach David Blatt, for having the Cavs understand their roles. For example, Matthew Dellavedova, who had to come in and take the place of Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup at point guard, isn’t really PLAYING point guard, but has one assignment first and foremost – harassing Curry. He amassed the second most minutes of anyone on the Cleveland side on Sunday, and BetAnySports customers saw that (with a little help) he was able to force Curry into taking a lot of bad shots. Tristan Thompson, the power forward, did not make a field goal, but he had 14 rebounds, and led all players with seven caroms on the offensive end. Mozgov had 17 points, and now Lebron is used to looking for him just in case the defense isn’t paying attention down low.
The only guy who didn’t seem with the “program” on Sunday was JR Smith, who scored 13 points off the bench in 38 minutes but committed a number of stupid fouls, and eventually became a liability. It was almost merciful that he fouled out of the game. What Cleveland would like to do is get some of those referees calls they didn’t get the other night, including several where James was hacked pretty good. All in all, you could do worse than getting points with a team that is 26-2 in its last 28 at home.
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