2018 NBA Finals

 

Basketball betting odds for the NBA Finals are lopsided. The Golden State Warriors are major favorites, and rightfully so. It seems that Cleveland’s attack is completely predicated on LeBron James playing out of his mind for the Cavs to simply be competitive. That said, who’s to say that the King can’t do it for another few games?

2018 NBA Finals

Indeed, James had to play every second of Game 7 versus the Celtics in order to come out with a victory. He’s no doubt still sore a few days later. But he also accomplished what he set out to do, and with an offseason looming for him to recover. I believe that the Cavalier will ride James exactly the same way that they did during the last round. And while it may take its toll on James, to the point where it could affect him physically moving forward, you can bet that he’ll give it everything he has in this series.

With that said, if James averages over 35 points a game in the NBA Finals versus the Warriors, I believe that this series will be much closer than many people think. Here’s why:

  • The emergence of Jeff Green. The 10-year vet has averaged 15 points for his career and he clearly has been refreshed subbing in for the concussed Kevin Love. Green is so versatile on both ends of the floor that he could guard Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, David West and others. If Green averages 15 points in this series, we will have a close one.
  • Kevin Durant hasn’t been at his best consistently in these playoffs. I’m not sure if he’s hurt or simply lacking confidence, but if he is up and down then the Cavs have a chance.
  • George Hill is a quality NBA player who had a 20-point game in the Boston series. He’s got experience in big moments and could be a decent option to guard Steph Curry.
  • It’ll be interesting to see what Larry Nance Jr. gives Cleveland. He was decent at times in the latter games of the last round. If he can help out on the boards in order to spell Tristan Thompson, both offensively and defensively, Cleveland will get much needed extra possessions in this series.

So a lot of things have to go right for the Cavs to compete for an NBA title this round. But it could happen. They could see their players alternate stepping up and taking on the Warriors much tougher than many expect. There’s no pressure on the Cavs right now. They’re playing with house money. And if they get any kind of defense at all, we’ll have a fun NBA Finals matchup.

Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’s also a contributor to ESPN 101.3 Plattsburgh/Burlington. Follow him @MatthewWords.