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Are Warriors Set to Complete Postseason Invincibility?
Warriors to win NBA Championship on Friday
All odds and game lines brought to you by Topbet.
At least we got a competitive Game 3, right?
That's a small consolation prize when the NBA playoffs have been overrun with blowouts. But at least it's something. Sure, the NBA Finals were supposed to be different. Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State Warriors. Round 3. This was the setup we were all waiting on—the last hope at salvaging an otherwise crappy postseason.
Alas, the Warriors have jumped out to a 3-0 series lead. All hope of a competitive matchup is now lost.
In the macro view, the season is over. No NBA team in history has ever successfully erased a 3-0 deficit. Though the Cavaliers were the first team to come back from a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals last year, this is a different kind of history, and they aren't about to break it.
The question instead becomes: Can they force a Game 5?
Our answer: No.
Okay, how about the spread? Can they cover at +6?
This is a ridiculous thing to predict on the surface. The Warriors are already 3-0 against the spread in this series. Predicting a sweep, both in the best-of-seven set and at the sportsbooks, feels like overkill. Surely the Cavaliers are overdue for some success, even if they don't win.
Maybe so. If you don't want the season to end, you want it to be possible. But we have to play the odds here. And the Cavaliers already gave the Warriors their best shot. It was in Game 3, when they held the lead late into the fourth quarter. And they still lost. Kevin Durant canned a go-ahead three inside a minute to play, and the Cavaliers were toast.
There is no coming back from this. The Cavaliers sounded dejected and defeated afterward. LeBron James didn't concede the series, or Game 4, but he did say the Warriors have more firepower than any team he's ever faced. He's not lying, either. On paper, they are the most talent squad to grace the hardwood.
Cleveland's only hope in Game 4, insofar as it has one, is playing James a full 48 minutes. Wednesday's contest was lost when he was off the floor—which is saying something, because he logged 45 minutes and 37 seconds.
In the 143 seconds he was on the bench, though, the Cavaliers were a minus-12, according NBA.com. Minus. Twelve. Think about that. Really think about it. They couldn't survive for two minutes and change without him. They imploded. If they have any interest in prolonging this series, he cannot sit. Not for a minute. Not for a second. Not for a half-second.
And even then, it may not be enough.
One victory away from the title, the Warriors could take their foot of the gas, but the Cavaliers shouldn't bet on it. The Warriors want to finish the postseason undefeated, and they want revenge for last season's collapse. This game is more likely to turn into a barn-burner that favors Golden State than one that tilts toward Cleveland in any capacity.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-6)
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