The NBA is now down to its final games with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors renewing their on-court battle for the fourth consecutive time. However, the road to the NBA finals isn’t as paved as it used to be.
Fans of both teams braced themselves as the Cavaliers and Warriors went straight to Game 7 and win on the road in their respective conference finals. Over at the Eastern Conference, Lebron James carried the weight of his team with a monstrous 35 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists to beat the Boston Celtics on the latter’s home court on Sunday. Lebron is definitely hungry to give the Cavaliers another title before he decides whether to stay put in Ohio or bring his talent elsewhere.
The 2017 NBA champions, on the other hand, managed to squeak past the Houston Rockets after having quite a slow start in Game 7. The Warriors were running on diesel, falling behind early in the game and facing a double-digit deficit during the final game against the Rockets.
The Warriors were able to find their footing in the second half with Kevin Durant unleashing 21 points while Draymond Green chalked 13 points and 10 rebounds. Like the Cavs, the Warriors is coming off a win on the road.
Will the Cavaliers be finally able to defend the land or will the Warrior’s strength in numbers prevail?
Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against the Cavaliers to win the title this season. In fact, Lebron’s team isn’t the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference for the first time in nine years.
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook manager Jeff Sherman tweeted on Monday that the Warriors were opening as -1,200 favorites, with the Cavaliers at +750.
The Warriors are also predicted by oddsmakers to win Game 1 of the NBA finals with 12-points compared with Cavalier’s 216.5, making it the largest spread since the Los Angeles Lakers walloped the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001.
The odds were based on the fact that the Cavaliers is missing Kyrie Irving, who played big during the 2017 NBA finals against the Warriors. They worried that Coach Tyronn Lue might not have the right guy to stop Durant from making the basket.
Another factor why the odds were stacked against the Cavaliers was due to its performance in the Eastern Conference. Lebron’s team had a difficult time repelling the likes of Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics, which were considered to be peanuts for the Warriors.
James may have done the unthinkable during the playoffs but perhaps now is the right time for his teammates to step up and do the heavy lifting.