By Charles Jay
Well, the Golden State Warriors have had some success during these playoffs when they have reverted to a small lineup. This time, however, the adjustments they made were a little bit radical. Coach Steve Kerr decided that he was going to, for the most part, sit down Andrew Bogut, who is a defensive force but had turned into an offensive liability, and he used Draymond Green at center, with Andre Iguodala at one of the forward positions.
NBA Finals Odds
Now things shift to the Oracle Arena in Oakland for Sunday nights Game 5, and Golden State is a sizable favorite, according to the NBA betting odds at Vietbet:
Golden State Warriors -8.5
Cleveland Cavaliers +8.5
Over 195.5 points -110
Under 195.5 points -110
These changes turned out to be quite beneficial, as Iguodala had 22 points, and David Lee, the veteran two-time All-Star who got 13 minutes of playing time in Game 4, contributed nine points and five rebounds in 15 1/2 minutes of play. Golden State went with essentially a seven-man rotation, got out to an early lead, and never really let Cleveland in the ball game. The Cavaliers scored just 12 points in the final quarter, and the final of 103-82 was not only an embarrassment for Cleveland, but perhaps a wake-up call as well.
It may have been just a case of exhaustion for the Cavaliers, who have laid it all out on the line over the first three games, two of which went to overtime. Lebron James, who had averaged over 41 points in four previous meetings against Golden State this season, was held to just 20 points on 7-22 shooting. The surprise offensive player, although not a big shocker, was Timofey Mozgov, who had 28 points and took advantage of the openings that were created by the Warriors’ extra attention paid to Lebron.
But when you can get only seven points off the bench, you’ve got some troubles, and that is something Vietbet customers saw with the Cavaliers. JR Smith it just two of his 12 shots, and he was the only one off the pines to make a field goal. He took a goose egg from long-range (in eight attempts) and it wasn’t like Cleveland’s other three-point shooters were making up the difference. In fact, the Cavs went just 4-27 from beyond the arc. That’s a huge problem.
But now that Cleveland isn’t going to be taken by surprise with this Warriors’ strategy, we wonder if they will be able to make the defensive adjustments necessary to give Golden State a hard time once again as they go to the Bay Area.
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