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Will Cavs Have the Energy?

Posted by Webster Washington on 6/14/2015 11:15:40 AM

One thing was clear in the final period of Game 4 of the NBA finals: the Cleveland Cavaliers were spent. A third game in five days doesn’t bode well for a team that relies essentially on seven players. Now, the question is whether or not the Cavs can muster the energy to take the upper hand in the fifth game of their series with the Golden State Warriors, which resumes Sunday.

The Cavaliers have the benefit of a couple of days rest. But all accounts point to the Warriors having the benefit of momentum in this series. They found a smaller, more fleet-footed lineup to their liking in Game 4’s 103-82 win on Thursday. They moved the ball with more fluidity and shot with more accuracy. The fast-paced approach, something the Warriors had not displayed in the previous two game, helped wear the Cavs down and run the scoring margin up. Not even LeBron James could make his classic imprint on the outcome.

Whether or not the Warriors stick with that lineup is anyone’s guess. But there’s a good deal of certainty in Cleveland’s determination; it has been displayed time and again during the playoffs. That’s one of the reasons a figure like Cleveland +8.5 looks good. Another is the fact that Cleveland will have more energy on defense, and a better chance at dictating the pace. And their road record in the playoffs (6-3 against the spread) is better than the Warriors (4-6 ATS).

If Golden State sharpshooter Stephen Curry runs free and gets good help from backcourt mate Klay Thompson, Game 5 could be another blowout. But we don’t think they will. The oddsmakers see a lower scoring game, with the over/under posted at 195.5. That may offer an opportunity to hedge on this one. But, we’ll go with Cleveland making it close.

Pick: Cleveland +8.5

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