In professional sports, everything is structured to create compelling narratives – the long journey through the regular season crescendos as the playoffs approach. Each round eliminates a competitor until only the strong survive.The NBA finals is supposed to be the narrative climax of the season. In the first round we got a few exciting series; Cavs/Pacers and Celtics/Bucks went the distance with the higher seeds winning out in dramatic fashion. In the Conference Finals, Rockets/Warriors and Cavs/Celtics both went the distance, with both road teams winning Game 7 and advancing to the finals. While Game 1 was an all-time classic, the series looks to be a short one as Curry and KD looked unstoppable in Game 2.
The Odds Are Stacked Against the Cavs
LeBron has made 8 previous trips to the finals. His team has been the underdog in 6 of those 8 runs, with average odds of 2.11-1. The Cavs entered the 2018 Finals a 6.5-1 underdog. These are very long odds for any championship and Cavs fans can’t feel optimistic about their teams’ chances.
Finals prediction: Warriors in 5 (maybe even 4)
Despite a truly heroic Game 1 effort from LeBron (51/8/8), a bad call and a blown play at the end of the game resulted in 5 minutes of bonus basketball for the Warriors, who ended up winning by 10. The reigning champs then took Game 2 by 19 and now head to Cleveland up 2-0 and are favored by 5.5 points going into Game 3. We can expect 44+ minutes per night from LeBron, but his lackluster supporting cast will not be able to overpower the Warriors.
That’s a wrap folks, 17 days until the NBA draft…
Stats and odds by ESPN