Where Does Game 3’s Online Basketball Betting Blame Fall?
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Game 3 of this year’s online basketball betting Finals is in the books and the Golden State Warriors have remained undefeated. Game 3 was a wild journey, and the way the Warriors overcame Cleveland’s home crowd was exceptional to say the least.
But was the Warriors road win another display of their dominance? Or was King James to blame for the Cavs’ inability to defend his throne?
Recapping Game 3’s Online Basketball Betting Action
Wednesday’s matchup started just like the other contests in the series; Golden State and Cleveland going back and forth with the Warriors staying just a smidgen in front of the Cavs. At the end of the first quarter, the score read 39-32 Golden State.
The second quarter was very much the same, with both teams displaying their offensive prowess. LeBron James went off for a little, but the dynamism between Steph Curry and Kevin Durant kept the Cavs at bay. A buzzer beater on behalf of the Cavs sent both teams into the half with a score of 67-61 Golden State.
Once the third quarter kicked off it seemed pretty obvious that this NBA sports betting contest would once again fall in Golden State’s favor. However, towards the end of the third, the Cavaliers began to hit their stride. In fact, the Cavs would outscore Golden State 33-22 in the third, bringing the game’s tally up to 94-89 in Cleveland’s favor.
The Cavaliers started the 4th quarter as strongly as they had finished the third. Cleveland was forcing takeaways and Kyrie Irving was finishing with a finesse that rivaled Jordan’s in his prime.
As the final quarter continued to drag on, it looked like Cleveland would pull their first win of the series on home court. With 5 minutes left in the contest, the Cavaliers were enjoying a 6-point lead, 102-108. From there, Kyrie Irving missed a 15-footer that gave way to a Klay Thompson three.
A couple of exchanges later, and a JR Smith 26-foot three-point jumper gave Cleveland a 6-point lead once again, 113-107, this time with only 3 minutes left to burn. Unfortunately, that 3-pointer were the last points Cleveland would score in Game 3, as the Warriors mounted an unanswered 11-point drive that ended with their victory 118-113.
Where Does the NBA Sports Betting Blame Fall?
While that 11-point run is a clear example of the Warriors’ firepower, LeBron James had ample opportunity to prove that he truly is King. With 45 seconds left on the clock, Kevin Durant dribbled down the court and saw that LeBron was covering him, with his heels firmly planted behind the three-point line. Durant did not miss this pristine opportunity, and pulled a jumper over a visibly exhausted James. LeBron didn’t offer much contention, stating after the game that he was afraid to draw a foul, and the shot went in, bringing the Warriors within 3.
Afterwards, Cleveland took the ball and was ready to score. LeBron had the ball in hand and had a pretty good opportunity to attack the rim. Instead, the leader of the Cavs elected to pitch out to Kyle Corver, who was hovering near the corner. Corver attempted a three-pointer, but failed.
James’ decision to pass the ball instead of attacking the rim and potentially drawing a foul has been heavily criticized. For starters, Korver had attempted five 3-pointers before that one, and had only made two. Secondly, James is one of the strongest attackers in NBA history and it makes little sense to not attack the rim given the circumstance.
With so little time remaining on the clock, and the score being as close as it was, the Warriors would not want to give the Cavs free points by drawing a foul. In other words, James would have gone virtually uncontested in his attack.
Instead James chose to give the ball to another Cavalier, one that failed to make the shot. At this point the score read 114-113 in Golden State’s favor, forcing the Cavs to foul Kevin Durant. Durant would go on to make both free throws, bringing the score to 116-113. Still a winnable game, but unfortunately King James came up short again.
The Cavaliers would go on to dribble down the court and attempted to pass to LeBron James, who had Andre Iguodala right on top of him. James, who is arguably the smartest player in the NBA, chose to take a highly contested shot, once again opting not to attack the rim.
It was an extremely poor decision, as Iguodala knocked the ball free before James had even launched it. Some have stated that Iguodala’s swat should have been called but it matters little at this point. The Warriors went on to recover the ball, forcing Cleveland to draw the foul once again, proving the NBA odds correct.
A quick glance at the stats sheet will reveal that LeBron outplayed all his teammates, and there were more than a few who came up short. Like Kevin Love who finished the game with a measly 9 points, or Tristan Thompson who didn’t put up any points in 23 minutes.
However, it was these crucial late-game decisions on behalf of LeBron that cost the Cavaliers the game. The Cavs did all they could to win. And with Wednesday’s results in mind, the Golden State Warriors will likely close out the series undefeated.