The Warriors were on the wrong side of one of the biggest collapses in NBA history on Thursday night, as a 12-point fourth-quarter lead evaporated as the Celtics caught fire from deep. Simultaneously, the Warriors went cold on a night they seemingly couldn’t miss early.
Do the Splash Brothers and the last remaining “Big 3” have what it takes to even up the series as we head to Boston next week? Let’s take a closer look.
Leg #1. Warriors -4 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
Marcus Smart’s reputation preceded him on Thursday night at the Chase Center, as his 18 points and the relentless defensive effort were once again overshadowed by what Golden State head coach Steve Kerr coined another “dangerous play” back in March (that sidelined Curry for the rest of the regular season). While there wasn’t a direct correlation to a tentativeness from the Warriors, there certainly seemed to be a sense of letting their foot off the gas late.
Even Curry, who led all scorers with 34 points, scored 21 points in the first quarter and went ice cold down the stretch. The Warriors were also dealing with the return of former NBA Champion Andre Iguodala and Otto Porto Jr., who combined for 25 minutes in their first action in months. While I questioned the move to bring them back in such serious minutes, it’s hard to argue it wasn’t working for the first 36 minutes of the game.
While the Warriors’ late collapse is nothing to scoff at, Al Horford hitting six 3-pointers (team 9 of 12) in a quarter likely won’t be repeated, nor will the Warriors failing to match them. Despite the Celtics certainly doing more than enough to impress me in a gritty Game 1 performance, I see this series heading back to Boston 1-1.
It’s also worth noting that in the previous 63 NBA Finals games, the team that won ATS won the game outright. Said differently, the spread is largely out of play at this level of basketball.
Leg #2. Over 215.5 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
We cashed the over with ease in Game 1, and we’re heading right back to the well for this game. Despite ticking a few points higher for Game 2, I still don’t think it’s adjusted high enough for a score that could’ve been much higher should the Warriors have not gone inexplicably cold late.
With a game in the NBA Finals now firmly under his belt, I look for the Warriors’ solidified #3 scoring option Jordan Poole to get back on track following a pedestrian 9-point performance on Thursday. And if Thompson can be a shell of his usual finals self, I think this number sails over the posted total.
Total Odds: +264 at DK Sportsbook
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