NBA Finals betting: It's time to give the Warriors defence some love as Golden State stand on the edge of greatness


The Cleveland Cavaliers may, in due course, be regarded as one of the great teams of their era. How could they not, with a title and a player in the conversation for the G.O.A.T?

But if LeBron James is now up there with Michael Jordan in the mix for greatest of all-time, then surely it’s time to ponder whether the Golden State Warriors of 2017 are likely to end up amid the discussion for finest teams ever.

Up 2-0 in these NBA Finals heading into Game 3 at The Q on Wednesday, the Dubs haven’t just been a level above – they’ve elevated themselves out of sight from James and Co with two victories so far by an average of 20.5 points, blowouts that point ominously at a sweep that is now available at just 2.80

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No wonder that, even with two contests to come on their own floor, Cleveland is out to 10.00 to defend their crown and 2.33 to bring to an end tonight what is an unprecedented 14-0 record for their rivals in these playoffs.

With no plans, confirmed head coach Ty Lue, to alter their starting line-up, it’s hard to see where the ignition for the comeback will come from. It’s easy to look solely at Golden State’s glittering offense – led by Kevin Durant’s 35.5 ppg over the clashes so far.

But the increasingly heralded defence of Klay Thompson, Durant and Draymond Green has constrained the Cavaliers to a woeful 97.4 points per 100 possessions, an utter aberration for any team with a claim to be among the NBA’s best two.

Even with James scoring and rebounding big, the knot has been tied around the neck of everyone else. Simply, to survive even to a Game 5, the supporting cast need to score – and get some stops – in a performance similar to last Christmas when they eeked out a 109-108 win.

That would make going under 220.5 total points at 2.65 an attractive proposition and it’s still conceivable the Cavs will sneak a consolation victory at home.

But the Warriors appear destined, not just for a championship, but for legendary status. Another 48 minutes of dominance beckons.

Best bet: Take Golden State over Cleveland at -9.5 at 3.10

There are a few NBA Specials on offer as the summer trading market looms. Two All Stars stick out, however, as possible switchers on the off-season merry go round.

Paul George, with the Indiana Pacers far from contention and a contract huddle looming, is 3.20 to be wearing a different jersey come Opening Night, a real steal.

By contrast, however much the New York Knicks want to ditch Carmelo Anthony, his no-trade clause (not to mention his declining reputation) could make him hard to shift. At 5.00 to remain in the Big Apple, it’s a punt worth taking.