Stephen Nover's NBA Playoff Total of the Year
Cleveland vs. Golden State,
06/01/2017 21:00 EDT,
Score: 91 - 113
Total: -115/+227 Under
By the time this game tips off on Thursday night, Cleveland will have gone a week without playing. The wait was even longer for Golden State, which last played on Monday, May 22.
But because the Cavaliers averaged 116.8 points during the playoffs and Warriors put up 118.3 points per game in the postseason we have a very high total in this Game 1.
Yes, I'm well aware of all the superstars participating here - LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, Kevin Love and Klay Thompson.
But there's going to be a huge rust factor. This opening game is a matchup of wills and strategy. Both sides have had ample time to game plan. This isn't an All-Star game. There will be defensive intensity.
Offense immediately comes to mind when thinking about these two teams. Each is underrated defensively, though.
If you discount the 111 points they gave up to the Celtics when they lost their intensity in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers have surrendered an average of 97.8 points in their last six games.
The Warriors finished No. 1 during the regular season in defensive field goal percentage and in defending against 3-pointers. If you don't include the 115 points they allowed to the Spurs in their Game 4 sweep of the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors are yielding 99.5 points in their last eight games.
The Warriors also get back ace defender Andre Iguodala. He's a key defensive chess piece for acting Warriors coach MIke Brown. If anybody can game plan to defend against James it's Brown, an astute defensive-minded assistant who knows James well from his head coaching days in Cleveland.