The NBA Finals, Game 2, tips off tonight at the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena. Stephen Curry and his teammates will no doubt want to use their home court advantage to extend their lead over the Cavaliers. It looks like the odds may be in their favor.
The Warriors are an 8 point favorite to win at home, according to sportsbooks monitored by Oddshark.com, SB Nation reports. This is a 2 point increase in their odds for Game 1, which they won by 8 points.
The main factor working against the Cavaliers is that their All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving, limped off the court during Game 1 of the NBA finals with a fractured left kneecap. He’s been ruled out of the rest of the tournament, which is an obvious blow to the Cavs’ opening lineup.
“You’d love to see us at full strength, obviously, for the Finals,” Cavaliers’ coach David Blatt told ESPN.com. “The situation, as it is, is what it is, and we’re going to come out and play and play to win. Request no quarter and no sympathy. We’ve got to come out and play and play to win. That’s it.”
LeBron James echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“[I] understand that we were the underdog coming into the series, and with Kyrie being out, people are writing us off. So, I mean, that’s fine. That’s fine. I’m motivated to get our guys ready to go tomorrow [for Game 2], and we will be ready.”
I want to thank everyone for the well wishes. Saddened by the way I had to go out but it doesn’t take… https://t.co/zXY3mtV2vg
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) June 5, 2015
The Cavs initally deemed Irving’s injury non-contact, but later retracted that assessment. They now believe that it happened as a result of a collision between Irving and The Warriors’ Klay Thompson.
“Kyrie said this to us so we watched the film with him and with our medical team,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin told USA Today on Saturday.
“What he did there was go down and when he was going to get out of it, he gets hit from the side, so he couldn’t get out of it. So it just put more torque on the bone. It was really a unique play that way. But I don’t think I can call it fluke-ish either because it is a basketball play.”
Irving returned home for surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. His projected recovery time is 3 to 4 months.
Aside from Kyrie’s injury, the Cavaliers will also have the underrated Golden State defense to contend with. The Warriors’ offense normally gets all the kudos, but their defense has had a solid run this year, allowing 99.9 points per game. They were even better in the postseason, where they allowed 96.5 points per game.
The NBA Finals continue tonight at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
[Photo by Bob Donnan / USA Today Sports]