The Cleveland Cavaliers attack has lost Kevin Love. It has lost Kyrie Irving. And now the top-two players still in play are an erratic shooting J.R. Smith and the always impressive LeBron James.
The bar is set high for James, and not so high for Smith, but both should have every chance to put up huge numbers while mostly surpassing the prop bench marks.
LeBron James 32.5 Total Points
OVER. It seems crazy to think LeBron is in for another epic game, but he probably is. He attempted 38 field goals in Game 1 en route to 44 points in 46 minutes. With Kyrie Irving unable to go, James is going to take the Cavs on his shoulders. The question is whether they will be strong enough to carry his teammates for 48 minutes. Whether it is or not, LeBron scores 36-plus points again.
LeBron James 9 Total Rebounds
UNDER. LeBron is going to be focused on scoring, and this one is too close to call even if he weren’t labored with it. In Game 1, though, he had eight boards and that is what can be rationally expected again. LeBron will count heavily on Tristan Thompson to come up with key rebounds again.
LeBron James 8 Total Assists
Leaving this one alone. He had 6.5 assists over the past two games, but with Irving out he will be playing the role of playmaker in the offense. That makes it entirely possible he goes for 10 assists, but if the Warriors elect not to throw a lot of help side defense, he could have to beat the Dubs alone without major contributions from teammates. Moreover, relying on a secondary passing option as inconsistent as J.R. Smith renders this bet a huge wild card at any rate.
LeBron James 1.5 Threes Made
OVER. He’s hit a pair in three of the last four games and he looked very comfortable in Game 1, even if only 2-of-8 fell. James knows he can get the three at any time, and when he begins to either tire or conserve energy, he’ll elect to shoot it even more. Jumpers are a quick bail out, and he’ll be good for two threes to secure the over here.
LeBron James 6.5 Made Free Throws
OVER. The only thing that kept LBJ from having eight made free throws in Game 1 was the fact he simply didn’t. Getting 10 attempts is enough to get OVER this mark easily, and though he had just four free throw attempts in the Cavs’ blowout of Atlanta on May 26, he had recorded seven or more in five of the previous six games. It seems that his poor shooting in Game 1 is being held against him by oddsmakers. He was tired. If James gets going early with his drive game, he passes this mark mid-third quarter.
LeBron James 2.5 Total Blocks + Steals
UNDER. James had no blocks or steals in Game 1, and he was under this mark in three of the five previous games. He can make plays to be sure, but he has to stay honest with boxing out too because the Cavs need him to rebound. With James splitting his attention on defensive rebounding and making plays, he falls short of this.
J.R. Smith 15 Total Points
OVER. J.R. Smith has the potential to make his career look a lot more shiny with a great game tonight. He only scored nine points in game 1 on 3-of-13 shooting, and he’s going to take even more than 13 shots in this affair. He hit just 3-of-10 from three-point range and 0-of-3 from inside the arc, but Smith has never met a shot he didn’t like. He prefers contested jumpers, which has rendered him one of the game’s least efficient players with a 41.7 percent field goal percentage. He does hit three triples per game in the postseason, though, and he’s going to have every chance to pass this mark.
J.R. Smith 6.5 Total Rebounds + Assists
OVER. J.R. Smith had back-to-back 10 rebound games against the Hawks in the final two games of the series, and though he had just four in Game 1, he will get back to hitting the glass hard again. The assists don’t come often, he had none last game, but in the rout of the Hawks on May 26, he had 10 rebounds and three assists. Due to J.R.’s inevitably huge role in the attack tonight, he’ll be more active to pass the mark on rebounds alone.
J.R. Smith 2.5 Made Threes
OVER. Even in his poor shooting games he typically gets up enough attempts to hit three like last game. He has hit three or more in four of his past five games, including his 28 point outburst against Atlanta on May 20 when he shot 10 of 16 from the floor and 8 of 12 from three-point range.