Updated NBA Finals Odds: The Warriors Are Back on Track
Even when the Cleveland Cavaliers had a 2-1 series lead in the 2015 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors continued to hold a narrow 53.01% chance of winning the title, according to our algorithm. That's not to discredit the efforts of a depleted yet scrappy Cavs squad for their improbable consecutive victories in Games 2 and 3, but more a reminder that the Warriors have been historically great this season.
And in Game 4, they certainly reminded us that they still are the team that finished the 2014-15 regular season with a 67-15 record and an otherworldly average point differential of 10.1. They took the lead about eight minutes into last night's contest and never really looked back, despite the occasional run by the Cavaliers. Stephen Curry rediscovered his mojo. Andre Iguodala slipped into the starting lineup and had what was arguably his best game of the regular season and postseason combined. As a team, the Dubs finally found a way to dictate their tempo and impose their style of play on the series.
As for Cleveland, they simply looked gassed and overmatched. LeBron James was transcendently good through the first three games of the series, but his 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists in Game 4 looked decidedly mortal. All that talk of his carrying such a heavy load being unsustainable for an entire series finally looked to have some truth to it. Meanwhile, his supporting cast outside of bigs Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson all but disappeared.
And with that, this becomes a best-of-three series. Considering two of those three games are back at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, a place where Golden State went 39-2 this season and 7-2 in the playoffs, the Warriors have understandably regained their relative stranglehold on the odds:
Golden State Warriors win in 6: 39.16%
Golden State Warriors win in 7: 33.87%
Golden State Warriors win series: 73.03%
Cleveland Cavaliers win in 6: 13.36%
Cleveland Cavaliers win in 7: 13.61%
Cleveland Cavaliers win series: 26.97%
In the beginning, all indications pointed to a quick series in favor of Golden State. The way LeBron James and the Cavs have hung in this thing and made it so competitive with such a severely hobbled roster has certainly been commendable. But to come back from a blowout Game 4 loss on their home floor and win two of the next three games? That will take something special.
The odds are once again stacked in favor of the Warriors. Can the Cavs continue to defy them?