Cokin’s Corner, Monday 6/20/16
The old adage goes, live by the jumper, die by the jumper.
That basketball axiom turned out to be dead on for the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. The team regarded as the best jump shooting team in hoop history couldn’t get the ball to drop when it mattered most, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are now the new world champs.
This title game will be dissected from every angle, as history was made by the Cavaliers while the team that broke the regular season win record couldn’t close things out with a 3-1 lead. But in the end, it was more about one awful stretch of shooting that reared its ugly head at the worst possible time.
The Warriors made a basket to take a four-point lead with 5:37 remaining. They made one bucket the rest of the way, a Klay Thompson deuce that tied things up with 4:39 still to play. Little did anyone know that would be the last points the Warriors would score this season.
Golden State missed its last nine shots. The last couple probably didn’t matter, as they came at the very finish after the Cavaliers had taken a two-possession lead. But the first seven missed sure had an impact. Had a couple of those shots fallen, the Warriors would likely be prepping for a big parade right now. Had Golden State made even one of those attempts, we might still be playing as the issue surely would have been in doubt till the final horn.
But the Warriors missed them all, and LeBron James turned out to be King James at crunch time. The series as a whole was not exactly riveting in terms of close games. But the climactic Game Seven lived up to billing in terms of tension if not aesthetic beauty.
Congratulations to LeBron, whose greatness should never again be debated. And congrats to the city of Cleveland, which finally gets to celebrate a championship after so many empty years.
Monday’s baseball slate looks thin, and as of now I’ve made just one play. That’s therefore the game I’ll post here as the daily free play.
GIANTS (Bumgarner) at PIRATES (Locke)
Take: GIANTS -1.5 -115
Two teams in completely opposite directions here. The Giants have won eight straight, the Pirates have lost five in a row and are 1-11 in their last 12. So it’s pretty obviously a spot where it’s Giants or pass, as I have no desire to fade the hot favorite nor try to score with the ice cold dog. Adding in the pitching makes it a play on the big chalk side.
Madison Bumgarner is in great form, and that’s something I doubt I’ve ever said about Jeff Locke. A lot of the team data is pretty close as far as the overall data goes, but not surprisingly, the current form favors the San Francisco side. There’s even the small scheduling bonus, with the Pirates traveling home after playing the Sunday night game.
There isn’t any line value here, as laying a runs line and not getting an underdog price is definitely not what would be termed a sharp move. But I’m getting an elite #1 starter against a guy who’s actually not even a #5 on his numbers, and the team form pushed this one into the play column for me. I’ll rely on MadBum and will spot the -1.5 with the Giants.