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NBA Picks: June 10

By Lior Lampert

Stephen Curry continued to be the best player on the floor in Game 3, the Warriors got great performances from both Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, yet they still lost by 16 points. Jaylen Brown matched his point total from Game 2 in the first quarter of Game 3 and was the leading scorer in Boston’s Game 3 victory while Marcus Smart and Robert Williams had their presence felt on both ends of the floor. Does Boston have what it takes to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in Game 4? Or will Golden State’s experience on the big stage help them tie up this series before returning to San Francisco for Game 5?

Jaylen Brown’s electric first quarter performance helped Boston build 15-point lead during the opening quarter. He only scored 10 points the remaining three quarters, but his teammates helped finish the job. Marcus Smart had 24 points with five 3-pointers made, Jayson Tatum had 26 points with three 3-pointers made, and Robert Williams recorded a combined seven steals/blocks in a stifling defensive effort. In the first half, Boston outscored the Warriors 32 to 16 in the paint. The Celtics are the younger, longer, more athletic team of the two in this matchup and that has been a big reason as to why they’re just two games away from winning the NBA Finals.

Other than Stephen Curry being great and getting much-needed scoring help from Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, pretty much everything else that could’ve gone wrong for the Warriors ended up going wrong. Curry was battling foul trouble the entire game which forced head coach Steve Kerr to bench him prematurely and/or longer than he’d like to at times. Draymond Green fouled out while scoring just 2 points on 1-4 shooting, Jordan Poole continued to see both his shot attempts and minutes dip, while Otto Porter Jr. was the only other bench player to make a field goal. The Warriors need to adjust: they need an injection of energy, size, and shooting to help space the floor for Curry and Thompson. It feels as though the Warriors are playing 3-on-5 at the offensive end at times when the lineup is consisting of both Kevon Looney and Draymond Green. Do we see Steve Kerr turn to the versatile 6’7” 19-year-old forward in Jonathon Kuminga for a spark off the bench? Will Kuminga even be enough to help move the needle?

The Warriors need help and they need it fast, especially if Curry is now going to be playing at less than 100% following his Game 4 injury. I truly do believe that Boston is the better team, but I also believe that Golden State still has the best player in this series. With that being said, I cannot get myself to bet against Stephen Curry. Before the series began, I picked The Warriors to win this series in seven games due to their experience paired with the greatness of Curry. Through three games, I still stand by my pick and do not think this series can make it to seven games if Boston takes a 3-1 series lead. Therefore, I will be taking the Warriors to win this game outright and tie the series at 2-2.

My Pick: Warriors ML +145 (Via Caesar’s Sportsbook)

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