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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

The New York Knicks made the huge mistake of assuming their first round series against the Boston Celtics was over after they jumped to a 3-0 lead. It’s true that no NBA team had ever rallied from that size deficit to survive. But, there’s always a first time. And, it’s not like the proud Celtics have a history of throwing in the towel.

New York played poorly for much of Sunday’s fourth game in Boston. J.R. Smith had been suspended. The team was shooting poorly. But, a late collapse from the aging, tired Celtics put a sweep within reach. The Knicks missed almost every shot they put up over the last four minutes…failing to finish off the job.

No problem. Game Five was in New York! That would be a piece of cake with Smith returning to the scene of earlier series victories by 7 and 16 points. Well, Boston had been rejuvenated by their Sunday win, refreshed by having an extra day off, and super-motivated by the nonchalant way the Knicks players approached the game. New York wore all black like they were going to a funeral. Great plan!

Boston played its best game of the series to score a 92-86 road victory…setting up Friday Night’s Game Six showdown…

 

7 p.m. ET NEW YORK at BOSTON (ESPN)

Vegas Line: New York by 1.5, total of 181.5

New York Leads 3-2

New York was favored by this amount when Smith was out Sunday. What’s interesting to us is that the total just will not drop into the 170’s no matter low scoring this series stays. We’re at 1-4 to the Under through five games, with the only Over coming thanks to overtime in a game that landed on 168 in regulation. Oddsmakers are sticking to their guns on the Over/Under.

 

Average Margin: New York by 6.2 in regulation

Average Total:  166.6 in regulation

 

The results so far would suggest New is value at tonight’s price, even after you account for playing an extra home game. New York won the two road games by a composite 174-160 in regulation, then were a combined +17 in their three home games. Bottom line…if New York regains its earlier form  and shoots better than the ridiculous 12 of 52 on three-pointers that we witnessed the last two games…then the series is finished. But, if the Knicks derailed their own momentum with overconfidence and arrogance, we could be headed back to a Game Seven in Gotham.

 

KNICKS' THREE-POINTERS

First 3 Games: 38% (27 of 71)

Last 2 Games: 23% (12 of 52)

Hitting 38% on treys is the same as hitting 57% on two’s, which is great work if you can get it! Hitting 23% is the same as hitting 35% on two’s…which obviously isn’t going to get the job done against a tough opponent.

The series scoring averages are hinting at an Under. Though, sometimes desperate times call for desperation scoring in the fourth quarter with treys and a free throw parade. That actually happened in Game Five, only to reach 178 in total points. You don’t often see a Game Six Over/Under that’s 15 points above the series average in the NBA Playoffs.

JIM HURLEY will be working closely again with his New York sources to find the right side for clients. He’s also extremely excited about this very rare weeknight GRAND SLAM of playoff action. Customers will be getting the very best side and total options from a card that also features Atlanta/Indiana, Oklahoma City/Houston, and LA Clippers/Memphis. You can purchase basketball and baseball right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

Back with you Saturday to outline a HUGE sports day that features THE KENTUCKY DERBY. A magnificent May of horse racing, NBA Playoff action, and Major League Baseball has just begun at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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