Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM
The NBA Playoffs are one full round- plus two games- in the record books as we begin a new week and here's the skinny: Three teams that were first-round post-season underdogs have survived-and-advanced in namely the Golden State Warriors (+ 350 against Denver), the Chicago Bulls (+ 115 against Brooklyn) and the Memphis Grizzlies (+ 140 against the Los Angeles Clippers) and there are no teams left standing from the city of Angels and now just one pro hoops team left from New York City.
Plus we're venturing deeper and deeper into this post-season without some superstar talents as the aforementioned Bulls continue to muddle on without Derrick Rose- but will we see him at all here against four-time NBA MVP LeBron James and the Heat?- and the OKC Thunder remain a good but not great team without mega-star point guard Russell Westbrook.
No doubt both of these teams are a tad fragile these days except the Bulls go into their series "playing with house money" while Kevin Durant and Okie City still have some folks calling them the favorites to get out of the West.
Note that through the 45 first-round playoff games, NBA Playoff Betting Favorites registered a 25-20 ATS (against the spread mark) for a decent .556 winning rate (although the dog sides covered both of Sunday's games to chomp away at that mark) and we'll keep you fine Jim Sez readers up to snuff with all the key pointspread goodies coming from these 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are proving once again to be the champions of the NBA Playoffs as they continue to shine this post-season and remember the playoffs will run straight through the end of June plus there are loads of winners this 2013 Major-League Baseball season too and so sign up today and get it all- Hoops and Baseball every day and nights! Just be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the daily and nightly NBA and MLB winners.
THE NBA PLAYOFFS
#5 CHICAGO at #1 MIAMI - Game 1 is tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET
The Bulls and Heat played in the most talked-about regular-season game this year- the one Chicago snagged a 101-97 triumph back on March 27th that halted Miami's winning streak at a whopping 27 games in a row- and the ironic part of that game was Tom Thibodeau's team was without the likes of PG Rose (knee), Joakim Noah (right foot), Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) and Richard Hamilton (lower back) and now here we are to begin this playoff series and there's major question marks when it comes to Bulls stars Luol Deng (flu) and Kirk Hinrich (calf).
Think Chicago can make history repeat itself here in Game 1 and thus make this a really interesting series? Hmmm.
Naturally, the Bulls are running a bit low on fuel these days after registering that 99-93 upset win at 7-point fav Brooklyn this past Saturday night while the flip side says Miami's been off since the Sunday-before-last (that's April 28th) when the Heat finished off its four-game series sweep against Milwaukee.
Will James and Company be a touch complacent/cocky while entering Game 1 or will the recent memories of that rough-and-tumble late-year loss to Chicago energize Erik Spoelstra's squad that basically called "foul" after that physical affair?
One key for Miami is board-banger Chris Andersen who's averaging 5.2 rebounds-per-game while playing less than 15 minutes a playoff tilt? Not bad, Birdman!
Here's the game-by-game look of Bulls-Heat this past regular season and note all home teams are in CAPS:
#3 INDIANA at #2 NEW YORK- Pacers lead series 1-0; Game 2 is Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET
If the heavy-duty NY Knicks- a surprisingly high- 185-to-$100 series favorite to start this set- thought they were not gonna have to "man up" here than it's time to re-think things:
Not only did Indiana charge its way into noisy Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon and deliver a one-two punch to the jaw in a commanding 102-95 win but Frank Vogel's underrated squad out-boarded the Knicks 44-to-30 and finished up with 46-to-30 points-in-the-paint advantage and that proved- for now, at least- that Indiana is the tougher team and the more determined team.
The truth of the matter is the game seriously mirrored the aforementioned Bulls win at the Barclays Center the night before when a New York City team was out-toughed in more ways than one.
Throw into the mix the fact that the Knicks- as accurately pointed out by ABC game analyst (and former Knicks head coach) Jeff Van Gundy- spent way too much time moaning about the fouls called and gotta believe both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith (yes, New York's top two offensive players) had their respective games thrown off while "crying" to the refs as they combined to hit 14-of-43 field-goal attempts.
No doubt the Knicks need to get both Anthony- playing with a bum shoulder that didn't get any better when a cameraman at game's end barged into the NBA's leading scorer- and Smith on track but one truly key head-to-head duel here in Game 2 is Indiana C Roy Hibbert (14 points and 8 rebounds) versus New York C Tyson Chandler who was rather meek in Game 1 while finishing with only 4 points and 3 boards.
Here's the Pacers-Knicks playoff series so far with the home team in CAPS:
|5-5||Indiana||+ 5.5||NEW YORK||102-95|
#6 GOLDEN STATE at #2 SAN ANTONIO- Game 1 is tonight at 9:35 p.m. ET
Here's the age-old question- and one that we seemingly ask each/every year at least once in these Jim Sez NBA Playoff columns- and that is who wins in a battle of "rest" versus "rust"?
As you know, the San Antonio Spurs- clean-sweeperoo winners against the Los Angeles Lakers in Round One play- have not played a game since April 28th and so while ancient bodies Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (a trio that's averaged nearly 51 points per game in the post-season thus far) have had plenty of so-called down time you do have to wonder how they'll react to a Golden State team that scored 100-or-more points in four games of its six-game series win against Denver and keep in mind ace scorer G Stephen Curry (24.3 ppg this post-season) has gone on rampages in almost every game this playoffs and now we'll see if Gregg Popovich's crew can limit his scoring splurges here.
Two X-factors to check out as this best-of-seven set gets underway:
Golden State C Andrew Bogut is really starting to come on (see four first-half blocked shots in the series-clincher against the Nuggets) and so if he's an inside presence here against Duncan and Company it could get interesting- note San Ant is an absolutely monster-sized favorite at 9-to-1 odds- and secondly let's see how Spurs new star Kawhi Leonard performs with expectations for him growing. Leonard is a superstar defender (he could be on Curry for stretches of time here) and he's a big-time finisher on San Antonio's fast break too.
Here's the regular-season game-by-game history this 2012-13 campaign when it comes to Warriors vs. Spurs (note all home teams in CAPS):
|1-18||SAN ANTONIO||- 12||Golden State||95-88|
|2-22||GOLDEN STATE||+ 3.5||San Antonio||107-101 (ot)|
|3-20||SAN ANTONIO||- 8||Golden State||104-93|
|4-15||GOLDEN STATE||- 7||San Antonio||116-106|
#5 MEMPHIS at #1 OKLAHOMA CITY - Thunder leads series 1-0
Maybe you've heard the mantra before: Loss a tough seven-game series and there's probably (at least) one game in there that "got away".
No doubt that's what we were thinking following Sunday's Game 1 showdown of the Western Conference between the Memphis Grizzlies and defending conference champ Oklahoma City Thunder. The Grizz led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter- that was 70-58- but it all slipped away thanks to rotten free-throw shooting (see 14-of-24 from the charity stripe) and some wobbly ball-handling late. Chuck into the mix the fact Memphis "backed down" a few times when the aforementioned Durant raced up the court to fire away at one of his pull-up jumpers- the league's MVP runner-up finished with a game-high 35 points while bagging 13-of-26 FGs- and here's Memphis in an immediate hole and it didn't have to play out that way at all.
So, what's head coach Lionel Hollins gonna do to get the Grizz back on track here in Game 2?
Well, Hollins must convince his defensive-minded team that it can slow down Durant who also hurt Memphis badly on the boards with his 15 total rebounds plus Grizzlies PG Michael Conley simply has to be a better distributor after recording a mere three assists in 38 minutes of action.
Here's the Grizzlies-Thunder series so far with the home team in CAPS:
|5-5||OKLAHOMA CITY||- 3.5||Memphis||93-91|
NOTE: More NBA Playoff News/Notes in the next Jim Sez.