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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM


By Jim Hurley:

And to think we were a buzzer-beating, walk-off, end-the-series, three-point jumper by Portland’s electric guard Damian Lillard away from having a half-dozen Game 7’s in this opening round of NBA Playoff action – and if you didn’t stay up till 1:27 a.m. Eastern time on Friday night/Saturday morning to see Portland’s thrilling 99-98 non-cover win against Houston than shame, shame, shame on you!

So, we zoom into Saturday/Sunday action with five different all-or-nothing Game 7’s on the menu – yes, one’s as delicious as the next! – and we’ll pop up our Jim Sez quick-hitter previews in just a moment but how about some handicapping housekeeping first:

NBA Playoff Betting Favorites exited the Friday night card with a 12-31-1 ATS (against the spread) mark with one pick ‘em game tossed into the mix and so that means chalk sides are covering these post-season affairs at a wobbly .279 winning rate. Yikes!

It also means that if you just so happened to wager $100 per play on all of the NBA Playoff Underdogs you would be up a cool $1,780 … and you can buy a lot of corn dogs with that sort of loot!

The Jim Hurley Network has been bashing the books in this first round of NBA Playoff action with a 26-7-2 run! We’ll continue to rock-n-roll our way through these NBA Playoffs – and so just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day and be sure that we’ll send you straight into the winner’s circle. Plus, there’s Major-League Baseball on tap every day and so the time is just right to cash in big this spring as the NBA Playoffs and Baseball pounds out major profits!

Now, here’s what is ahead on this first weekend in May when it comes to the NBA Playoffs:

On Saturday, it’s …

– Series tied 3-3; 5:30 p.m. ET, TNT
The Indiana Pacers were a rock-solid 6-to-1 betting favorite to win this best-of-seven series before they tossed up the first jump ball but now we’ve reached this Game 7 clash and the Pacers are merely a six-point favorite for this game … and more than a few folks in the great city of Indianapolis are quaking in their high tops considering Frank Vogel’s club already has lost two-of-three home games in this series and C Roy Hibbert (now back-to-back scoreless games in this series after going to the All-Star Game in February) remains a ghost.

The Pacers managed to drill 23-of-27 free throws the other night to snag a 95-88 win/cover against the two-point favored Hawks but the real key there was a step-to-the-plate performance by F David West (24 points and 11 rebounds) who hit the game’s biggest shot with a minute-and-change remaining and no doubt West must be a stat-sheet stuffer here if Indiana’s gonna survive-and-advance. Hey, Hawks, you gonna do better than 9-of-35 from beyond the three-point arc here?

4-19 Atlanta + 8 INDIANA 101-93
4-22 INDIANA - 7.5 Atlanta 101-85
4-24 ATLANTA + 2.5 Indiana 98-85
4-26 Indiana - 2.5 ATLANTA 91-88
4-28 Atlanta + 7 INDIANA 107-97
5-1 Indiana + 2 ATLANTA 95-88


– Series tied 3-3; 8 p.m. ET, TNT
No doubt you know the big story here and that’s Grizzlies’ F Zach Randolph (16 points and 8 boards in that 104-84 loss in Game 6) won’t play here after the league suspended him for throwing a punch against Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams and keep in mind Memphis PG Mike Conley (ankle) is still hurtin’ as we speak.

So, no surprise then that Okie City is a bloated 9-point betting favorite for this clash (the largest single-game spread this series, should it stand up) but the flip side here is all the pressure’s on the Thunder who shot 49.3 percent in that Game 6 blowout win that also included an amazing 11 blocked shots (5 of ‘em by Adams).

Maybe that Oklahoma City tabloid thought it funny the other day to call Kevin Durant “Mr. Unreliable” after the Thunder lost a one-point verdict in Game 5 but the league’s scoring champ shook off the silly headline and rattled in 36 points in Game 6 and anything less than 25 FG attempts here by Durant is gonna get us to start an investigation. If Memphis wins minus Randolph and with a hurting Conley, then look for key reserves Tony Allen and Mike Miller to play major roles … got it?

4-19 OKLA CITY - 8 Memphis 100-86
4-21 Memphis + 6.5 OKLA CITY 111-105
4-24 MEMPHIS + 2.5 Okla City     98-95
4-26 Okla City - 3.5 MEMPHIS  92-89
4-29 Memphis + 7.5 OKLA CITY  100-99
5-1 Okla City - 2.5 MEMPHIS 104-84


GOLDEN STATE at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS – Series tied 3-3; 10:35 p.m. ET, TNT
There’s been enough off-the-court drama surrounding this series than we can ever remember – and the truth of the matter is both teams looked mentally/physically exhausted in a sloppy and poorly played Game 6 the other night in Oakland:

Sure, Golden State held on to cop a 100-99 victory in a pick ‘em affair, but the Clippers shot just 32-of-87 from the floor (36.8 percent) while the Warriors cashed in on just 35-of-89 FG tries for 39.3 percent and gut feeling is both teams will regroup in time for this clash with host LA looking to operate much of its offense in the low box and the paint area while Golden State keeps fingers crossed that three-point shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (a combined 3-of-12 from beyond the arc in Game 6) have a renewed sense of urgency in their game.

No doubt the Warriors have been bashed badly on the boards this season without F/C Andrew Bogut – but note in Game 6 the Clips sported a modest 54-to-50 board advantage and if Mark Jackson’s crew can get another 14-rebound game from Draymond Green, then it could be upset city … than what’s Donald Sterling gonna say about his squad?

Memo to the Clips: It’s time star G Chris Paul and F Blake Griffin – a combined 11-of-34 from the field in Game 6 – stopped moaning about every referee call and instead drove to the hoop and “got paid” for their efforts. A first-round ouster here would have both dudes under the media microscope, for darn tootin’!

4-19 Golden State + 7.5 LA CLIPPERS 109-105
4-21 LA CLIPPERS - 8 Golden State 138-98
4-24 La Clippers - 2.5 GOLDEN STATE   98-96
4-27 GOLDEN STATE + 2 La Clippers 118-97
4-29 LA CLIPPERS  - 7 Golden State 113-103
5-1 GOLDEN STATE   Pk La Clippers 100-99

On Sunday, it’s …
Series tied 3-3; 1 p.m. ET, ABC
We know what you’re thinking, Nets fans … why can’t every win be that easy?

The Game 6 blowout at Barclays Center – a 97-83 win/cover that was comfy all the way through – included some memorable moments for the Brooklyn guys like oft-criticized PG Deron Williams shaking off a painful ankle injury to register 23 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 38 mostly-brilliant minutes and you had to love some of those vintage Kevin Garnett turnaround jumpers en route to his effective 13-point, 5-board game but the reality is Jason Kidd’s team has been ultra-spotty in this series and can’t afford some five- or six-minute scoring droughts here if they’re gonna zoom on to the next series against Miami.

Meanwhile, Toronto is squeezing everything possible from guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (a combined 39 points in Game 6) but maybe it’s time the Raptors begged big man Jonas Valanciunas to be the master of the paint and so the gut feeling here is the “We The North” team won’t win Round One unless J.V. goes for something like 17 points, 12 boards … and a few blocked shots would be nice too!

4-19 Brooklyn + 3.5 TORONTO 94-87
4-22 TORONTO - 5 Brooklyn 100-95
4-25 BROOKLYN - 5 Toronto 102-98
4-27 Toronto + 4 BROOKLYN 87-79
4-30 TORONTO - 3 Brooklyn 115-113
5-2 BROOKLYN - 4.5 Toronto 97-83


– Series tied 3-3; 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Get a load of this …Only nine total points separates these two Texas teams after six games of head-spinning basketball and it’s crazy to think that San Antonio allowed 37 fourth-quarter points in Friday’s 113-111 loss at Dallas … that’s not Gregg Popovich-coached basketball, is it?

Of course, the Spurs have not had many answers to lightning-quick Mavericks G Monta Ellis who poured in 12 of his game-high 29 points in the final frame of Game 6 – the likes of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have been no match for Ellis on that end of the court – but if last year’s NBA Western Conference champs are gonna get out of things alive here than crashing Ellis to the floor a time or two while delivering a message is key.

And so is keeping key reserve (and ex-Spur) DeJuan Blair on the silent side after he kicked in with 10 points and 14 boards after serving his Game 5 suspension for kicking Tiago Splitter in the head. Blair’s a real challenge to Tim Duncan and mates down low and he’s allowed Dirk Nowitzki (22 points in Game 6) to free himself up for wing jumpers.

If Nowitzki gets off 20 FG tries here and hits half of them, the Mavs might pull a real series shocker – remember San Ant was a 9-to-1 betting favorite to cop this series and it’s already been way more than “Pops” bargained for these past two weeks.

4-20 SAN ANTONIO - 9 Dallas 90-85
4-23 Dallas + 7.5 SAN ANTONIO  113-92
4-26 DALLAS + 3.5 San Antonio 109-108
4-28 San Antonio - 4.5 DALLAS 93-89
4-30 SAN ANTONIO - 6.5 Dallas 109-103
5-2 DALLAS + 3 San Antonio 113-111

NOTE: More NBA Playoff Previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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