Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 9:19 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFF WEEKEND UPDATE: CAN WIZARDS WIN WITHOUT WALL AND HOW DOES G-STATE RESPOND OFF A RARE HOME LOSS?
THE BASEBALL REPORT: A-ROD'S #661
PLUS OUR JIM SEZ TAKE ON "DEFLATEGATE"
The Washington Wizards were one of two NBA teams that snagged Round I playoff wins as underdog sides - the D.C. gang was + 160 in that four-game sweeperoo against Toronto (the Los Angeles Clippers were + 150 in their epic seven-game series win against San Antonio) - and following a Game 1 win in Atlanta in these here-and-now Eastern Conference Semifinals it sure seemed that the Wizards (a + 200 dog for this series) were headed for another upset in this post-season round but that whole mind-set's been put on hold with this wrist/hand injury suffered by superstar point guard John Wall.
You know the deal:
Wall suffered displaced fractures in five bones in his wrist/hand in Game 1 of this series, didn't play at all in a 106-90 loss in Game 2 and now won't be playing again till further notice ... you saw how the Las Vegas pointspread for this Game 3 went from Wizards minus a point-and-a-half to the Hawks favored by 3.5 points.
Let's dig a little deeper into the two Saturday games on the NBA playoff docket beginning with Hawks-Wizards:
#1 ATLANTA at #5 WASHINGTON - 5 p.m. ET, ESPN; Series tied 1-1
The Wizards would - no doubt - love to tell you no Wall, no problem but you saw in that Game 2 loss that's simply not the case as G Bradley Beal felt too much of the burden (shooting 8-of-22 from the field for his 20 points) and Randy Wittman's club surely is gonna have to get something from starting C Nene who went scoreless in Game 2 while kicking in just four rebounds in some 27 minutes of play. On the flip side, Atlanta has experienced problems finding its post-season footing after a tougher-than-expected six-game series with dysfunctional Brooklyn - but maybe those 30 assists on 37 made field goals in Game 2 proved Mike Budenholzer's club is "re-jelling" but we say it's gonna take seven or eight triple makes by Kyle Korver and some stat-sheet stuffing by Paul Millsap (18 points and 11 rebounds in Game 2) to get "mission accomplished" here in Game 3.
#1 GOLDEN STATE at #5 MEMPHIS - 8 p.m. ET, ABC; Series tied 1-1
News flash to the Golden State Warriors ...
You ain't winning many games - home or away - by shooting 6-of-26 from beyond the three-point stripe. The Warriors' shabby shooting from deep brought 'em down for only a third time at home this whole 2014-15 season/post-season and now you wonder whether or not this prolonged break in the action - no games since Tuesday night (don't ask us, ask the NBA who must be afraid about poor TV ratings on a TV-strong Thursday night) - will further hinder the G-State three-ball attack. Both MVP Stephen Curry and "Splash Brother" mate Klay Thompson combined to go 3-of-17 from "downtown" but you better believe the Warriors need to get in the grill of born-again Memphis guard Mike Conley (22 points in 27 minutes) who overcame his banged-up face and plastic mask to shine.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been bashing the books right from the start of this year's NBA Playoffs and nothing's gonna change here as we dig deeper and deeper into Round II. We'll continue to rock-n-roll our way through the NBA post-season - 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!
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Who knew Willie Mays - the original "Say Hey Kid" - was gonna be in the news so much this first full week in May?
Mays turned a still-young 84 years old this past Wednesday - and then one night later there was Mays' historic 660 home runs being passed by New York Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez.
Say what you will about A-Rod and a steroid-laced history that may or may not be traced back to the very beginning of his career but know this:
Rodriguez - who has tuned these 2015 Yankees into one of the more interesting stories six weeks into this MLB season - has a serious shot to someday soon enough to pass the sainted 714 home runs hit by the greatest Yankee of 'em all ... Babe Ruth.
Okay, so much was made about how the Yankees are challenging the $6 million bonus that's supposed to get doled out to A-Rod when passing these hallowed home run marks but what will the Yankee fan base think when/if Rodriguez gets to 715 home runs?
Will they love him more come that day - or will Yankee fans loathe him when he bumps aside Ruth with his 715th dinger?
It's only 54 home runs away - maybe we'll revisit this topic come September of 2016. Stay tuned.
And enjoy those rare "curtain calls" when you get 'em, A-Rod!
THE NFL's "DEFLATEGATE" ISSUE
Word is the NFL - and that means Commissioner Roger Goodell - will be handing down a suspension to New England Patriots' QB Tom Brady sometime next week for his role in the "DeflateGate" scandal and here's what we expect:
Brady won't get the six-to-eight-game suspension many folks have called for in recent days but rather he'll get suspended for two games - and that does include the Kickoff Opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 - and that'll be fine with us.
Hey, Brady knew what the heck was going on with those deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game 45-7 win against the Indianapolis Colts and he deserves to pay some sort of price ... even if he insists he's completely innocent and even though he tries his best to display his "Captain America" identity at all times.
And we say shame on Brady for his false bravado and shame on the Patriots' organization that simply cannot fool the public at large with all its shady moves - enough already.
Give 'em the two games and hope the Pats don't make the playoffs next year, that's about all the other 31 NFL franchises can hope for as everyone's grown tired of "12.5 pounds per inch" business.
Note: Catch more NBA Playoff Previews/Recaps in the next edition of Jim Sez plus more MLB News & Notes.