Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFFS:
WARRIORS LOOK TO BRING
OUT THE BROOMS IN HOUSTON;
WHILE THE CAVALIERS ARE THINKING SWEEP
TOO COME TUESDAY NITE …
THE BASEBALL REPORT:
HOLIDAY WEEKEND NOISEMAKERS
Okay, so sweeps are rarer than you might think come these NBA Conference Finals – we looked it up and there’s been just a pair of sweeperoos in this round since the 2001 post-season:
The San Antonio Spurs put the brooms to the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA’s Western Finals back in 2013 and go all the way back to the 2003 season and you’ll recall the then-New Jersey Nets swept the Detroit Pistons 4-zip in an Eastern Finals series that featured a pair of two-point wins in Games 1 and 2 … remember when?
In fact, the TNT post-game folks advised us all that there’s never been a sweep in BOTH the Eastern and Western Conference Finals in the same year … hmmm!
Now, here we sit on the precipice of a pair of Conference Finals sweeps and guess our major question for novice Commish Adam Silver and his minions is this … do you still really wish to start the NBA Finals on June 4th or is there a way to amend your NBA Finals calendar if/when the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers wrap up their respective series in four straight?
Just wonderin’ even though we hear the dates for the NBA Finals are “firm”, so get ready for a week-plus of Warriors vs. Cavaliers hype should both team win out in their respective Game 4’s!
Now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in the profits in this year’s NBA Playoffs and we’ll continue to rock-n-roll through the post-season all week long.
Go online right here at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day and cash in with all the NBA Playoffs and remember there’s Major-League Baseball on tap every day too!
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Tonight (Monday), it’s
#1 GOLDEN STATE at #2 HOUSTON – 9 p.m. ET, ESPN; Warriors lead series 3-0
Funny how the cookie crumbles in an NBA playoff series as the West’s top-seeded G-State Warriors were truly life-and-death in both Game 1 and Game 2 of this best-of-seven series before winning those two games by a grand total of five points before laying it on thick in last Saturday’s never-in-questions 115-80 win at 1.5-point home favorite Houston.
If the Rockets didn’t resemble “dead men walking” then, well, then we need to take their pulses here as Steve Kerr’s crew heads into this 4.5-point (and growing?) betting favorites for this Memorial Day bash.
All you needed to know about that Game 3 blowout was MVP Stephen Curry was – in a word – brilliant with 40 points while netting 12-of-19 field-goal attempts and there doesn’t seem to be any answers on the Rockets’ side in trying to slow Curry who also added 7 assists and 5 rebounds in Game 1.
But, alas, while Curry poured in 40 points and star F Draymond Green kicked in a 17-point, 13-rebounds game gotta believe a major key there was Golden State’s ability to protect the ball as the Warriors committed – get this – only one first-half turnover en route to building a 62-37 halftime lead.
Tell us right here and right now that the Warriors will handle the rock just as well here in Game 4 and we’ll announce the Rockets won’t even have a fightin’ chance – but it would be nice if Houston G James Harden (3-of-16 FGs in Game 3) showed some life and ditto for a bench that shot a collective 8-of-28 from the floor in that last game.
Now, here’s a look at how this series has gone between the Warriors and the Rockets (home teams in CAPS below):
Now, let’s get you the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with the still-alive teams listed below (thru games of Friday, May 23rd):
On Tuesday, it’s …
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 ATLANTA at #2 CLEVELAND – 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT; Cavaliers lead series 3-0
Maybe it goes without saying, but there’s not a whole lot of NBA players that could start a game going 0-for-10 from the floor and still wind up being the far-and-away dominant player … but welcome to LeBron James’ world.
Hey, the sluggish start from the field was the least of James’ problems in that epic 114-111 non-cover overtime win on Sunday night in Game 3 of this seemingly soon-to-be-over-and-done-with series as cramps, a knee injury and wrist, hand and ankle woes had “The King” exhausted and just puckered out following his 37-point, 18-rebound and 13-assist game against the Hawks and you now have to wonder how much Gatorade can James pump into his system and how much sleep the 30-year-old can get prior to Tuesday’s Game 4 at “The Q” because even though Cav mates Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith chipped in 17 big points each in Game 3, it was James that banged home that critical corner three-ball shot with 36.4 seconds left in OT that turned the tide late, late, late in that tilt.
The Hawks showed major heart in that OT loss – no Kyle Korver (knee) at all and no C Al Horford following a first-half ejection that was pure immaturity on the veteran’s part (if you ask us!) – and now we’ll see if G Jeff Teague (team-high 30 points in Game 3) can shake, rattle and roll his way past the Cavs here in Game 4 or will brooms be the object of the day in Cleveland as James guns for a fifth consecutive appearance in an NBA Finals (the past four years in a row with Miami).
Here’s how the Eastern Conference Finals look so far between the Hawks and the Cavaliers (note home teams in CAPS below):
Playoff Pointspread Note – NBA Betting Favorites exited Sunday night’s game at 0-6 ATS (against the spread) in these conference finals and overall NBA Betting Favorites are 30-40-1 ATS with one pick ‘em game tossed into the mix this post-season.
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Hit the rewind button on this 2015 Major-League Baseball season and you’ll recall the Cleveland Indians were a very vogue pick to win it all (see Sports Illustrated).
In reality, the Las Vegas guys/gals had the Tribe “over/under” totals of 83 wins – or just above .500 – but the first six or seven weeks of this current campaign made it appear that Cleveland would be lucky to get 70 wins but something funny happened as we headed into and out of this year’s Memorial Day weekend schedule … the Indians heated up like nobody’s business with three wins in the final four games of their series at the rival Chicago White Sox and then a just-completed weekend sweep of the cross-state rival Cincinnati Reds – that’s 7-3, 2-1 and 5-2 in case you’re scoring at home!
So, when Terry Francona’s club woke up on Memorial Day, there it was sitting at 20-23 and still 8 full games back of American League Central-leading Kansas City and – more significantly – just two games back in the loss column behind the league’s second wild-card leader a/k/a the New York Yankees.
In other words, welcome to the 2015 MLB season, Cleveland! …
Here’s some MLB noisemakers and newsmakers from this Memorial Day weekend as we head into Monday’s action on the diamond:
Go ahead and doubt the Houston Astros (29-16) but they just put on their “big boy pants” and earned a weekend split of a key four-game series with the Detroit Tigers and how ‘bout the fact that Motown pitching fanned 15 Astros and still lost as Houston’s 10-8 win on Sunday featured a key pinch-hitter Preston Tucker walloped a three-run home run and born-again slugger Evan Gattis was just a double shy of a cycle (including his ninth home run)? …
There’s been lots said (and not much of a positive) regarding the state of this year’s Boston Red Sox starting rotation but lefty Wade Miley threw the team’s most impressive start in the first 44 games when he allowed one run and four hits in eight innings in a 6-1 win against the visiting Los Angeles Angels.
P.S., Miley – who’s now 4-4 with a 4.47 ERA – has won each of his last three starts while surrendering just three runs in the past 21.2 innings …
Finally, the Atlanta Braves (22-21) were supposed to be a rollover-and-play-dead team this season after the avalanche of off-season trades/salary dumps but instead GM John Hart and manager Freddy Gonzalez have this National League East team in the hunt and one major part – closer Jason Grilli (13 saves) – did his best Craig Kimbrel impersonation by striking out three batters (and walking one) in Sunday’s 2-1 home win against the Milwaukee Brewers.
NOTE: More NBA Playoffs News & Notes in the next Jim Sez and stay tuned for MLB, NFL and NCAA Football goodies too in the days ahead!