Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM
THE NBA FINALS –
HERE’S A GAME 1 PREVIEW
PLUS LOTS MORE! …
NFL POINTSPREAD NEWS/NOTES …
MLB FUN FACTS
Okay, so you’ve heard all the comments regarding this year’s long-awaited/long-delayed NBA Finals – lots of snarky remarks from folks who believe the seven full days between the end of the Western Conference and the start of this ultimate round were way too much.
And we agree!
But the fact of the matter is the NBA Finals – the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Golden State Warriors – is finally here and our ensuing Game 1 Jim Sez preview will show that it’s far from an “ordinary” series opener, so here goes:
NBA FINALS – GAME 1
CLEVELAND at GOLDEN STATE – 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Get ready to hear the words “rest” and “rust” plenty in this national broadcast – but even we’ll admit that the first quarter of this Game 1 bash will be uber-important because how does anyone really know who’s gonna have their “shooting eye” and who’s gonna have their “legs” right out of the starting gate.
So, let’s start Game 1 right here at the beginning and we say the best course for both the Cavaliers (averaging slightly more than 101 points per game during this post-season) and the Warriors (averaging a bit more than104 points per game in this year’s playoffs) is to take the ball to the rack and hope for the best, whether that’s simply scoring a batch of deuces, getting some “and-ones” or simply getting the other side in foul trouble.
After all, following a full week of practice, practice, practice it’s gonna be a tall order to expect Golden State’s three-ball whiz Stephen Curry to fire up a bunch of made triples and ditto for fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson who finally has been cleared to play here after suffering a concussion and a lacerated inner ear in that series-clinching win against the Houston Rockets back on May 27th.
And don’t expect Cleveland’s major three-point threats – and note that does not include LeBron James who is shooting the deep ball at just 17.6 percent this post-season – of Kyrie Irving (48.1 percent on 3’s), J.R. Smith (39.6 percent triples) and Iman Shumpert (36.8 percent on the three-ball attempts) to be rattling ‘em in early on when both teams figure to need time to break a sweat.
Let’s figure that “in the paint” points will be more important here than probably at any other time of this year’s playoffs and the aforementioned foul calls will be key – the Warriors are a bit deeper while head coach Steve Kerr pretty much has been rollin’ with a nine-man rotation while the Cavaliers’ head coach David Blatt has been going eight-deep but if Irving’s iffy knee limits his minutes here in this series opener than the onus of a 44- or 45-minute game falls on King James and don’t be surprised if cramping becomes a major post-Game 1 hot topic as it was a couple of years ago in the NBA Finals when James played for the Miami Heat against the San Antonio Spurs.
Two other quickie items to watch here as this series opens up in the always-noisy Oracle Arena:
Can the Cavs limit Golden State’s scoring runs – you know it’s gonna come at some point, right? – as Blatt and Company can live with 8-2 or 10-3 type runs but it’s those 16-0 KO blows that often cause visiting sides to shrink in this arena.
And where will Kerr put defensive whiz Draymond Green here … on James from the get-go or will the 14 ppg/10.8 rpg star take turns guarding James and also bumping down low with effective C Tristan Thomas?
Put it this way: If Green and front-court mate Andrew Bogut each get into some semblance of foul trouble, then the Cavs – a 6-point underdog here for Game 1 – could steal this series opener with James imposing his will down low and if Curry/Thompson are not as accurate as they’d like to be from downtown.
Pointspread Notes – The Cavaliers have covered four of their last five post-season games this year; the Warriors have failed to cover three of their last four post-season games when placed in the favorite’s role.
NBA FINALS – THE LAST 10 YEARS
Here’s a look back the past 10 years’ worth of NBA Finals:
Now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will rake in the profits in this year’s NBA Finals as we roll on big-time in this post-season!
Go online right here at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors and remember to cash in too with all the daily Major-League Baseball winners!
NFL POINTSPREAD NEWS/NOTES
The return to camp by Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson after his nearly one-year suspension got us to thinking about what kind of pointspread squad this team has been in recent years, so let’s check the numbers:
Last year Peterson was suspended after just one game – a season-opening 34-6 rout over 3-point home favorite St. Louis – but take note the Vikes went 9-6 ATS (against the spread) without Peterson the remainder of the year and that included outright wins against 6-point favorite Atlanta and 1.5-point fav Tampa Bay along with underdog covers versus Buffalo, Green Bay, Detroit and Miami … not bad!
In the prior seven seasons, Peterson played in at least 12 games each year and here’s the Vikings’ pointspread marks during this time with a * when Peterson played in all 16 games of a season (note playoff games are also included in the season spread marks below):
So, note that in the seven full/mostly-full seasons in which Peterson played for the Vikes (plus last year’s Week 1 affair), the NFC North club compiled a pointspread mark of 54-57-4 (a .486 winning rate) with one lone playoff win coming during this Peterson Era. Hmmm.
One other NFL pointspread-related note to drop on you here in regards to another NFC North team.
The Chicago Bears will enter the upcoming 2015 season with a pretty crazy streak – seven losing pointspread seasons in the last eight years. Go ahead and look it up and here’s a review of what the Bears have done versus the vig since that Super Bowl season back in 2006:
So, add ‘em up and you see the Bears are a composite 54-71-5 spreadwise (an abysmal .432 winning rate) these past eight years.
P.S., note last year Chicago finished with a 3-5 ATS mark at home and so go back just the past three seasons and you’ll discover that the Bears are 7-16-1 ATS as hosts and that includes back-to-back-to-back home spread losses against archrival Green Bay (and Da Bears actually have failed to cover their last five consecutive home games against the Packers).
MLB FUN FACTS
Thanks to MLB Network’s “High Heat” show starring Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, it was pointed out that Los Angeles Angels 1B Albert Pujols cranked out his 534th career home run in Tuesday night’s 6-1 home loss against Tampa Bay.
The dinger tied Pujols with Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx and how about the fact Pujols tied Foxx’s HR total in his 8,134 career at-bat – the same exact number of at-bats Foxx needed to get to #534!
Next up for Pujols is Mickey Mantle who walloped 536 career home runs …
Finally, how about this for a line score for your first-ever MLB game:
Texas Rangers 3B Joey Gallo – called up earlier in the week for an injured Adrian Beltre – went 3-for-4 with a home run, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored in the rollicking 15-2 win and he even received a standing ovation after striking out with the bases loaded.
The funny thing here is Gallo’s four ribbies didn’t even lead the team in that stat category on this night as fill-in catcher Carlos Corporan had a career-high five RBI including a home run against White Sox reliever Hector Noesi.
NOTE: Our NBA Finals Game 1 in Review comes your way in tomorrow’s Jim Sez plus catch all our MLB News & Notes too!