Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM
THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK UPDATE:
WARRIORS WIN NBA TITLE
WITH A 105-97 TRIUMPH OVER
LEBRON & THE CAVS …
WE TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT THE NBA ODDS
TO WIN IT ALL NEXT YEAR
(AND G-STATE'S NOT THE FAVORITE!) …
PLUS MORE NBA DRAFT NEWS/NOTES
"Strength in Numbers" was the Golden State Warriors' motto all year long – when they won 67 regular-season games and then those 16 post-season games that culminated in last night's 105-97 win/cover against the 3-point underdog Cleveland Cavaliers in the title-clinching game of this year's NBA Finals.
Now, the only number G-State wants to hear about is #1, of course.
But you better believe that "strength in numbers" told the tale in these Finals as the Warriors – deeper, healthier and quicker afoot than the outmanned Cavaliers – got major minutes from folks other than regular-season MVP Stephen Curry who wasn't half-bad on Tuesday night at "The Q" with his 25 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds to say nothing of his brilliant leadership skills.
Heck, the guy who wound up NBA Finals MVP – veteran swingman Andre Iguodala (25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in Game 6) – probably received less "ink" going into this just-completed series than just about anyone on the Warriors' roster and yet there he was coming off the bench to start midway through the series and making a major impact in five of the six Finals games.
The 40-year drought for Bay Area basketball fans is finally over – the franchise's first title since 1975 is a sweet one – but that other "dry spell" in Cleveland is now more than a half-century old and that's getting tough to take for pro sports fans in Northeast Ohio.
Wait till next year?
GOLDEN STATE 105, CLEVELAND 97 – Warriors win series 4-2
Say this for the Warriors regarding last night's clincher:
They hit the shots that helped fend off the Cavs in that critical 28-18 third quarter and the Golden State signature shot – the ole three-point bomb – was center stage in the final frame when a bevy of trifectas within an 81-second span for all intents and purposes kayoed LeBron James (32 points, 18 rebounds and 9 of Cleveland's 14 assists) and Company from this tilt.
Sure, Cleveland roared back in the closing moments with the "old college try" but did you ever really think Golden State was gonna blow a 15+ point lead when Steve Kerr's club had not done so the entire season?
The Warriors shot 13-of-34 (that's 38 percent) from beyond the arc with Curry, Iguodala and Harrison Barnes canning three treys apiece while Cleveland's downtown shots simply didn't fall with the Cavs going a mere 6-of-26 from three-land here and a composite 10-of-54 from beyond the arc in team's last two Finals home games (thanks for that stat, ESPN analyst Tim Legler!).
James drove to the hoop a gazillion times in Game 6 but he missed plenty of in-close shots – yes, The King shot just 13-of-33 from the floor here in this elimination game – and he simply didn't get enough support from a rag-tag team sorely missing both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, both of whom were injured (Love didn't play since April 26th and Irving was a DNP since Game 1 of these Finals).
No wonder James looked so bummed out in that press conference that didn't end for him till 1:30 a.m. ET – now maybe the Warriors can tell him all about that "strength in numbers" bit.
Now, here's how the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals series went in game chart form (and note that all home teams are in CAPS below):
And now hear this …
The NBA Finals – and the whole 2014-15 NBA season – is officially in the books but that doesn't mean Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will stop the winning!
There's plenty of Major-League Baseball daily winners coming your way when you check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday games and any time after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.
Plus, the Football Season isn't that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August – can't wait!
NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART
Now, let's get you the NBA Playoffs Pointspread Chart with all 16 teams that participated in this year's post-season:
- Note that NBA Betting Favorites went a composite 36-43-1 ATS (against the spread) with one pick 'em game for a .456 winning rate since the start of this year's playoffs.
Take note that Game 6 of this year's NBA Finals had not yet been played but already there were sightings of the odds to win it all for the 2015-16 NBA season … see what you think (all figures below based on $100 per-play wagers):
|Cleveland||+ 225||Cavs will get the King help|
|Golden St.||+ 500||Time to shop for some size|
|Okla. City||+ 500||Will Durant play a full year?|
|LA Clippers||+ 1000||Real sense of urgency is here|
|San Antonio||+ 1200||Duncan's return is 50-50|
|Chicago||+ 1200||Is Hoiberg really the answer?|
|Atlanta||+ 2000||Go-to scorer must emerge|
|New Orleans||+ 2000||"The Brow" could be MVP|
|Houston||+2000||"The Beard" could be MVP|
NBA DRAFT NEWS/NOTES
If you've been tracking all the latest NBA Draft news than you know a couple of things …
One is that 6-foot-11 Latvian star Kristaps Porzingis has been rising up the draft boards big time – most in-the-know folks believe he's gonna be a top five pick at this point – while Kentucky's seven-foot C Willie Cauley-Stein has dipped a bit and many folks believe he'll still be a lottery selection but not as high as #4-thru-#6 as originally forecast a few weeks back.
Here's some other key NBA Draft news …
Arkansas wing shooter Michael Qualls tore his ACL in a workout last week for the Phoenix Suns. Most draftniks considered Qualls a borderline first-round draft pick but that's out the window …
Don't discard the notion that a few teams in the top 10 could trade down a couple of spots in order to tab the best shooter in this draft – that's Kentucky G Devin Booker – providing they're able to scoop up an extra pick in this very rich draft. Both the New York Knicks – slated to pick fourth – moves down four or five slots and grabs Booker or perhaps Orlando (at #5) will slide down to the ninth or tenth pick for the right to land Booker …
\\Finally, Murray State G Cameron Payne (20.2 ppg last year) and Georgia State shooting guard R.J. Hunter (19.7 ppg last year) both could wind up lottery picks considering all the recent momentum they've picked up via the internet/talk radio, etc. and don't be shocked if one of 'em winds up at #10 with the Miami Heat who could be willing to say bye-bye to three-time champion Dwyane Wade.
Note: Catch our MLB and NFL Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.