Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 9:40 AM
Okay, so it's "wait till next year" for the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks - all of whom now have been officially extinguished from this year's NBA Playoffs (and in that exact chronological order too).
Now we get down to a real nitty-gritty weekend of hoops where folks get treated to at least one Game #7 between the suddenly-slumping (and sick) Los Angeles Lakers against the born-again Denver Nuggets and possibly a second Game #7 depending on tonight's result between the Memphis Grizzlies at the Los Angeles Clippers.
We'll get to this evening's Game #6 preview between the Grizz and the Clips in a moment and remind you that in tomorrow's Jim Sez we'll set the stage for that Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Philadelphia 76ers against the Boston Celtics but first a little bookkeeping here:
Entering tonight's one-and-only game NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are 21-19-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .525 winning percentage and note that actually two of the three road sides last night covered the all-important Las Vegas prices (see Chicago's cover in the 79-78 loss at 3-point fav Philly and Atlanta's cover in that down-to-the-nub 83-80 loss at 6 ½-point favorite Boston) while NBA Home Teams are also 21-19-1 versus the vig through the league's first 41 post-season affairs ... so there!
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will prove once again to be the champions of the NBA Playoffs as they continue to shine this post-season and remember the playoffs will run straight through the end of June plus there are loads of winners this 2012 Major-League Baseball season too and so sign up today and get it all - Hoops and Baseball every day and nights! Just be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the daily and nightly NBA and MLB winners.
#4 MEMPHIS at #5 LOS ANGLES CLIPPERS - Clippers lead series 3-2
Game #6 at 9:05 p.m. ET
Perhaps you caught the rather clever chants by the Grizzlies fans late in Wednesday's 92-80 win/cover against the 8-point underdog LA Clippers - the sing-song "See You Sunday" calls really had to be rattling 'round LAC's heads when you consider that both point guard Chris Paul (groin) and star forward Blake Griffin (knee) are hurting right now and both missed minutes in that loss in Tennessee plus Paul also has a jammed finger issue to boot. If either one of these catalyst players has to sit for extended minutes here than maybe - indeed - the Grizz fans will be seeing the teams Sunday for a decisive Game #7 but here's what Memphis must accomplish here tonight:
Forward Rudy Gay - who scored a very quiet 14 points in the Game #5 victory - must be more assertive on the offensive end plus the Grizzlies must show better ball movement. Count us among the folks who have not cared for how Memphis has appeared so stagnant for long periods of time in this series (see 14-assist-to-12-turnover ratio in Game #5).
If PG Mike Conley can't do better than 9 points and 5 assists in this road game than the Grizzlies may be sunk ... like those other six NBA teams that were just laid to waste in this post-season. Here's how the Grizzlies-Clippers series has gone so far (note home teams are in CAPS):
|4-29||MEMPHIS||- 5||LA Clippers||LA Clippers 99-98|
|5-2||MEMPHIS||- 6.5||LA Clippers||MEMPHIS 105-98|
|5-5||LA CLIPPERS||- 3||Memphis||LA CLIPPERS 87-86|
|5-7||LA CLIPPERS||- 2||Memphis||LA CLIPPERS 101-97(ot)|
|5-9||MEMPHIS||- 8||LA Clippers||MEMPHIS 92-80|
Spread Note: The Memphis Grizzlies may be down three games-to-two in this best-of-seven series but they're up 3-to-2 spreadwise through the first five games.
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES
LET'S GO METS!
Hey, New York baseball fans ... Did you really/truly think that heading into Mother's Day Weekend the Mets would have a better overall record than the Yankees?
It's true as Terry Collins Mets club exited its earlier-week sweep in Philadelphia - the first NYM sweep in Philly in some six years - with an 18-13 mark while the Yanks are 17-14 following Thursday's 5-3 win against Tampa Bay and while expectations were zero for this 2012 Mets team the fact of the matter is the club is far from "whole" and yet is right there in the mix in the National League East.
Righthander Mike Pelfrey is gone for the year with Tommy John surgery - maybe Pelfrey was never the star hurler the Mets envisioned but he always could be counted on for 200-or-so innings a year and there are not many folks on this staff that could say the same - and until the last couple of nights 1B Ike Davis had been a major dud at the plate but his three-run dinger in Philly in Wednesday's 10-6 win might be the turning point to the slugger's season.
Otherwise, it's been an all-hands-on-deck approach for the Mets who have been buoyed by the play of energetic OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (hitting .304 with 16 runs scored in 30 games) and the steady leadership of 3B David Wright (hitting .376 with 3 HR and 18 RBI) who is playing better defense than at any point in his nine-year Mets career and he's been one of those guys who has delivered big-time two-out hits this early part of the '12 season ... and did everyone notice how new 2B Daniel Murphy has been solid if not spectacular at the position?
And talk about a fun weekend coming up as the Mets are in Miami for a three-game set against the archrival Marlins who have sputtered, stalled and generally staggered throughout the first 30-plus games this year with former Mets SS Jose Reyes far from the mega-star he was supposed to be in South Beach.
Right now Reyes raked in the big bucks this past off-season but the Mets have raked in more wins (18-to-16) ... take that, Jose!
NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff updates in the next edition of Jim Sez.