Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Before we get to the key numbers in Saturday’s busy NBA playoff action, we want to remind you that JIM HURLEY’s annual KENTUCKY DERBY EXTRAVAGANZA will be available Saturday morning right here at this website. As always, you can purchase the preferred horses in the big race…THE WHOLE DAY at Churchill Downs…or THE WHOLE TRIPLE CROWN that includes the Preakness and the Belmont.
You can take care of business online with your credit card. Or, call the office at 1-800-323-4453 for complete details. The Derby Trifecta can be yours for as low as $20. A full DAY AT THE RACES program is yours for just $50. What a great way to enjoy the greatest day in horse racing!
Four big basketball games on tap Saturday…let’s jump right in…
INDIANA vs. ORLANDO
Game Four Vegas Line: Indiana by 5, total of 181.5
Indiana leads 3-0
The line has moved up a bit from the Indiana -3.5 we saw Wednesday night in Game Three. But, this is a series where the line hasn’t mattered at all. Orlando covered the first game by 13.5 points. Indiana has gotten the money by 6 and 19.5 points in their two victories. If Orlando finally has a good shooting game, they’re going to win outright and cove easily. If the Magic have given up hope, Indiana will win their third straight game by double digits and take a commanding series lead.
GAME THREE SUMMARY
INDIANA 97, ORLANDO 74
Field Goal Pct: Indiana 47%, Orlando 42%
Three-Pointers: Indiana 8/20, Orlando 5/15
Free Throws: Indiana 15/20, Orlando 9/18
Rebounds: Indiana 46, Orlando 33
Turnovers: Indiana 12, Orlando 17
Vegas Line: Indiana by 3.5, total of 183.5
It’s interesting that Indiana isn’t playing “great” to post big victory margins. That was just a nice solid performance on the road…against a team that can barely seem to walk and chew gum. Orlando was only 50% on free throw attempts, and lost the ball 17 times in a slow tempo game (only 89 possessions). Orlando was a below .500 team in the second half of the season…and is now clearly below the threshold of “playoff caliber” over the last six quarters. It’s not like they played well in their victory either. That was an 81-77 snoozer where Indiana shot horribly. JIM HURLEY will be talking with his on site sources about the Orlando mindset. If they’ve given up hope, we could well have a very big play on an Indiana team that can just play “normal” and win easily. But, if we hear the Magic have made some adjustments, a live home dog play could be in order.
MEMPHIS vs. LA CLIPPERS
Game Three Vegas Line: LA Clippers by 3, total of 187
Series tied 1-1
A bigger than normal adjustment for home court since we’re moving across the country. Memphis was favored by 5.5 and 7 in their two home games. That would normally yield a line near pick-em with the site switch. Is this too much of an adjustment in favor of the Clippers? Memphis derives a real home court advantage playing in front of a rabid crowd. The Clippers are still second class in LA, even if they’re now a playoff team. The total is up to 187 after two games around 184. The scoreboards showed 197 and 203, which hurt more than a few sharps who had lined up on the Unders.
GAME TWO SUMMARY
MEMPHIS 105, LA CLIPPERS 98
Field Goal Pct: Clippers 57%, Memphis 48%
Three-Pointers: Clippers 9/16, Memphis 2/12
Free Throws: Clippers 13/18, Memphis 31/39
Rebounds: Clippers 28, Memphis 37
Turnovers: Clippers 20, Memphis 12
Vegas Line: Memphis by 7, total of 184.5
This is an astounding boxscore…because the Clippers shot great from the field and still lost! Do you know how hard it is to be +21 from three-point land and still not cover a spread? How did it happen? Memphis marched to the free throw line all night while the Clippers didn’t get many whistles. And, turnovers were also a big problem. Memphis is the best team in the NBA at forcing turnovers. They inflicted 20 zero possessions on the Clippers Wednesday Night.
You can see why the market has given a nod to the Clippers based on those numbers. Officiating is likely to even out. And, the Clippers are likely to make adjustments that will help them protect the ball better. That being said…Memphis is likely to shoot better than 2 of 12 themselves on treys. This is a very interesting series to analyze and handicap. The four-game Saturday schedule gives JIM HURLEY the luxury of passing a game or two and just focusing on the very best spots. Sign up to see if this is a pass or a play!
OKLAHOMA CITY vs. DALLAS
Game Four Vegas Line: Oklahoma City by 1.5, total of 193
Oklahoma City leads 3-0
Dallas opened as a small favorite, but early money has come in on the Thunder to win here and wrap up the series. The Mavericks sure looked like toast Thursday Night. Can Rick Carlisle or grouchy owner Mark Cuban inspire at least a one-game comeback?
GAME THREE SUMMARY
OKLAHOMA CITY 95, DALLAS 79
Field Goal Pct: Oklahoma City 42%, Dallas 34%
Three-Pointers: Oklahoma City 12/28, Dallas 7/22
Free Throws: Oklahoma City 11/17, Dallas 20/26
Rebounds: Oklahoma City 45, Dallas 46
Turnovers: Oklahoma City 8, Dallas 15
Vegas Line: Dallas by 3, total of 193
Great defensive performance for Oklahoma City. Or, a tired offensive one from Dallas. Probably a mix of both. It’s telling that OKC didn’t really shoot well, didn’t march to the free throw line, and didn’t win rebounding, yet they still covered the Vegas spread by almost 20 points. Kevin Durant was due to have a big game and exploded in the Metroplex. It took the Thunder a couple of games to finally look like a real contender. They did here, and may again Saturday. Motivation for Dallas means everything because they can’t hope to win Game Four without their best effort. This is why it pays to have a nationwide NETWORK of sources!
SAN ANTONIO vs. UTAH
Game Three Vegas Line: San Antonio by 5.5, total of 202
San Antonio leads 2-0
San Antonio has to be the best rested team in the history of the playoffs right now. They’re winning blowouts that allow them to rest their starters. And, the games have been so spread out that this is only the third meeting in a one-sided series. The Spurs may seem pricey as a road favorite at a loud site. Other Game Three road favorites haven’t been having trouble winning easily.
GAME TWO SUMMARY
SAN ANTONIO 114, UTAH 87
Field Goal Pct: Utah 34%, San Antonio 57%
Three-Pointers: Utah 1/6, San Antonio 10/22
Free Throws: Utah 20/23, San Antonio 10/10
Rebounds: Utah 43, San Antonio 44
Turnovers: Utah 15, San Antonio 12
Vegas Line: San Antonio by 11, total of 202
This game was over right away…and never got interesting beyond the joy one feels watching a great team execute at a high level. Utah couldn’t even get close enough to the Spurs offensive players to foul them! The Spurs do have weaknesses that can be exposed in later rounds by better teams. They control their own destiny against a borderline playoff team like Utah. As is the case all over the card today, motivation from the inferior team is going to be the key. Utah is capable of avoiding a sweep in this series if they come in at 100% intensity and catch the Spurs napping. They’re also capable of falling behind by 20 again if they accept that the writing is on the wall and there’s not much they can do about it.
That wraps up Saturday’s previews. Back with you Sunday to preview another TV Grand Slam:
Chicago at Philadelphia on ABC
Miami at New York on ABC
Atlanta at Boston on TNT
LA Lakers at Denver on TNT
BIG JUICY WINNERS in Basketball, baseball, and Saturday’s KENTUCKY DERBY will be ready for you Saturday morning at this website. Make a few clicks and take care of business! If you prefer talking to a live human on a busy sports day like this, we can help you out in the office at 1-800-323-4453.
Make a RUN FOR THE ROSES and a DASH FOR THE CASH with legendary handicapper JIM HURLEY!