Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 4:53 PM
IT'S THE NBA'S FINAL NIGHT OF REGULAR-SEASON PLAY - AND WHATTA NIGHT AS GOLDEN STATE GOES FOR RECORD 73RD WIN AND KOBE SAYS FAREWELL PLUS SOME IMPORTANT POST-SEASON RELATED GAMES TOO
HEY, THERE'S NBA AWARDS TIME TO HAND OUT!
Hey, we didn't mean to be coming off sounding peeved at the Golden State Warriors in our most recent Jim Sez column.
True, G-State's 44-35-2 ATS (against the spread) log heading into tonight's potential record-breaking game against the Memphis Grizzlies ain't as good as one would have liked for a team that's sitting here at 72-9 SU (straight-up) but we wanted to "balance the scales" some and let you know that the Warriors actually have won 44 games by double-digit margins this year and there's 19 NBA teams that have not even won 44 games in all!
Meanwhile, Golden State goes for that NBA all-time single-season wins record this evening and the good folks in Las Vegas have Steve Kerr's crew listed as a 17.5-point betting favorite against the injury-riddled Grizzlies and so no doubt many NBA fans will be turning their eyes instead to the Kobe Bryant Farewell Game at Staples Center in Los Angeles - where the Lakers are a 7.5-point home underdog to playoff-hungry Utah but it sure looks as if the Jazz's post-season dreams will have been dashed by tipoff as Houston could/should clinch the final playoff berth in the Western Conference earlier in the evening while playing host to Sacramento.
Know a three-team teaser that'll probably win tonight?
Sacramento plus the 14.5-point price in Houston/Utah minus the price against Kobe and the Lakers/and Memphis plus the bundle of points against Golden State ... just sayin'.
Hey, don't forget there's a slew of big games in terms of NBA Playoff and playoff positioning/seeding on this final night with Atlanta, Miami, Boston and Charlotte all capable of improving - or injuring - their seeds with the best two of this quartet landing home court advantage throughout the first round plus things could get mixed 'round in the West where Portland (home to Denver), Memphis (at Golden State) and Dallas (home to San Antonio) could have things to play for here in terms of seeding in the #5-6-7 spots in the West.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are hitting their stride these days in pro hoops and we'll be cashing in big with the NBA and with Major-League Baseball too each and every day this month. Just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle. Remember: The NBA Playoffs will begin on Saturday.
NBA AWARDS TIME
Okay, so it's time to hand out our Jim Sez NBA Regular-Season Awards, so here goes ...
MVP - STEPHEN CURRY, Golden State Warriors
The golden guy of Golden State is set to win his second straight MVP and there should be zero argument as the wins record (c'mon, you know the Warriors are gonna set it in a few hours) and that snazzy NBA-best 29.9 ppg average helps to propel Curry atop the list.
2nd Place - LeBron James, Cleveland;
3rd Place - Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Coach of the Year - Steve Clifford, Charlotte
The Hornets (47-34) are the most unsung good team in the NBA this year - lots of experts such as ABC/ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy believe they are a "team to watch" in these upcoming playoffs -- and fighting for a home court on the final night of the year is proof positive that Clifford is a sensational sideline boss.
2nd Place - Luke Walton/Steve Kerr, Golden State;
3rd Place - Brad Stevens, Boston
Rookie of the Year - Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota
This is easy pickings as the one-and-done star at the University of Kentucky is averaging 18 points, 10 boards and 2 assists per game and - realistically - he should be the unanimous choice.
2nd Place - Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia;
3rd Place - Kristaps Porzingis, New York
Defensive Player of the Year - Draymond Green, Golden State
The major reason we're singing Green's praises here is because the dude can defend big/small guys with equal success and so that means he's able to go out to the perimeter and slow down quick "3's" while also declawing "4's" and "5's" too. P.S., won't be upset or disappointed if either our 2nd place or 3rd place guy gets the nod instead.
2nd Place - DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers;
3rd Place - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
Sixth Man Award - Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
The classy Clips' guard averages 14.2 ppg in approximately 27 minutes-a-game - now that's efficiency -- and so we'll send three cheers his way in a close battle for this 6th-Man award.
2nd Place - Andre Iguodala, Golden State;
3rd Place - Ryan Anderson, New Orleans
Most Improved Player - C.J. McCollum, Portland
Folks, we couldn't believe how good this Trail Blazers guard was when we checked out a bunch of early-season games - and here he is on the final night of regular-season play averaging 20.9 ppg with a 43 percent success rate from beyond the three-point arc ... wow!
2nd Place - Hassan Whiteside, Miami;
3rd Place - Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City
NBA Surprise Team of the Year - Charlotte Hornets
Don't forget that G Kemba Walker should be getting top 10 MVP votes this spring, okay?
2nd Place - Memphis
3rd Place - Portland
NBA Disappointing Team of the Year - Chicago Bulls
What, you thought maybe it would be someone else!
2nd Place - Washington
3rd Place - New Orleans
NOTE: We'll have NFL Draft Reports plus there's MLB and NBA Notes too in the next edition of Jim Sez - and don't forget the NBA Playoff Previews later this week!