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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 9:44 AM




"Conventional wisdom" says the defending champion Golden State Warriors are gonna battle the Cleveland Cavaliers once again in this June's NBA Finals ... yes, we know it's a long way till we get to that point in time but it's funny how this year's NBA Playoffs began for these two squads:

Once again the Warriors and Cavaliers copped Game 1 SU (straight-up) home wins in their respective playoff openers and - once again - only one of these two teams covered the all-important Las Vegas pointspread in Game 1 but this time the proverbial sneaker was on the other foot!

Roll back the calendar pages and you see that last April the G-State Warriors failed to cash against the 12.5-point underdog New Orleans Pelicans in a 106-99 close-call win in Oakland;
One day later a year ago, Cleveland did cash as 12-point betting favorites en route to a hard-fought 113-100 victory against the Boston Celtics - we remember it well as a Jim Hurley Network winner!

Now, the 2016 NBA Playoffs opened up for business this past weekend and there was Golden State ringing up a 104-78 win/cover as 13-point favs against Houston while less than 24 hours later it was Cleveland failing to bang out the winning bet in a 106-101 non-cover triumph versus 11.5-point pup Detroit.
So, does that mean the Cavs will win it all two months from now? Hmmm.

One thing to check out when it comes to these respective series: The Warriors are not about to take any guff from a chippy Rockets team - can "defensive guard" Patrick Beverley just cool his pits once and for all? - as star-of-stars Steph Curry netted 24 points in a mere 20 minutes of game action;

And speaking of all things Cavs, they surely received more than a few favorable whistles in the non-cover triumph over the Pistons with the "T" slapped on Detroit guard Reggie Jackson with 3:24 remaining in the game a real game-changer. Is it too much to ask Cleveland to play a little better perimeter defense after the Pistons rammed home 15-of-29 triples?

In other NBA Playoffs News ...
Did the Boston Celtics' hopes for a Round I victory against Atlanta go up in smoke when PG Avery Bradley "heard a pop" in his right hamstring in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's 102-101 loss-but-cover? ...

Not quite sure what stat stood out at you the most in last Saturday's 108-70 Oklahoma City win/cover versus 12-point pup Dallas: The fact the Mavs shot a collective 25-of-84 from the floor (that's 29.8 percent) or the fact Dallas scored a grand total of 11 first-quarter points (and less than 20 points in three of the four quarters). Ugh.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are all geared up for the NBA Playoffs that continue to roll on this week/this month - just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day during these NBA Playoffs and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle or sign up now for the entire NBA Playoffs. Plus, remember there's Major-League Baseball on tap every day and so the time is just right to cash in big this spring as the NBA Playoffs and Baseball pounds out major profits!



Let's check out the top cornerbacks as we inch closer to the April 28th NFL Draft in Chicago:

VERNON HARGREAVES III, Florida - This 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior is a lead pipe cinch to go in the top 10 picks of Round I as he combines great coverage skills with an excellent ability to tackle in the open field. We see as going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #9 or else sliding down one spot to the New York Giants at #10.

WILLIAM JACKSON III, Houston - What, does every top cornerback prospect have to be a "III" guy? Fact of matter is Jackson is a highly-skilled defender with good height (6-feet, 190-plus pounds) but some folks wonder if he will challenge wide outs at the line of scrimmage or back off the really speedy ones? Could see Miami or Oakland call his name at either pick #13 or #14 ... or more likely will slide a few picks to Buffalo at #19.

ELI APPLE, Ohio State - This 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is ahead of Jackson III on many draft boards but we believe it's a toss-up and our scouts say Apple will wind up in the late teens/early teens with aforementioned Buffalo (#19) or Washington at #21 his more-than-likely destination spots.

MACKENSIE ALEXANDER, Clemson - A little shorter than Jackson and Apple, as this former Tigers star is listed at 5-foot-10 and so he'll drop to the mid 20's in Round I but keep in mind Alexander was a true superstar in Clemson's run to the championship game a year ago and some NFL scouts say his swager remind 'em of Carolina's Josh Norman ... cool. Let's project Alexander to go late in Round I to Kansas City at #28 or else maybe even Denver at pick #32.

KENDALL FULLER, Virginia Tech - Likely to be gobbled up somewhere in the top 50, this former Hokie star is listed at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds and is the latest in the long line of Fullers at V-Tech (see three older brothers). Hey, if the 'Skins don't net a Round I cornerback, then Fuller stays local here in Round II.

ARTIE BURNS, Miami - Former track star can really blaze but still needs some fine-tuning at the position ... let's expect 'em to be a late second-rounder with Houston or Kansas City logical landing spots.

NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff goodies and NFL Draft position previews all week long here at Jim Sez.

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