Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 9, 2016 at 11:14 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFFS WARM UP WITH SPURS-THUNDER A REAL BLAST AS THEY HEAD INTO TUESDAY'S GAME 5 KNOTTED AT TWO WINS APIECE PLUS WE CHECK OUT WARRIORS-BLAZERS AND RAPTORS-HEAT TOO
Talk about the "mother of all second halves" ...
When the Oklahoma City Thunder poured in a whopping 66 points following intermission in the rollicking 111-97 Mother's Day win/cover against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of that best-of-seven NBA Western Conference Semifinal round series, gotta admit we sat up and said yes, indeed, we have a blockbuster series on our hands, hoop fans!
Make no mistake about it, right now we'll be truly surprised if this series does not go seven games and soon enough we might be saying the same for the other Western Conference set between the defending league champion Golden State Warriors versus the Portland Trail Blazers along with that Eastern Conference series between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat.
In today's Jim Sez we'll get you the chart version of all the games played in this round - including Cleveland's four games-to-zip series win against underwhelming Atlanta - plus we'll have some "spread thoughts" too but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been bashing the books right from the start of this year's NBA Playoffs and nothing's gonna change here as we dig deeper and deeper into Round II. We'll continue to rock-n-roll our way through the NBA post-season – and you can purchase Jim's NBA Post Season program right here www.VegasSportsMasters.com or call 1-888-777-4155 each/every day and be sure that we'll send you straight into the winner's circle.
Plus, there's Winning Major-League Baseball on tap every day in either Jim's Hit and Run Baseball Club or the Highly Rated Blue Ribbon Baseball Club… Don't miss another opportunity to cash in big RIGHT NOW!
On Monday, it's ...
TORONTO at MIAMI - Raptors lead series 2-1; 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Sure looks like this one might be a "survival of the fittest" series unfolding between the Raptors (C Jonas Valanciunas has a sprained ankle) and the Heat (likely no C Hassan Whiteside till further notice with a serious right knee injury) ... might that mean more of an open-court style game here for Game 4 in South Beach and maybe even some dabbling with the "over"?
If that's the case with the probability that both pivot men are out here, than don't be surprised if/when Toronto guards Lyle Lowry (33 points in Game 3) and DeMar DeRozan combine for more than the 36 FGs they attempted in the Game 3 win.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Raptors and the Heat (and note all home teams are in CAPS):
|5-3||Miami||+ 4||TORONTO||102-96 (ot)|
|5-5||TORONTO||- 5||Miami||96-92 (ot)|
CLEVELAND vs. ATLANTA - Cavaliers win series 4-0
Okay, so the Cleveland Cavaliers had to sweat for major portions of Games 1, 3 and 4 in this set but it turned out "mission accomplished" with Tyronn Lue's club now a perfect 8-and-oh SU (straight-up) in this year's playoffs ... and nothing like Cleveland's big three of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (a combined 69 points in Sunday's 100-99 non-cover clincher in Hot-lanta) being on the proverbial same page night-after-night. And can we give it up for the Cavaliers' better-than-you-thought bench now starring F Channing Frye!
Here's how the playoff series went between the Cavaliers and the Hawks (and note all home teams are in CAPS):
On Monday, it's ...
GOLDEN STATE at PORTLAND - Warriors leads series 2-1; 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Hey, if anyone out there felt "burned" by Portland's tough-to-take 110-99 loss in Game 2 when the 9-point underdog Trail Blazers deserved to cover that Las Vegas price tag, then here's hoping you went back on the Blazers' bandwagon for last Saturday's double-digit home win.
Yes, G-State played again without G Steph Curry - and please don't ask when he'll return because that seems to be top-secret information or something! - but following Damian Lillard's wicked 40-point performance (and don't forget his 10 assists either!) it's obvious that the Warriors need to give a little more assistance to Klay Thompson (35 points) and Draymond Green (37 points in Game 3).
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers (home teams are in CAPS):
|5-1||GOLDEN ST.||- 10||Portland||118-106|
|5-3||GOLDEN ST.||- 9||Portland||110-99|
|5-7||PORTLAND||+ 3||Golden St.||120-108|
On Tuesday, it's ...
OKLAHOMA CITY at SAN ANTONIO - Series tied 2-2; 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Let's see ...Scoring maven Kevin Durant banged out a 41-point game on Mother's Day evening - you knew TNT would get us all mucho camera shots of his dear mom (and it did!) - but the $64,000 question is will it benefit a more youthful Thunder team to go deeper into this series or might the whole "playoff experience" factor play into the Spurs' hands?
No doubt that Gregg Popovich's club can't afford to have two starters go scoreless here (see Tim Duncan and Danny Green shot a combined 0-for-3 from the floor in 40 total minutes) plus San Ant must win the bench brigade one game after OKC's Dion Waiters was simply fantastic with his 17-point showing that included some major key moments in the second half.
One thing we'd like to ask heading into Game 5 in the Alamo City: Is there any thought of doubling Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook (see 15 assists in Game 4) or will this dude have carte blanche to the hoop whenever he likes?
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Thunder and the Spurs (home teams are in CAPS):
|4-30||SAN ANTONIO||- 6.5||Okla City||124-92|
|5-2||Okla City||+ 7||SAN ANTONIO||98-97|
|5-6||San Antonio||- 2.5||OKLA CITY||100-96|
|5-8||OKLA CITY||- 2||San Antonio||111-97|
NOTE: More NBA Playoff coverage in the next Jim Sez plus get our MLB and NFL Notes too.