Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:10 AM
THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE: WE PREVIEW SUNDAY'S GAME 7 OF HEAT VS. RAPTORS ...
THE BASEBALL REPORT: INTERLEAGUE WINNERS & LOSERS
So, Game 7 is on the menu for Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC) as the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors square off for the all-or-nothing deciding game in this NBA Eastern Conference playoff series that determines who makes it to the conference finals and there's plenty of questions each team must answer ... here's a couple:
Can the visiting Heat win again with its "small-ball" lineup that pulled off the 103-91 triumph in Game 6?
No doubt that the element of surprise worked wonders for Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Company in that double-digit win on Friday night - after all, Miami didn't announce its starting five till right before tip-off - but even if the combo of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic (52 points between 'em in Game 6) "go off" we believe those other starters named Luol Deng, Justise Winslow and Joe Johnson must shoot it better than 10-of-24 from the floor ... or else.
Will Toronto get an "energy" game from anyone off its bench here in Game 7?
Again, the Raptors simply have to be counting on guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (a combined 59 points on a whopping 48 FG attempts in Game 6) but who's gonna come off the pine and lend a helping hand? Remember we predicted that Toronto could steal Friday's game in South Beach if reserve F Terrence Ross shined but instead the oft-timid Ross contributed just 6 points in 24 points - double that total here and the forecast is that the "We The North" crew will prevail.
One final item as we direct our NBA weekend attention to Heat-Raptors: Toronto has not lost back-to-back games yet in this year's post-season that also included a seven-game series win against the Indiana Pacers in Round I but the Raptors are a shoddy 4-9 ATS (against the spread) in playoff hoops this spring;
Miami is 6-0 SU (straight-up) in its last half-dozen elimination games and the Heat's 8-5 versus the vig this playoff campaign.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Heat and the Raptors (and note all home teams are in CAPS):
|5-3||Miami||+ 4||TORONTO||102-96 (ot)|
|5-5||TORONTO||- 5||Miami||96-92 (ot)|
|5-9||MIAMI||- 4.5||Toronto||94-87 (ot)|
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 head towards the Conference Championships. 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!
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Let's spend a few moments examining some numbers/stats that have been catching our eye as we near the "quarter-pole" of this 2016 Major-League Baseball season:
Contrary to what the TV talking heads/internet scribes might claim, the National League has been superior - so far - when it comes to Interleague play. Yes, we do have Interleague games each/every day and heading into this mid-May weekend the NL owned a solid 30-20 lead with the Washington Nationals (7-2 versus American League squads) among other teams making hay in these Interleague games.
The biggest Interleague "loser" so far? Well, that would be the Cleveland Indians who have lost five-of-six games played against the NL and - as we've preached in past seasons - never be shocked if a team gets beaten out for a potential playoff berth because they failed miserably in Interleague affairs. The Tribe entered the weekend five games back of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central and just two full games back of the Texas Rangers for the second wild card berth ... see what we mean? ...
Finally, it was 75 years ago that Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams batted .406 - the last hitter in the bigs to hit higher than .400 - and we know it's early but Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy entered the weekend series against Miami with a spiffy .409 batting average and wouldn't it be a blast if Murphy entered this week's series against his old team the New York Mets with a .400-plus batting average? Gotta say we believe "Murph" will get a rousing ovation from the Citi Field crowds this Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday - that's until he raps a couple of big hits to hurt the Mets!
Note: Catch more MLB and NBA Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.