Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 2:51 PM
CAVS RIP RAPTORS (AGAIN) WITH 108-89 TRIUMPH IN GAME 2 OF NBA EASTERN FINALS...MORE DRAFT LOTTERY NOTES
In case you're wondering, tonight marks just the second calendar day that there isn't NBA Playoff action since all the way back on April 16th (nobody played on May 14th either) but the way the Cleveland Cavaliers are demolishing the Toronto Raptors so far in the Eastern Conference Finals, you could make the case we all could use a little break in the action there ... and please don't ask why the NBA head honchos are right now putting four days between games in the Western Conference Finals pitting Golden State and Oklahoma City as we'll see them again Sunday night for a Game 3.
Plenty to say about all the NBA goings-on in a moment, but first this key message to our customers:
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 into 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.
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EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND 108, TORONTO 89 - Cavaliers lead series 2-0; Game 3 Saturday at 8:35 p.m. ET, ESPN
Do you get the feeling the Las Vegas oddsmakers can't make the number high enough thus far in this best-of-seven series? In Game 1, the price tilted up from 10 to 11 points and LeBron James and Company smashed the "We The North" folks by 31 points and then last night the number jumped from 11 to 12 points and still it was no contest as the Cavs won by 19 but it only felt as if Cleveland led by twice that much throughout a snooze-it second half.
No need to sit here and break down all the gory details except to say James (23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) scored most of his baskets from a foot or two out - where was the resistance, Toronto? - but still he yukked it up later with ESPN sideline report Doris Burke when he noted his 9-of-17 free-throw shooting (too bad the Raptors and their "backers" were not laughing!).
If the Cavaliers had anything to fret about this Game 2 walkover win/cover, then maybe you wish to point to the apparent shoulder injury suffered by F Kevin Love (19 points) after a little scrum in the paint ... if Love needs to rest for Saturday's Game 3 then he should because the rest of these Cavs appear quite capable of winning an 11th consecutive playoff game this year without 'em.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Raptors and the Cavaliers (all home teams are in CAPS):
Now, let's get you the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with the still-alive teams listed below (thru games of May 19th :
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
GOLDEN STATE at OKLAHOMA CITY - Series tied 1-1; Game 3 is Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, TNT
We'll have an in-depth preview of Game 3 from Okie City in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez but two quickie notes here while the Warriors continue to bathe in their 27-point win in Game 2:
The lump on Golden State G Steph Curry's elbow - suffered when he ill-advisedly leaped into the crowd for a loose ball - does not appear problematic for the two-time MVP who has certainly had his share of post-season injuries. Curry's "cool" with how his elbow looks right now and should get off 30-or-more shots in Game 3;
Finally, the Thunder is just 3-3 ATS (against the spread) so far at home during this post-season and if there's gonna be anything extraordinary that's gonna get over the hump here than those 6-7-8 guys - in other words, the top reserves - must make their presence felt and may we suggest Dion Waiters has to hit five-or-more triples to stir the spirits inside the 'Peake.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Thunder and the Warriors (and note all home teams are in CAPS):
|5-16||Okla City||+ 7.5||GOLDEN ST||108-102|
|5-18||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Okla City||118-91|
NBA DRAFT LOTTERY NOTES
No doubt there's already a slew of "Mock Drafts" filtering around the web and in your local newspapers but - remember - it all begins with what the Philadelphia 76ers do with that numero uno pick and there is some momentum brewing for the Sixers to tab Duke frosh F Brandon Ingram and not LSU freshman F Ben Simmons ... just don't believe any of that jive.
Simmons already has a pro body (as they say in the business) and most in-the-know folks believed he would be the top pick months ago and that's not gonna change. What's interesting us beyond Simmons going #1 to Philly and Ingram going #2 to the Los Angeles Lakers is the third and fourth picks with Boston at #3 - we say the Celts believe "size matters" while Phoenix at #4 will go with the best available offensive talent.
Is anyone already looking to trade up? Well, the New York tabloids believe both the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets - neither of whom owns a first-round selection right now - will be busy attempting to move into Round I and don't discount thoughts that the Knicks might move Carmelo Anthony and another body or two in an effort to get into the top 10 where Oklahoma G Buddy Hield might have the Gotham City folks buzzin'.
Note: Lots more NBA Conference Finals coverage in tomorrow's weekend edition of Jim Sez.