Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 30, 2016 at 11:32 AM
THE NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: THE STAGE IS SET, GAME 7 TONIGHT AS THUNDER-WARRIORS CLASH
THE BASEBALL REPORT: TRACKING SOME "OVER" WINS TOTALS ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY
Here's some NBA history - take it as you'd like:
Only nine teams have ever climbed out of three games-to-one holes to win a playoff series ... the other 223 teams that were down 3-1 wound up losing those series.
Now, the Golden State Warriors -- a team that we wondered aloud if they had the grit, the heart and the strength to win a gotta-have-it Game 6 on the road this past Saturday night - aim to be the tenth team in NBA lore to win a best-of-seven set after being faced with elimination in Games 5, 6 and now 7.
In case you were wondering, the Warriors entered this series a prohibitive favorite (- 340 to Oklahoma City's + 280) and now they have a Game 7 on their own floor where they've lost just once this post-season (see Game 1 of this series).
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 Finals on Thursday. 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!
OKLAHOMA CITY at GOLDEN STATE - Series tied 3-3; 9 p.m. ET on TNT
Had to chuckle the other night following the Warriors' heroic 108-101 triumph in Game 6 after being down just about the whole shootin' match: Okie City head coach Billy Donovan claimed his Thunder team already was "excited" to be playing in a Game 7 ... like hell they are!
Until further notice, Game 6 will be remembered in/around Oklahoma City as "The One That Got Away" as the Thunder sported healthy leads for much of the contest and even led by eight points with five minutes remaining when star-of-stars Klay Thompson bagged a long top-of-the-key three-pointer and then the champs really got serious. Thompson - who netted an NBA playoff-record 11 trifectas (and scored 41 points) was simply amazing and TNT's Charles Barkley accurately pointed out that it was Thompson who kept the Warriors "in" the game in the first place, not Steph Curry (who did finish with 31 points and dazzled late).
Still, what possibly can be the mind-set for the visiting Thunder who committed six turnovers in the game's final three minutes - ugh! - and couldn't get a stop when needed?
If Okie City - a 7-point underdog here for Game 7 at press time - has any semblance of a shot to steal this series, then that duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (a combined 20-of-58 from the floor for 57 points in Game 6) must show a little faith in some of the other shooters. Tell us now that either Dion Waiters or Andre Roberson is gonna kick in a 17-to-20-point game and we'll give OKC a legit chance.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Thunder and the Warriors (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|5-16||Okla City||+ 7.5||GOLDEN ST||108-102|
|5-18||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Okla City||118-91|
|5-22||OKLA CITY||+ 2.5||Golden St.||133-105|
|5-24||OKLA CITY||+ 2||Golden St.||118-94|
|5-26||GOLDEN ST||- 7.5||Okla City||120-111|
|5-28||Golden St||+ 3.5||OKLA CITY||108-101|
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Give or take, we're approximately 50 games into this 2016 Major-League Baseball season as we chat with y'all on this Memorial Day ... and so we thought it a good time to bring up a handful of teams in terms of their "over" wins totals posted off-shore and in Las Vegas prior to the start of the current campaign. Let's see how these teams are faring so far with the projected wins total in parentheses below:
BALTIMORE (80.5 wins) - The Orioles entered Memorial Day 28-20 and ahead of the projection, thanks in large part to major thumpers in the lineup that puts the Birds third in the American League in home runs (69). Can the bullpen stay sharp through a hot summer and can 3B/SS Manny Machado keep posting MVP-like numbers? So far, so good for Buck Showalter's bunch but we have our doubts as to whether this starting rotation can hold down the fort for a full 162-game season.
CINCINNATI (71 wins) - The reeling Reds are 16-34 as we head into Memorial Day and that's well below what was expected (with the bar set low as it was) and check out how really awful Cincy is in a few categories: Cincy's 6-28 in night games, 11-27 against righthanded starting pitchers and 0-7 in Interleague play. Yes, sir, this sure reeks of a 100-plus loss team right now. Hope you bet the under, boys and girls!
KANSAS CITY (87 wins) - Gotta admit we thought the number-crunchers who devise these figures sold the defending champs short but, let's face it, we all went into the season knowing the starting pitching wasn't great and now some injuries to key everyday players has rendered KayCee a slightly ordinary 27-22 through nearly two months of play. The Royals are right on pace to play .540-type ball or so and probably will fall shy of 87 wins if they don't obtain at least one starting pitcher by the late July deadline. What, you think that "comeback weekend" against the Chicago White Sox is gonna be the norm this summer?
NEW YORK YANKEES (85 wins) - No doubt that this here-and-now Yanks team is a real head-scratcher. The starting pitching was awful for the better part of the season's first six or seven weeks but lately CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi have shined and that back-end of the bullpen with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman is mighty but we maintain the only way the Yankees are gonna hurdle the 85-win mark - they're 24-25 after winning two-of-three in Tampa Bay this past weekend as we play the holiday - is if so-called table-setters OF Brett Gardner (25 runs scored) and OF Jacoby Ellsbury (19 runs scored) wreak havoc. Forecast: The summer heat will help these guys, not hurt 'em so the Yanks are "live" with this bet.
ST. LOUIS (87.5 wins) - Let's face it, the Cardinals have been very average in just about everything they've done so far this year with an 18-19 record against righthanded starting pitchers, a 15-16 record under the lights and a 26-25 overall mark as we hit Memorial Day. Now you know why this team that won 100 games a year ago was slated to be a sub-90 win team here in 2016. Do you realize the Cards rank 10th in the National League in team ERA so far (4.18)?
NOTE: Lots more NBA, MLB and Handicapper Notes in the upcoming editions of Jim Sez, so don't miss out!