Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, April 14, 2017 at 2:38 PM
HERE'S THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT - YES, THE POST-SEASON HAS ARRIVED AND WE GET ALL REVVED UP BEGINNING WITH SATURDAY'S FOUR SERIES OPENERS
It's the question that - truthfully - has been on everyone's minds since Day One of this 2016-17 NBA season ...
Are we all headed to a Golden State Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers Part III showdown in the NBA Finals?
Gotta say that right here/right now it would come as a surprise if it's not Warriors v. Cavs come early June but there's a handful of teams that sincerely have championship aspirations (see the NBA Odds to Win it All prices below) and - hey - wouldn't it really be something if neither the Warriors nor the Cavaliers made it all the way to the championship round?
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are all geared up for the NBA Playoffs that tip off Saturday afternoon - just go here online 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. You'll be glad you did!
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!
NBA CHAMPIONSHIP PRICES
Now, here's the up-to-the-minute NBA Odds to Win it All this year (all based on $100 per-play wagers):
|TEAM||ODDS TO WIN IT ALL|
|Golden State||- 275|
|San Antonio||+ 550|
|LA Clippers||+ 2500|
|Oklahoma City||+ 6600|
THE NBA PLAYOFFS
Now let's take a peek at the Four (4) NBA Playoff first-round series that begin Saturday and note below we've included in chart form all regular-season meetings below:
#7 INDIANA (42-40) vs. #2 CLEVELAND (51-31) - 3 p.m. ET, ABC
Now that the defending champion Cavaliers have yawned their way past the never-ending regular season, it's time for LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and friends to make short work of the Indy Pacers ... but better believe there will be some bumps in the road with "whisperer" Lance Stephenson sure to drive The King crazy once again and Indiana star G Paul George capable of making two or three games here very sticky affairs.
(Note all home teams below in charts are in CAPS):
|4-2||CLEVELAND||- 8||Indiana||135-130 (2ot)|
#6 MILWAUKEE (42-40) vs. #3 TORONTO (51-31) - 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
There are some media folks that believe this Toronto Raptors crew could be good enough to unseat Cleveland as the "beast of the East" but we're part of the crowd that says we'll believe when we see it! Sure, G DeMar DeRozan is capable of posting 30-plus point games and rehabbed PG Kyle Lowry (off wrist surgery and part of the lineup for the past two weeks) can be a streaky good scorer but Milwaukee ain't about ready to roll over and play dead here with "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo (the Bucks' top scorer/rebounder/assist man) quite adept at winning games late. Should we be surprised if this series goes the distance?
#7 MEMPHIS (43-39) vs. #2 SAN ANTONIO (61-21) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here's the most unsung, under-the-radar solid best-of-seven series in the opening group - no doubt the San Antonio Spurs (second-best record in the association) still play that fundamental brand of basketball even without the now-retired Tim Duncan but whether Memphis can make this a long, contentious series likely depends on how PG Mike Conley fares at crunch time. The Spurs will pay special attention to Marc Gasol in/around the paint, so the lefty Conley must be a scorer and major distributor here while Spurs' MVP Kawhi Leonard may get the occasional assignment of locking down Zach Randolph.
|2-6||MEMPHIS||- 1||San Ant||89-74|
|3-18||MEMPHIS||+ 3.5||San Ant||104-96|
|3-23||SAN ANT||- 8||Memphis||97-90|
|4-4||SAN ANT||- 9||Memphis||95-89 (ot)|
#5 UTAH (51-31) vs. #4 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (51-31) - 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
One radio report we heard on the eve of these playoffs was that the Clippers - as we know them - could be making a last stand here as head coach Doc Rivers is getting serious mention as the next Orlando Magic general manager while F Blake Griffin could be a goner too this summer with Miami and/or Chicago said to be interested in his services. Wait, there's a playoff series to be determined first and wet-behind-the-ears Utah should not be overlooked even if star G Gordon Hayward (bruised quad) has been slowed lately. If C Rudy Gobert - the frontrunner to win this year's NBA Defensive Player of the Year award (in our opinion) - is able to swat away in-close shots by Griffin and dunks by seven-footer C DeAndre Jordan than this one's gonna be real tight.
NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff Series Previews in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez as we catch you up on the Four (4) series that start Sunday.