Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 1:58 PM
HEY, IT'S MAY, AND WE'VE GOT LOTS TO SAY ABOUT THE NBA PLAYOFFS / ROUND II-STYLE
We know what you're thinking: The NBA Playoffs have been fun so far but are we merely "killing time" till we get to what appears to be an inevitable NBA Finals showdown - Part III - between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the heavy-duty-favorite-to-win-it-all Golden State Warriors?
Hey, that could be, but as we open up the merry month of May there's some NBA teams with an eye on the prize not named the Cavs and Warriors and they are part of the mix here in this begin-the-week edition of Jim Sez. But first things first:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in major profits in this year's NBA Playoffs - we rolled to an easy 104-91 win by the 3.5-point favorite Los Angeles Clippers in Sunday's Game 7 clash that wrapped up Round I play -- and we'll continue to rock-n-roll through the post-season all week/month long. Go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day and cash in with all the NBA Playoffs and remember there's Major-League Baseball on tap every day too!
EASTERN CONFERENCE -
On Monday, it's ...
TORONTO at CLEVELAND - Game 1, 7 p.m. ET on TNT
The Las Vegas sooth-sayers have installed the Cavs as 5-to-1 betting favorites for this best-of-seven set and the "majority rule" is that the Raptors still are not quite ready yet to bring down LeBron James and friends. True, the Cavs have built up some rust after having not played a game since April 23rd (see clean sweep over Indiana Pacers) and so it's very possible that Cleveland starts slowly out of the gate here in Game 1 but we did learn in that opening round that The King and his playmates are adept at winning the close ones - victories by 1, 6, 5 and 4 points - while the North-of-the-Border gang never knows what it's gonna get from anyone outside of top scorer G DeMar DeRozan (23.5 ppg this post-season).
On Tuesday, it's ...
WASHINGTON at BOSTON - Celtics lead series 1-0; 8 p.m. ET on TNT
If you've been charting the 2016-17 Wizards vs. Celtics games, than you know that Boston's come-from-behind 123-111 win/cover in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon marked the fifth time in five games that home favorites "cashed" when these teams play one another ... do we hear six? The Celtics - if they wish to become the latest home fav to win/cover in this rivalry -- better step up the "D" from the start after surrendering 38 first-quarter points in Game 1 and must ask again for contributions from someone other than G Isaiah Thomas (33 points, 9 assists) as the Al Horford/Jae Crowder/Avery Bradley trio was positively terrific while chipping in 63 points on 25-of-47 FG makes.
WESTERN CONFERENCE -
On Monday, it's ...
HOUSTON at SAN ANTONIO - Game 1, 9:35 p.m. ET on TNT
This Texas two-step of a series could be a go-the-limit job - a/k/a seven games - but our duty is to remind y'all that the Spurs are a minus 260 here (take back + 200 with the Rockets) and they do have the second-best two-way player in all the league in Kawhi Leonard (31.2 ppg this post-season thus far) but the question is will veteran G Tony Parker be ready/willing/able to put up major minutes while attempting to give Gregg Popovich's squad a jolt of offensive energy? Heck, we all know Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni is mucho comfortable in letting G James Harden handle the ball 85 percent of the time and the bearded one averaged 33.2 ppg in that five-game series win against Oklahoma City. Still, the newsmaker here could be Houston's key late-year pick-up G Lou Williams (18.8 ppg these playoffs) as he could light up a Spurs' backcourt that has trouble with uber-talented guards. Hey, if the Rockets can steal Game 1, then this one we'll go out on a limb and call for a Game 7 down the road.
|11-9||Houston||+ 8.5||SAN ANT||101-99|
|11-12||San Antonio||- 1.5||HOUSTON||106-100|
|3-6||SAN ANT||- 3.5||Houston||112-110|
On Tuesday, it's ...
UTAH at GOLDEN STATE - Game 1, 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT
The last time we saw the G-State Warriors they were pounding their way to a 22-3 lead en route to a 128-103 garbage-time-filled tilt against the Portland Trail Blazers in the sweep-clinching win in Round I - now the hoop experts are wondering if this is gonna be broom city here as long as Warriors' F Kevin Durant stays healthy? Note that Durant kicked in 10 points in 20 minutes of game action in that Game 4 tilt against the Blazers and he won't be asked for 30-point nights here providing Stephen Currry and Klay Thompson (averaging 48 ppg between 'em in Round I) stay on a roll but Utah illustrated in that seven-game series win against the Clippers that they have some pop too with G Gordon Hayward (23.3 ppg), George Hill (16.8 ppg) and professional assassin Joe Johnson (16.7 ppg) all capable of getting/staying hot against quality "comp". Be sure that the Jazz would love to carry that California-style momentum from LA into a Game 1 win here in Oakland but it may be more important for Quinn Snyder's guys to show "they belong" ... if you know what we mean! If Golden State boss Steve Kerr is not able to be on the sidelines for any/all games in this series, it could have a bigger difference than you're being led to believe.
|12-8||Golden St.||- 11||UTAH||106-99|
|12-20||GOLDEN ST.||- 12.5||Utah||104-74|
|4-10||Utah||+ 10||GOLDEN ST.||105-99|
NOTE: More NBA Playoff coverage in the next Jim Sez.