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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 1:10 PM




Maybe it all is just a bit of NBA window dressing:

After all, while they battle it out in the playoff series involving San Antonio versus Houston (see our Game 6 preview below) and in the one pitting Boston versus Washington, there's the matter of the two major heavy-duty favorites expected to play in next month's NBA Finals who these days are merely just twiddling their thumbs.

The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have tacked together back-to-back playoff sweeps this spring; ditto for the two-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. Both are gonna have a week (or more) idle time before they rev it up for their respective conference finals. Hey, maybe both can sweep the next round too and set up a scenario where either the Cavaliers or the Warriors are entertaining thoughts of going 16-and-oh for an entire post-season? Hmmm.

Let's face it, if we get anything other than a Cavs versus Warriors Finals Part III we will all be a tad shocked, eh?

Still, we must admit that we - finally - got a high-wire act playoff game in Rockets-Spurs back in Game 5 and everyone's now wondering whether we'll get a close-out game from the Spurs here in Thursday's Game 6 ... megastar Kawhi Leonard says he's gonna play with that tweaked ankle problem but he didn't even get off the bench for the other night's overtime session in that 110-107 non-cover win. More on Thursday's Spurs at Rockets tilt in a moment but first this key reminder ...

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in the profits in this year's NBA Playoffs and so far in this 2017 Major-League Baseball season and we'll continue to rock-n-roll through the post-season all week 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!

On Thursday, it's ...
SAN ANTONIO at HOUSTON - Spurs lead series 3-2; Game 6 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

The Las Vegas oddsmakers have had their say: Right now the Rockets have been installed as a 7-point home betting favorite and that tells you that either Spurs' star Leonard won't play here or, at the very least, won't be his usual self (note that Houston was a 5.5- and 5-point betting favorite in the home tilts in Games 3 and 4 of this particular series) and that leads us to wonder if Gregg Popovich's crew is down early here on the scoreboard, will Leonard merely sit and the Spurs be content with a do-or-die Game 7 in their own backyard come the weekend?

While we all ponder what's ahead for Mr. Leonard (22 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes in Game 5) the other part of the equation is what will Houston do if/when this becomes a true crunch-time affair?

Hey, if you watched the action late in the fourth quarter and then right into overtime the other night, you saw Houston sputter badly on the offensive end of the floor ... they chewed up too much shot clock, didn't move the ball with any urgency and relied on James Harden (33 points/10 rebs/10 assists in Game 5) to save 'em and there were numerous rotten possessions. TNT analyst Reggie Miller was practically beside himself with all the lousy possessions and really verbally buried coach Mike D'Antoni's squad.

Long story short: The Rockets can go ahead and count on another 30-plus points from Harden and they can expect another 16-to-23 trifectas but the bottom line is unless they can fend off the second-chance shots by San Antonio and keep Manu Ginobili and friends from making "energy plays" than this one could be headed to another tight finish here ... bloated pointspread or not!

Note all home teams are in CAPS below:

5-1Houston+ 6SAN ANT126-99
5-3SAN ANT- 5.5Houston121-96
5-5San Antonio+ 5.5HOUSTON103-92
5-7HOUSTON- 5San Antonio125-104
5-9SAN ANT- 5.5Houston110-107 (ot)



How bad has it gotten this year for the San Francisco Giants: Well, as we found out watching MLB Network's High Heat with chatterbox Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, this is the worst start for a Giants team since 1972 - yes, the year they traded off an aged Willie Mays - as San Fran entered Wednesday's matinee tilt against the New York Mets at Citi Field with a record of 11-23.

No LHP Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) tilt August; Injuries all over to the outfield where LF Eduardo Nunez is a joke in the field; and a lineup that currently ranks 15th in the National League in runs scored (109) and 15th in home runs (22).

A Giants' beat reporter - John Shea - told Russo's audience the Giants will be "sellers" and not "buyers" at this year's trade deadline ... but, one wonders, who is going to want to buy this junk?
P.S., San Francisco entered the 2017 season with an over/under wins total of 88.5. Wouldn't you like to have a ticket that says "under" right about now?

NOTE: More NBA Playoff coverage in the next Jim Sez plus get our MLB and NFL Notes too.

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