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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, June 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM



Hey, after all it is the 2017 playoffs:

So, of course, you should not be surprised that we had a Game 1 blowout last night in these NBA Finals!

As we told you good folks in an earlier-week Jim Sez column, we entered this championship round having seen 44 of the 74 previous post-season games being decided by twin-figure margins and so why shouldn't Game 1 of these much-hyped Finals not follow that script?

The Golden State Warriors - a solid 7.5-point betting favorite in Game 1 and a 3-to-1 betting favorite to cop this series (we saw a last-minute price of Golden State at minus 305; Cleveland took back + 265) - truly enjoyed this laugher even though it took some LeBron James body-blows early before making this a one-sided affair.

Yes, Kevin Durant stole the show with his sizzling 38-point, 8-assist, 8-rebound performance and the Warriors committed a miniscule 4 turnovers (thus tying an NBA Finals record set two other times in this millennium) while dishing out a whopping 31 assists but maybe the real story from this opener from Oakland was that the defending champion Cavaliers played tight (see 20 Cleveland turnovers) and didn't defend very wisely either as Tyronn Lue's club allowed far too many uncontested drives/dunks by Durant and Company.

Let's put a wrap up Game 1 - here's what we witnessed right after this quick reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will rake in the profits in this year's NBA Finals as we roll on big-time in this post-season! Go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors (again, Game 2 is Sunday night) and cash in too with all the daily Major-League Baseball winners!


GOLDEN STATE (-7.5) 113, CLEVELAND 91 - Warriors lead series 1-0; Game 2 is Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Gotta admit that we agreed with the ever-changing halftime panel the ABC/ESPN folks rolled out in Game 1 - we thought the Cavaliers should have felt fortunate to be down just 60-52 at intermission considering Durant was dunking up a storm and the Cavaliers were not getting many open looks aside from the handful of in-the-paint gimmes that both teams missed in the game's opening three or four minutes of play.

Still, it was Golden State that cracked the game wide open at the very start of the third quarter - we agree with acting Warriors coach Mike Brown who mentioned a dive-on-the-loose-ball play by G-State's Draymond Green "set the tone" - and before you knew it Golden State had scored the first 13 points of the third quarter and truly put this series opener on ice.

Stephen Curry's 28 points - he drilled six trifectas in all - combined with Durant's point total to make up nearly 59 percent of Golden State's offensive production and you wonder what this one would have looked like if Klay Thompson could have hit the side of the barn (see a dreary 3-of-16 FG shooting for 6 points)!

We're not buying the notion that James looked "tired" - he charged out of the starting gate with 15 early points en route to his eventual stat line of 28 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists but note the Cavs were a - 22 with "The King" on the court and his defensive effort was appallingly bad on Durant.

The Cavs marched off the court in a somber tone at game's end but - truth be told - they didn't appear to have been all that ready to play with post passing a real mess and three-point shooting a dud (see 11-of-31) and they tended to - as Brown put it - "flatten out" in defensive transition and thus covered the likes of Curry and Thompson when those guys darted to designated spots in the corners and left Durant unguarded for an array of right-down-the-middle dunks.

No doubt the Game 1 game plan was highly flawed for Lue and Company: But from the sheer "eye test" it was obvious that Golden State was the head-and-shoulders more talented team in this Finals opener ... now we'll have to see if that stays true a couple of nights from now.


The first weekend in June just so happens to be jam-packed with a batch of meaningful matchups:

In the National League, it's St. Louis at the Chicago Cubs and right off the bat we get to see the Cardinals challenge former mate RHP John Lackey (4-5, 5.18 ERA) who happens to be one of the many disappointments on the Cubbies this year. Joe Maddon's crew enters the weekend series at 25-27 following that awful West Coast road trip (0-6 combined at the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres) and there's definitely "panic city" setting into the Second City these days.

In the American League, it's the continuation of the four-game weekend set between the Boston Red Sox at the Baltimore Orioles. Last night the Birds needed forever to record the game's final out in a 7-5 win against the Bosox - in case you were wondering, Boston OF Jackie Bradley, Jr. crushed "under" bettors with his top-of-the-ninth three-run home run - but it was the O's that thrived with the long ball last night as Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop all whacked dingers.

Make sure you're checking in with Jim Hurley for Baseball winners all weekend long!

NOTE: Our NBA Finals Game 2 Preview comes your way in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez plus catch more MLB News & Notes too!

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