Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 10:44 AM
THE NBA FINALS REPORT: IS THIS THE NIGHT GOLDEN STATE PULLS DOWN THE CURTAIN ON THE '16-'17 SEASON? ...OUR CAVS-WARRIORS GAME 5 PREVIEW IS STRAIGHT AHEAD ...
THE BASEBALL WEEKEND IN REVIEW
Make no mistake about it: The two full days off between last Friday night's Game 4 and tonight's Game 5 tilt in Oakland may have been good for the down-three-games-to-one Cleveland Cavaliers - those four starters that played 34-or-more minutes in the Game 4 victory got in some serious R&R - but it also allowed the Golden State Warriors ample time to digest (swallow?) everything the mass media threw their way.
Such as ...Why wasn't there a greater sense of urgency for the Warriors to go an historic 16-0 SU (straight-up) in the playoffs when nobody's ever done it before?
And how, exactly, could this Golden State defense allow a whopping 49 points in the first quarter of Game 4 ... just what happened to that oft-hyped "Dub Nation" defense?
All the game analysts have been weighing in and the conventional wisdom says that Golden State will come out of the gates fired up for tonight's tip in the Bay Area following last Friday's 137-116 Cleveland romp and most folks believe the Cavs had better "hold their own" in the game's first 10 minutes-or-so or this could be blowout central for the Warriors (see Game 1 home wins by 22 and 19 points).
What do we think?
Glad you asked 'cause our Jim Sez NBA Finals Game 5 preview is coming your way following this important reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep banging out Sides & Totals winners in this year's NBA Finals and so just go online right here Monday or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and get the Game 5 winners! Plus, get all the Major-League Baseball winners each and every day when you check with us ... and remember America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay hot all month and all summer long.
NBA FINALS - Game 5 Preview
CLEVELAND at GOLDEN STATE - Warriors lead series 3-1; 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Let's skip this whole narrative that the Cavaliers were here "before" as in down three games to one last year before that stirring/historical comeback to win in seven games:
In this here-and-now situation, Kevin Durant (35 points in Game 4) first off changes the whole damn equation now that he wears the blue and gold plus remember that G-State was all cocky following a Game 4 win in Cleveland a year ago.
Now, Steve Kerr's club comes off that savage beating the other night and better believe the Warriors' sideline boss-man had some choice words for his club that surrendered an NBA Finals-record 24 trifectas.
So, first order of business for the 8.5-point favored Warriors is get out to the perimeter and challenge LeBron James/Kyrie Irving/Kevin Love/J.R. Smith (they combined to go 21-of-37 from downtown in Game 4) and make this a lightning-speed game with Golden State looking to put up shots in the first 8-to-10 seconds of its possessions. P.S., there won't be any shot clock violations on Golden State here unless there's one or two at the very end of the game.
One other order of business for the Warriors:
Substitute liberally in the first half and look for Cleveland to tire down the stretch - it's been a well-worn strategy for the Warriors this series and the real challenge for Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue is when exactly will he get James and/or Irving (the latter scored 40 points in 40 minutes in Game 4) some rest? You might have noticed the other night that Lue subbed out James for a brief moment and the Warriors went on a 7-0 scoring spree. Does "The King" have to play close to 48 minutes here? Does Irving need to play in the 44-to-46 minutes range? Hmm.
Here's the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|6-1||GOLDEN ST.||- 7.5||Cleveland||113-91|
|6-4||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Cleveland||132-113|
|6-7||Golden St||- 3.5||CLEVELAND||118-113|
|6-9||CLEVELAND||+ 5||Golden St||137-116|
Here's the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart for the still-alive teams:
Is anyone out there gearing up for a New York Yankees versus Colorado Rockies showdown in the 2017 World Series?
Hey, no disrespect to the likes of the Houston Astros (an MLB-best 44-20) or even the suddenly slumping Washington Nationals (still playing .613 ball following a lost weekend at home versus Texas) but this past early-summer weekend belonged to the Yanks and Rocks:
The American League East-leading Yankees (37-23) not only lambasted the Baltimore Orioles three straight, but they overpowered 'em 8-2, 16-3 and 14-3 and let it be known to one-and-all that 6-foot-8 RF Aaron Judge is the now runaway leader for this year's AL Most Valuable Player award (okay, we know we're getting ahead of ourselves) as Sunday he smacked another two home runs including a titanic 496-foot shot deep into the left field bleachers. Judge's up-to-the-minute stats include 21 dingers and 47 RBI and - if you're into "exit velo" - than note Judge has hit the two hardest balls of the bat in the majors this year.
The Rockies? Heck, all Bud Black's bunch did was take three-of-four games at Wrigley Field against the defending World Series champion Cubs - 4-1, 5-3, 9-1 and then a 7-5 loss on Sunday) as Colorado heads into its series in Pittsburgh sitting pretty at 41-24 and now 1.5 games ahead of the crown-'em-before-the-season-ever-started Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Rockies now have won eight of their last 10 games, they're an electric 24-11 on the road and - get this - the team ERA ranks fourth in the National League at 3.96 with starters Tyler Chatwood and Jeff Hoffman earning weekend wins in Chitown. Now, Colorado starters are 32-20 on the year and we betcha you couldn't name two starters in this current rotation!
Hey, if you're interested, the Rockies were + 164, + 128 and + 126 in the three wins at Wrigley and were + 200 in the Sunday loss ... a tidy profit of $636 had you been playing two bills a game on the Colorado kids. Just sayin'!
NOTE: Remember we'll recap Game 5 of the NBA Finals in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez plus there's NBA Draft news these next two weeks and more Baseball News/Notes too comin' soon!