Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 12:37 AM
THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE –
NBA PLAYOFF NOTES PLUS
NFL DRAFT REPORT AS WE
CHECK OUT THE TOP O-LINEMEN
Wait a second …
Is this actually gonna be the year that LeBron James doesn’t make it to an NBA Finals?
Heck, “The King” has been part of the championship round for the past eight consecutive post-seasons but right now his Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a first-round problem of sorts following Friday night’s 92-90 meltdown loss to the 1.5-point home favorite Indiana Pacers. The Cavs – as you’re all well aware by now – blew a 57-40 halftime lead in the important “swing game” and so James and friends will enter Sunday night’s bash in Nap Town down two games-to-one in Round I and you just know Cleveland will be in a nasty mood after answering media questions as to why James didn’t even get a touch on that final possession.
Nice half-court missed shot, J.R. Smith!
The bottom line is James’ 28 points / 12 rebounds / 8 assists stat line was pretty much par-for-the-course numbers in Game 3 but somebody forget to tell the Cavaliers to play defense after intermission when Indiana’s Bojan Bogdanovic was scoring 19 of his game-high 30 points with a slew of beyond-the-arc jumpers. The Cavs – if they’d like to head back home with the best-of-seven series squared as two games apiece – better get someone in Bogdanovic’s grill come Game 4 and ditto for Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. The do-everything man chipped in 18 points and 7 assists in Game 3 and he’s raising the level of his play just as we requested at the start of these playoffs.
The Pacers happened to be one of three NBA Playoff Betting Favorites to cover the price tag in Friday night action and so heading into Saturday/Sunday play there were NBA Playoff Betting Favorites at 14-7-0 ATS (against the spread) with one pick ‘em game tossed into the mix. P.S., the chalk sides had covered seven in a row while closing the books on the Friday night action … just thought you’d like to know!
Just note …
The NBA Playoffs are always a major money-making time of the year for Jim Hurley’s Network … So, make sure you cash in big with all our pro hoops winners plus there’s load of Major-League Baseball winners too. Check it all out right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and keep piling up the profits this spring!
It’s our annual position-by-position look at the top players as we close in on the NFL Draft set for Thursday, April 26. We continue our coverage with the top Offensive Linemen … Next up will be the top Defensive Backs and then the Quarterbacks. Our NFL Mock Draft will appear in Thursday’s column, so don’t dare miss out:
QUENTON NELSON, G, Notre Dame – The unquestioned top blocker in this man’s draft and a very likely top five pick come Thursday night in Dallas. Note that Nelson – who stands 6-feet-5, 330 pounds but appears even bigger – plays with a real passion for the game and he’s not afraid to show his nasty side. Get this: Nelson was Notre Dame’s first offensive lineman to be named team MVP (first time that’s happened since 1975) and there’s all sorts of reports that teams are looking to trade up to get him … and not one of those fancy-dan quarterbacks.
ORLANDO BROWN, T, Oklahoma – Generally considered a top 10 pick on draft night, this monstrous 6-foot-8, 360-pounder was a two-time winner of the Big 12 Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. His detractors claim that smaller-sized speedball rushers will get past ‘em in a heartbeat but fact is it’ll take a while just to get around his massive frame plus pro scouts love his drive technique that gets ‘em to the “second level” defenders in a hurry.
WILL HERNANDEZ, G, UTEP – This Las Vegas dude is massive at 6-feet-2, 350 pounds and he’s a real iron-man having started all 49 of his college games. Hernandez played for a Miners club that didn’t win a single game last year and yet pro scouts seem to think he’ll be a pick #25-to-30 guy on draft night.
ISAIAH WYNN, G, Georgia – Just go ahead and ask former Georgia Dawg running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel (remember them?) how important this 6-foot-2, 305-pounder was to their near-national championship club from a year ago. Wynn’s gotta make the shift to guard after starring as a tackle in Athens and word is he pulls like a natural guard, so this could be a move-up-the-charts pick for a quality team needing interior blocking aid.
CONNOR WILLIAMS, T, Texas – Only played four games for the Longhorns last year because of a knee injury that probably is costing him a dozen-or-so spots in this NFL Draft but keep in mind Williams was a once-upon-a-time three-star recruit who actually was the first in school history to start at LT for the ‘Horns as a true frosh.
FRANK RAGNOW, C, Arkansas – A high ankle sprain in a mid-season game against Auburn last year cost this 6-foot-5, 310-pounder his final year with the Hogs but the reality is Ragnow had started 26 college game in a row prior to the ankle injury and he played for an Arkansas team that allowed precious few quarterback sacks. Likely second-rounder who is considered a top 35 player.
NOTE: More NBA Playoff analysis in the next Jim Sez.