Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT -
NBA, MLB & NFL NOTES GALORE!
Better believe it's a super-busy sports weekend from the Kentucky Derby to the NBA Playoffs to some great Major-League Baseball action to some NFL chatter just one week after the completion of the '18 draft.
But let's get started with some off-the-court NBA news where the New York Knicks - not exactly the most stable hoops franchise the past 15-or-so years - just hired one-time Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale as their new court general.
Hey, we fully realize the Knicks' management folks believe hiring Fizdale will be an "in" to inking free-agent-to-be LeBron James but if we were betting folks (and we are!) then let's say "The King" has a less than 10 percent chance of playing his home games in Madison Square Garden next season.
In case you were wondering, this year's Knicks finished 38-44 ATS (against the spread) while James' current Cavs are a collective 34-56-1 ATS mark - that's a bit of a quirky stat especially with James and Company now entering the weekend two wins shy of making yet another appearance in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals.
One other NBA ditty to pass along here: Don't believe any of the rumors already making the rounds that Oklahoma City's Carmelo Anthony - who seemingly wants no part of an off-the-bench role next year - is gonna wind up part of the Houston Rockets or the Miami Heat next season. Insiders say neither team wants Anthony who barely played meaningful playoff minutes for the Thunder - we wouldn't touch the guy with a 10-foot pole!
Note that Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rock with NBA Playoff and MLB winners, so make sure you cash in big right here online or 1-800-323-4453.
There's great playoff action this weekend in the NBA: On Saturday, it's Boston at Philadelphia in Game 3 (5 p.m. ET, ESPN) followed by Toronto at Cleveland (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC); then on Sunday, it's a pair of Western Conference Game 4 bashes with Golden State - up two games-to-one following Friday's 119-100 loss -- at New Orleans (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) and Houston at Utah (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
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THE BASEBALL REPORT
Lots of goodies on this weekend's MLB docket and here's a "top three":
Is it too early to wonder if the Atlanta Braves are "for real"? The Braves entered Saturday's game against San Francisco having just swept the New York Mets (while outscoring 'em 21-2) and some 31 games into this here-and-now season there's Atlanta (19-12) sittin' pretty in first place in the National League East. Table-setters 2B Ozzie Albies (10 HR and 38 hits) and OF Ronald Acuna (near .400+ on-base percentage after just 38 at-bats) are dynamite and note the Braves (winners of five in a row exiting Citi Field) have won as recent underdogs of + 140 and + 170 ...
Could we have a super-rare 25-game winner in the bigs this year? Well, Washington Nationals' RHP Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA) is well on his way to yet another Cy Young award and he's good for another 25-to-27 starts providing he stays healthy. Scherzer snagged a 12-4 win against Pittsburgh in his last start on Tuesday and he's slated to go Sunday afternoon at home against Philadelphia. P.S., Scherzer has allowed just 26 hits in 45.1 innings this year ...
Final MLB note: Let's zip from the NL East over to the American League West where winning at home has been problematic. Note that the quintet of the Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A's and Texas Rangers are a collective 38-43 - hard to believe that the whole division is playing .469 ball in their own backyards, right?\\
O)ne week after the end of the 2018 NFL Draft and the roster of QBs is in an ever-changing stage: Folks, you could make a case that eight teams will start new quarterbacks come September including Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), Kirk Cousins (Minnesota), Josh Allen (Buffalo), Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), Alex Smith (Washington), Josh Rosen (Arizona), Case Keenum (Denver) and Sam Darnold (New York Jets) - and don't dismiss the possibility that Miami and/or Cincinnati could make a switcheroo at the QB spot.
In case you're wondering, the up-to-date Odds to Win it All in the 2018 NFL season has New England at 5-to-1 and defending champ Philadelphia at 7-to-1 with Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams close behind at 9-to-1 apiece.
NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff and MLB action in the next edition of Jim Sez.