Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFFS: ROCKETS BLAST WARRIORS 127-105 TO SQUARE WESTERN FINALS AT A GAME APIECE
PLUS, THE NEXT BATCH OF NBA LOTTERY PICKS
For most of the 2017-18 NBA season, the Houston Rockets kept everyone at "arm's length" while winni
ng a league-best 65 games.In Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals last night, "arm's length" was the key phrase again:
After all, the Rockets - who displayed superior ball movement and didn't allow the shot clock to get whittled down before hurling up their shots (as was the case for much of Game 1) - led by 14 points at intermission while scoring 64 points and then scored 63 more in the second half while running away with this "get-even" game in H-Town.
Here's some more analyses ...
NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
HOUSTON 127, GOLDEN STATE 105 - Series tied 1-1; Game 3, Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, TNT
No doubt the G-State Warriors were "sore losers" last night as evidenced by technical fouls on both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green but the party was on for the 2-point favorite Rockets long before those "T's" were assessed and whether you want to applaud for James Harden for his 27 points (and + 22 while on the court) or key reserve Eric Gordon (27 points and a game-best + 29 when he was playing), the proverbial bottom line is Golden State was way too sloppy in the early going with seven first-quarter turnovers and Steve Kerr's crew never did much to clean up its act. So, while Golden State's combo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson managed to connect on just 10-of-30 field-goal tries and the Warriors' bench was a no-show (and played zero defense) the sheer intensity just wasn't there for the "Dubs" who played like a team content to get its road split ... and we figured the effort would be better than that.
Now, here's the 2018 head-to-head playoff matchups between the Rockets and the Warriors (all home teams in CAPS):
|5-14||Golden St||+ 1.5||HOUSTON||119-106|
|5-1||HOUSTON||- 2||Golden St||127-105|
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to smash the books with NBA Playoffs Side & Totals winners like Boston and the UNDER on Sunday, and we're banging out a bunch of daily MLB winners too, so make sure you cash in big every day right here online or 1-800-323-4453. Get all the NBA Conference Finals winners Just $65 gets the rest of the playoffs, and FREE Baseball during that time. Get all the NBA Western Conference Finals winners with Golden State at Houston in a Game 3 Sunday and make sure you're all aboard winning in with the NBA Eastern Conference Finals too as it's Boston at Cleveland in Game 3 on Saturday.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
BOSTON at CLEVELAND - Celtics lead series 2-0; Game 3 is Saturday at 8:35 p.m. ET, ESPN
No question the host Cavaliers are banking on the fact that they'll be desperate in Game 3 - while the Celtics have been a shaky road squad (see 1-4 straightup on the playoff road) but right now all the matchups are in Boston's favor and we're a bit surprised that Cleveland's a 6.5-point betting favorite for Game 3. We're gonna digest all the news, notes and quotes the next 24 hours and then get you our Celtics-Cavaliers Game 3 preview in tomorrow's Jim Sez.
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Celtics (all home teams in CAPS):
NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART
(thru games of May 16)
Here's the pointspread breakdown this post-season - note we've only included the four teams that are playing in these conference finals:
Note: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are 37-28-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .569 winning rate with two Pick 'Em games while heading into Game 3 of Celtics-Cavaliers on Saturday night.
NBA DRAFT LOTTERY
In yesterday's Jim Sez we clued you in on who we thought would get selected #1-thru-#7 in the upcoming NBA Draft. Here's those teams/players again and then we roll it with our projected picks #8-thru-#14 to round out the lottery.
1 - ATLANTA (with a projected trade with Phoenix) - Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
2 -- SACRAMENTO - Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
3 -- PHOENIX (via the trade with Atlanta) - Marvin Bagley III, F, Duke
4 -- MEMPHIS - Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova
5 -- DALLAS - Trae Young, G, Oklahoma
6 -- ORLANDO - Mohamed Bamba, F, Texas
7 -- CHICAGO - Jaren Jackson, F, Michigan State
8 - CLEVELAND - Wendell Carter, Jr., F, Duke
9 - NEW YORK - Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State
10 - PHILADELPHIA - Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
11 - CHARLOTTE - Michael Porter, F, Missouri
12 - LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS - Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky
13 - LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS - Brandon McCoy, F, UNLV
14 - DENVER - Dzanan Musa, F, Bosnia
NOTE: Lots more NBA & MLB in the next Jim Sez.