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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:55 AM









Let’s get this straight as we head into Thursday’s Game 5 bash between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals:

It’s the Rockets that come off a dizzying defensive display the other night when holding G-State to just a mere dozen points in the fourth/final quarter and Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni – and not know-it-all Warriors’ boss-man Steve Kerr – whose (so far) looking like the sideline genius in this best-of-seven series. Hmmm.

Okay, so we’ll preview Warriors-Rockets Game 5 in a moment but let’s get this Jim Sez column started with last night’s action as the Boston Celtics grabbed a three games-to-two series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals:



CLEVELAND at BOSTON – Celtics lead 3-2; Game 6 is Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Yes, Cleveland megastar LeBron James is tired, the three-time defending conference champion Cavaliers can’t buy a road win and seemingly nobody can hit a beyond-the-arc shot these days (see 9-of-34 from tripleville in Wednesday’s 96-83 loss at 1.5-point fav Boston) … but why are we not burying the Cavs just yet?

Well, James’ sluggish 26-point / 10-rebound / 5-assist game in Beantown in Game 5 showed plenty of fatigue in “The King’s” game but nobody’s been able to win (or cover) in Boston this playoff season as the Celtics went to 10-0 SU (straight-up) and 10-0 ATS (against the spread) at home this post-season as a predicted-right-here lineup switch (Aron Baynes for Marcus Morris in the starting lineup) helped to energize Brad Stevens’ crew and Boston ran away and hid to snag a three games-to-two series advantage but, aside from rookie sensation Jayson Tatum (24 points / 7 rebs and a plus 19 when on the floor) and uber-dependable F Al Horford (15 points / 12 boards and a game-best + 22 when on the hardwood), the Celts were aided-and-abetted by 15 costly Cav turnovers (six by James) but somehow this series doesn’t seem quite finished just yet.


Here’s the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Celtics (all home teams in CAPS):


DATE      WINNER         SPREAD  LOSER             SCORE

5-13        BOSTON         + 1           Cleveland       108-83

5-15        BOSTON         PK           Cleveland       107-94

5-19        CLEVELAND   - 7           Boston           116-86

5-21        CLEVELAND   - 6.5        Boston           111-102

5-23        BOSTON         - 1.5        Cleveland      96-83




GOLDEN STATE at HOUSTON – Series tied 2-2; Game 5 is tonight at 9 p.m. ET, TNT

Let’s take a second to remind you that the Golden State Warriors opened up this best-of-seven series at – 220 betting favorites … yes, against the NBA team that sported the best regular-season record (65-17).

Now, fast forward to tonight’s Game 5 in H-town and the oddsmakers have installed Houston as a mere one-point road favorite … would you rather have Golden State and that hefty series price or the Rockets plus the buck-eighty to win two of the next three games in this set? Good question, right?

Now, the biggest question surrounds the overall health of the visiting Warriors as star Klay Thompson (10 points on 13 FG tries in Game 4) never looked comfortable after twisting his knee in the first half of that 95-92 Houston win while remember Golden State played without Andre Iguodala (knee) in that latest game and his status had not been determined at press time.

The Warriors are reportedly seething about the fact they blew a 12-point, third-quarter lead the other night at home where – like Boston – Golden State had been unbeaten in this post-season but we say if Houston’s gonna grab back that home-court advantage than another 55-to-60-point night is required between aces James Harden and Chris Paul (see 57 combined points in Game 4) and we need to see the shortened Rockets bench get 20-or-more points here while keeping Golden State’s three-point bombers at bay – the Warriors bagged just 9-of-27 treys in Game 4 and that simply ain’t good enough.


Here’s the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Warriors and the Rockets (all home teams in CAPS):


DATE      WINNER         SPREAD  LOSER             SCORE

5-14        Golden St       + 1.5       HOUSTON     119-106

5-16        HOUSTON     - 2           Golden St       127-105

5-20        GOLDEN ST    - 7.5                Houston         126-85

5-22        Houston         + 8           GOLDEN ST    95-92


Now hear this …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep on smashin’ the books with NBA Playoff Sides & Totals winners and we’re banging out a bunch of daily MLB winners too, so make sure you cash in big every day right here at or via our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Make sure you’re all aboard this Memorial Day Weekend with lots of hoops and hardball action.



NOTE: Lots more NBA Conference Finals News/Notes and Baseball too in the next Jim Sez.


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