Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE JIM SEZ MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND UPDATE:
NBA CONFERENCE FINALS REPORT FEATURES GAME 6 PREVIEW OF ROCKETS-WARRIORS ... PLUS, IT'S ON TO GAME 7 AS CAVS-CELTICS GO THE DISTANCE IN THE EAST
In what's known in the business, the Houston Rockets are playing with "house money" in their Game 6 bash at Golden State on this Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend: No point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) for the Rockets and thus the defending champion Warriors are heavy-duty 12-point betting favorites here and everyone expects there's gonna be a decisive Game 7 come Monday night in Houston ... right?
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
HOUSTON at GOLDEN STATE - Rockets lead series 3-2; Game 6 is Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, TNT
The above-mentioned injury to Paul (20 points in that 98-94 hang-on-for-dear-life win against Golden State back in Game 5) has become the cryin' shame story right here/right now in these Western Finals ... now whether or not the veteran leader can be A-OK come a likely Game 7 is a whole 'nother story but here Mike D'Antoni's Rockets will count on more ferocious defense - yes, we can't believe we're saying that either! - and monster games from lefty James Harden and super-sub Eric Gordon (24 big points in Game 5) while expect the yappy Warriors to share the ball better here (just one fourth-quarter assist the other night, remember) with Kevin Durant/Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson likely scoring in the combined 90-to-95-point range.
If Golden State does not get back the services of one-time NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, then things might be a little tougher than usual for the Bay Area bunch. Hey, se y'all Monday night!
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Warriors and the Rockets (all home teams in CAPS):
|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|
|5-24||HOUSTON||+ 1||Golden St||98-94|
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep on whackin' the Las Vegas and offshore 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 online or call 1-800-323-4453. Make sure you're all aboard this Memorial Day Weekend with lots of hoops and hardball action.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND 109, BOSTON 99 - Series tied 3-3; Game 7 is Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
There's no other way to describe it ... LeBron James was utterly brilliant in Cleveland's win/cover against Boston in Friday night's Game 6 bash in Ohio as the numbers alone were one thing - 46 points /11 rebounds / 9 assists - but how about playing a game-high 46 minutes and doing so late with a minor leg injury suffered when teammate Larry Nance, Jr. banged into him.
Now the $64,000 question is can James display an encore performance here in Sunday's do-or-die Game 7 in Boston? The fact of the matter is anything short of 40-plus points / 10-to-15 rebounds / 9 or 10 assists might not be good enough for a Cavs club that's keeping fingers crossed F Kevin Love (head) can play here after going just five minutes in Game 5.
No doubt the Celtics have turned into the most Jekyll-and-Hyde team in NBA Playoff memory as Brad Stevens' squad is 10-0 SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread) at home this post-season while going 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS on the road ... true, the rowdy TD Garden crowd has been a major factor throughout this "tournament" and the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have performed better at home but the reality is a bad shooting game from one of these three - F Al Horford is just way too consistent to fall on his face here though we admit his Game 6 showing (6 points in 37 minutes) was awful - could cause the Celtics to falter here in Game 7.
Right now the Las Vegas sharpies have host Boston a 2-point betting favorite. Let's get it on!
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Celtics (all home teams in CAPS):
THE MLB REPORT
Let's take stock of where some high-profile Major-League Baseball teams are at as we wind our way through this holiday weekend ...
CLEVELAND (24-25) - No matter how you slice it, the here-and-now Indians have been major underachievers despite the fact they sit atop the wobbly American League Central standings. The Tribe's "over" wins total prior to the start of this year was 94.5 but this club's yet to get its footing and note Cleveland - World Series losers just two years ago - ranks just seventh in the AL in runs scored (just 4.7 runs per game).
HOUSTON (34-18) - Maybe it was a blessing that this past spring the "experts" out there were writing off the defending World Series champions 'cause the Astros have played with a real chip on their shoulders for the first 50-plus games this year. Of course, it helps matters that the 'Stros have not one but two legit Cy Young candidates in RHPs Justin Verlander (6-2, 0.71 WHIP) and Gerrit Cole (5-1, 0.83 WHIP) ... Houston's been a solid money-maker and at some high prices to boot.
CHICAGO CUBS (26-21) - If you listen to Cubs' "apologists" then the 2016 World Series champs have had plenty of excuses for not firing out of the gate quicker: bad weather, the rotten showings by free-agent RHP Yu Darvish and the fact that five different relief pitchers have blown saves this year but truth be told a team with a +66 run differential (and second in the National League in team ERA) should be a heckuva lot better than four games above .500. Play 'em at your own risk!
NOTE: More hoops and hardwood all this Memorial Day weekend!