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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM



Shame on you, NBA.

Shame on the fact that - straight up - the league "punked" the heavy underdog Cleveland Cavaliers in more ways than one in last night's Game 1 of this year's NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors' eventual 124-114 overtime non-cover win - and talk about what would have been one of the worst "beats" in major sports history had the Dubs won this game by more than the 13-point betting line! - came after one of the worst calls/worst rules you could ever imagine.

Wait, those were the best three referees you could get in your premier event, the NBA Finals Game 1?

And one last thing -- shame on the post-game media reports/reporters who were their usual clueless selves ... no wonder superman LeBron James (51 points / 8 rebounds / 8 assists for Cleveland) stormed out of the media room after dealing with these morons!

The proverbial bottom line is the NBA sabotaged the Cavs right from the get-go with a bevy of bad whistles - wait, isn't the world's greatest player supposed to get some calls? - and that changed call from a charge to a block with 36.4 seconds left involving Golden State's Kevin Durant and the aforementioned James will live in infamy for the rest of time (and especially if the Warriors go on to win a third championship in the past four years). Instead of giving the Cavaliers the ball back with a two-point lead, the idiotic replay review established that James was not in the "restricted area" and yet the officials (with help from Secaucus) changed the call to a James foul.

Mickey Mouse stuff, indeed!

GOLDEN STATE 124, CLEVELAND 114 (OT) - Warriors lead series 1-0; Game 2 is Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Okay, so the Cavaliers drew the short straw all night long - how was major loudmouth Draymond Green allowed to whack James right smack in the eyeball and not get a Flagrant foul call in the first half? - but Cleveland did enough damage to itself en route to this series-opening setback:

The J.R. Smith end-of-regulation blunder received plenty of post-game play (and rightly so) but the fact of the matter is Cleveland's George Hill gagged that second free-throw attempt with 4.7 seconds left in regulation play and for that he'll have his own place in the city's checkered sports history but chuck in the fact that the Cavaliers were drawn into taking way too many three-point shots (they finished 10-of-37 beyond the arc) and what the heck were reserves Jeff Green (1-of-6 from deep) and Jordan Clarkson (0-for-3 from "3") doing with so many rushed long balls?

James wound up going 19-of-32 from the floor and the rest of this rag-tag bunch went 25-of-67 from the field (that's 37.3 percent, folks) and yet all those rebounds - a 53-to-38 advantage including a whopping 19-to-4 advantage on the offensive glass - should have swayed this to an outright upset win for Ty Lue's club.

Instead, Cleveland allowed G-State to make up an 11-point deficit right before halftime - Stephen Curry (29 points including 5-of-11 triples) drained that trey at the buzzer to send things into halftime at 56-56 - and Durant (9-of-10 free throws and 26 points) managed to overcome one of the quietest floor games as he finally got to the foul line although - as we said - two trips came with major assistance from the zebras.

One that got away from the Cavs? You bet ... but, bigger still, a game that the NBA folks can't hide behind this morning. Great entertainment, but not the NBA's finest hour.

Here's the 2018 NBA Finals head-to-head matchups so far between the Cavaliers and the Warriors (all home teams in CAPS):

5-31GOLDEN ST- 13Cleveland124-114 (ot)

(thru games of May 31)
Here's the pointspread breakdown this post-season for the Cavaliers and the Warriors:

Golden St.98.529

Note: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are now 44-32-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .579 winning rate with two Pick 'Em games while heading into Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are revved up and ready to roar all throughout this year's NBA Finals - we'll keep on smashin' the books with NBA Sides & Totals winners continuing on with Sunday's Game 2 and also 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.


Let's zoom 'round the Major-League Baseball diamonds with some quick-hitter notes on what-to-watch this weekend ...

Not often you get a pair of aces squaring off with more than just bragging rights on the line as tonight check out the Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros showdown. Boston LHP Chris Sale (5-2, 0.96 WHIP) battles Houston RHP Gerrit Cole (5-1, 0.83 WHIP) this evening and the real question is which starting pitcher has the tougher task? P.S., the Bosox have scored an American League-best 301 runs while the defending World Series champion 'Stros have plated 283 runs for third-best in the junior circuit ...

Gonna be interesting to see if the Milwaukee Brewers (36-21) - yes, the best team in the National League as we begin play in the month of June - can open up even more breathing space inside the NL Central. The Brew Crew begins the weekend up four games in the standings over the Chicago Cubs and 4.5 games ahead of St. Louis - and now here comes a three-game set for the Brewers at the lowly Chicago White Sox (16-37), the worst team in the bigs ...

Finally, all eyes this weekend will be on the home run "race" - right now Boston's J.D. Martinez, the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout and the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper each has walloped 18 dingers and we estimate all of the above have solid shots at hitting 50 home runs apiece this year (and don't sleep on Cleveland's Jose Ramirez who now has 17 ding dongs).

NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 2 preview in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez.

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