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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM








Here’s the real $64,000 question when it comes to the here-and-now NBA:

Is everyone out there chasing some silly dream when it appears the two-time defending champion Golden State are all set to three-peat this June?

No question that Golden State – up already two games-to-love heading into Saturday night’s Game 3 tilt in Houston – is in the proverbial driver’s seat to win that best-of-seven series and undoubtedly the “Dubs” will be heavy-duty betting favorites when/if they make it the NBA Western Conference Finals and ditto if/when they make it to the NBA Finals.

Maybe it will be a fait accompli – but that doesn’t mean the other seven NBA Playoff teams are gonna throw in the towel and so let’s examine the two post-season series that resume tonight along with the Eastern Conference semifinal series between Toronto at Philadelphia.


In fact, last night it was …


PHILADELPHIA 116, TORONTO 95 – Sixers lead series 2-1

Okay, so what’s with these NBA Playoff teams that keep hurling up missed three after missed three? Last night the impatient Raptors kept chuckin’ up the long balls – they drained just 7-of-27 trifectas in all – and one result was host Philly kept zooming down the other end of the floor and getting easier looks. It all added up to a 33-of-66 FG shooting game for the 76ers’ starting five including C Joel Embiid who crushed it with 33 points (he nailed half of his 18 FG tries) to say nothing of his game-best + 31. The Sixers – who went from Pick ‘Em to + 1.5 points by game time (and we saw some + 2’s right before tipoff) galloped out of the halftime break on an 11-0 scoring run and it was glorified “garbage time” the rest of the way and so don’t scold the 76ers for allowing Kawhi Leonard for getting his 33 points. Note that Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET is Game 5 – remember Philadelphia entered this series at + 250 to win this best-of-seven set.


Here’s the game-by-game playoff update between the Raptors and the 76ers. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE                      WINNER                 SPREAD          LOSER                     SCORE

4-27                        TORONTO             - 6.5                Philadelphia          108-95

4-29                        Philadelphia          + 7                   TORONTO             94-89

5-2                          PHILADELPHIA     + 1.5               Toronto                  116-95


Tonight, it’s …


MILWAUKEE at BOSTON – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN / Series tied 1-1

Speaking of big series dogs that could but a bite on someone, the host Celtics entered this playoff series at + 260 and there’s some thought that the extra day here – Game 2 was this past Tuesday night – will benefit Boston head coach Brad Stevens more than it will Milwaukee’s sideline skipper Mike Budenholzer … we’re not sure we’re quite “on board” with that one! Budenholzer’s club banged out a 21-point win in Game 2, thanks in large part because Milwaukee canned 20-of-47 triples with MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo (29 points in Game 2) in a starring role but we see a major key here as Boston getting more aggressive on the boards after Milwaukee won the glass battle 54-45 last time plus need it be said that PG Kyrie Irving must shoot it better than 4-of-18 from the floor. Holy Uncle Buck!


Here’s the game-by-game playoff update between the Bucks and the Celtics. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE                      WINNER                 SPREAD          LOSER                     SCORE

4-28                        Boston                   + 8                   MILWAUKEE         112-90

4-30                        MILWAUKEE         - 8                   Boston                   123-102



DENVER at PORTLAND – 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT / Series tied 1-1

The general rule of thumb in playoff games between teams rated pretty evenly – note Denver was a 4-point home betting favorite in each of those first two games at home and now’s a 4-point road underdog in Portland – is that the home team bench players normally play better in their own backyard. Okay, so that was not the case in Wednesday’s 7-point road win by the Trail Blazers as key reserves Rodney Hood (15 points) and seven-footer Zach Collins (10 points, 6 rebounds) powered up a club that didn’t get much from megastar G Damian Lillard (5-of-17 FGs and just 14 points). So, let’s see if the Nuggets can flip the script here and get something positive from the likes of Will Barton (just 1-of-6 FG makes in Game 2). Keep in mind the Nuggets failed to cover two-of-three in San Antonio in Round I and C Nikola Jokic (just 7-of-17 FGs the other night) isn’t fooling anyone once he puts the ball on the floor and decides to shoot it, not pass it.


Here’s the game-by-game playoff update between the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE                      WINNER                 SPREAD          LOSER                     SCORE

4-29                        DENVER                 - 4                   Portland                 121-113

5-1                          Portland                 + 4                   DENVER                 97-90



Note -- Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA Playoff winners plus there’s Major-League Baseball too at or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Get in the winner’s circle today and remember the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow!


NOTE: More NBA Playoffs and MLB all this week right here at Jim Sez.


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