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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM








Don’t even think twice about it …

The truth is the NBA is none too happy with the results of Tuesday’s Lottery in which New Orleans and Memphis grabbed the first two picks while New York – picking third -- fell out of the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes.

Okay, so maybe it was a case of “message sent” for any/all future NBA teams not to “tank” their seasons as New York, Cleveland and Phoenix – the league’s worst three teams in 2018-19 – were all excluded from grabbing either picks #1 or #2 while a N’Orleans Pelicans team with a mere six percent shot at getting the #1 pick came away the evening’s biggest winner.

Still, what’s gonna be the eventual “fallout” from Tuesday night’s NBA Lottery and what does our early-bird mock draft look like as it pertains to the 14 lottery teams?

First things first:

Apparently, the fact that New Orleans secured the numero uno pick will make the Pels more willing, not less willing to trade superstar Anthony Davis – there’s probably a sleeper out there that’ll wind up as Davis’ destination (we’re thinking Atlanta, not Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers or aforementioned New York) – and so that means Williamson will be the centerpiece for the Pelicans as they move forward while both Memphis and the Lakers (picking fourth) could be sweet on making some deals such as the Grizzlies trading veteran PG Michael Conley and the Lakers likely packaging that #4 pick to bring back a veteran “name” that’ll pair up with LeBron James.


Now, here’s our Jim Sez Mock Draft of the first 14 selections (the lottery teams – all subject to change, of course):

New Orleans … Zion Williamson, PF, Duke: The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder wanted the bright lights of New York City. Tsk, tsk.
Memphis … Ja Morant, PG, Murray State: Instantly becomes one of the NBA’s top five most exciting players.
 New York … RJ Barrett, F, Duke: Knicks Nation won’t get Zion but will get a free-flowing scorer with moves.
Boston (projected trade with LA Lakers) … Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt: Can you imagine a high-profile Celtics/Lakers deal? We say Boston deals Jayson Tatum and a draft pick out west for this pick knowing Beantowners will lose PG Kyrie Irving in free agency.
Cleveland … Coby White, PG, North Carolina: Speedy star is coveted by a handful of teams picking in top 10.
Phoenix … De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia: National champ is a big-time defender who can get you 15 points a night.
Chicago … Cam Reddish, F, Duke: Truth is Bulls really wanted UNC’s White but go elsewhere in ACC-land here.
Atlanta … Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech: Kid was a little spotty at the Final Four but fits well here with G Trae Young.
Washington … Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga: The Wizards should put an “under construction” sign out front.
Atlanta … Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee: Hawks could be a legit 50+ win team by 2020-21.
Brooklyn (projected trade with Minnesota) … Sekou Doumbouya, F, France: Nets have had eyes on this 18-year-old and didn’t think he’d last to their pick at #17.
Charlotte … Nassir Little, F, North Carolina: Hornets snag native son who actually lands on their laps after falling some.
Miami … PJ Washington, F, Kentucky: Expect Pat Riley to try and deal this pick for a vet, but no dice.
Boston … Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga: One of four first-round picks for the green gang.


Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA Playoff Conference Finals winners (that’s the Sides & Totals, folks) plus there’s Major-League Baseball winners each/every day too right here at or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Keep up your hot hoops week on this Thursday night with Game 2 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals between the Portland Trail Blazers at the Golden State Warriors and then on Friday it’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors at the Milwaukee Bucks.


Tonight, it’s …


PORTLAND at GOLDEN STATE – 9 p.m. ET, ESPN / Warriors lead series 1-0

Just because the Golden State Warriors are – again – without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Duran (calf strain) doesn’t mean they’re vulnerable: Heck, tell us right here / right now that the threesome of Stephen Curry / Klay Thompson / Draymond Green will combine to be a plus 38 here while Portland’s Damian Lillard / CJ McCollum back-court will hit only 11-of-31 field goals and we’ll tell you who’s gonna win in a waltz here. Memo to Blazers: You better “check” the G-State bench brigade that poured in 33 points in that Game 1 win/cover.


Here’s the NBA Western Conference Finals game-by-game results between the Trail Blazers and the Warriors. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE                      WINNER                 SPREAD          LOSER                     SCORE

5-14                        GOLDEN ST            - 7                   Portland                 116-94




Here’s the post-season chart including the still-alive teams (thru Wednesday, May 15th)


TEAM                     WON              LOST               TIE                   PCT

Milwaukee            9                      1                      0                      .900

Golden State         6                      7                      0                      .461

Portland                 6                      7                      0                      .461

Toronto                  6                      7                      0                      .461


Last night, it was …


MILWAUKEE 108, TORONTO 100 – Bucks lead series 1-0

Okay, so we’ll hit you folks up with a Game 2 preview of Raptors-Bucks in tomorrow’s jam-packed edition of Jim Sez but know this …

Milwaukee survived (and even covered the 6.5-point price tag) in Game 1 despite the fact that Toronto dictated the tempo for three-plus quarters and despite the fact MVP-to-be Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 points / 14 rebs / 6 assists) wasn’t even the best player on the floor for the Bucks – see veteran Brook Lopez and his post-season career-best 29 points. It’s one that got away from the Raptors as Kawhi Leonard (game-high 31 points) tired down the stretch and Toronto didn’t score in the game’s final three-and-a-half minutes.

Hey, have you noticed that the Bucks now have covered 90 percent of their games in the playoffs after covering 60 percent in regular-season play … that deserves a wow!


Here’s the NBA Eastern Conference Finals game-by-game results between the Raptors and the Bucks. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE                      WINNER                 SPREAD          LOSER                     SCORE

5-15                        MILWAUKEE         - 6.5                Toronto                  108-100



NOTE: More NBA Conference Finals goodies in the next Jim Sez.


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