Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NBA CONFERENCE FINALS –
CAN RAPTORS “GET EVEN” TONIGHT
IN THIS NORTH-OF-THE-BORDER GAME 4 TILT? …
WE SALUTE THE WARRIORS FOLLOWING
THEIR SPECTACULAR FOUR-GAME SWEEP VERSUS THE T-BLAZERS
Funny how the NBA universe works:
The Golden State Warriors – fresh off Monday night’s 119-117 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers – now are headed to a fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks – up two games-to-one against Toronto while going into this evening’s game in Canada – have not been to an NBA Finals since 1974 (where they lost a Game 7 to Boston, we might add) and the Raptors never have been to the NBA Finals at all since they came into existence back in 1995.
Nope, no LeBron James versus the Warriors storyline this time around … it’ll instead be something old and something new in this year’s NBA Finals which will tip off on Thursday, May 30th.
But first things first and that’s getting an opponent for the two-time defending champion (and three times in the past four years) Warriors and we’ll check in on Bucks-Raptors Game 4 shortly but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA Playoff Conference Finals winners this year – yes, that’s Sides & Totals -- plus there’s Major-League Baseball winners too right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Stay hot with the pro hoops right through the upcoming NBA Finals!
2019 NBA PLAYOFFS POINTSPREAD CHART
(thru Monday, May 19th)
Here’s an abbreviated version of the playoff chart with the four teams that played – or, are still playing – in the conference finals:
TEAM WON LOST TIE PCT
Milwaukee 10 2 0 .833
Toronto 7 8 0 .467
Golden State 7 8 1 .467
Portland 7 8 1 .467
Tonight, it’s …
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
MILWAUKEE at TORONTO – 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT / Bucks lead series 2-1
Okay, so the Bucks have been pure gold from a betting standpoint in this 2019 post-season – they failed to cover Game 1 against Boston back in the Eastern Conference semifinal round and didn’t get the cash two nights ago when Milwaukee played a below-average game and yet nearly won before getting beaten by a half-dozen points in a double-overtime affair in Game 3 against Toronto but otherwise this club has been printing money … so is anyone really all that surprised that Mike Budenholzer’s club is a 2.5-point road favorite here?
The Bucks didn’t exactly handle the all-hands-on-deck approach utilized in Game 3 as Toronto defenders swarmed Giannis Antetokounmpo (just 5-of-16 from the field for 12 points) as the “Greek Freak” had problems getting to the basket and both Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe were off target as that duo shot a combined 6-of-32. The flip side is the Raptors needed a 36-point / 52-minute game from megastar Kawhi Leonard and even that was nearly not enough.
If the Raptors can bubble-wrap Antetokounmpo here and keep ‘em to 20 points or less, they’ll still need something more than the combined five FGs from Kyle Lowry and Danny Green – if Nick Nurse’s squad wants to “get even” then doing a better job on the glass is key (see – 8 on the boards last game).
Here’s the NBA Eastern Conference Finals game-by-game results between the Bucks and the Raptors. Note home teams are in CAPS below:
DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-15 MILWAUKEE - 6.5 Toronto 108-100
5-17 MILWAUKEE - 6 Toronto 125-103
5-19 TORONTO - 2.5 Milwaukee (2ot) 118-112
On Monday, it was …
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
GOLDEN STATE 119, PORTLAND 117 (overtime) – Warriors win series 4-0
Gotta say we always harken back to what one-time Houston Rockets’ head coach Rudy Tomjanovich used to say about “the heart of a champion” back in the mid-1990s when his club copped back-to-back crowns ‘cause this Golden State team – again and again – shows the heart of a champion.
In Monday’s latest comeback from a double-digit deficit, the Warriors rose up behind G Stephen Curry (37 points /13 rebounds / 11 assists) and fellow triple-double mate Draymond Green (18 points /14 rebs / 11 dimes) to “broom” the Blazers but it was super-sub showings from once-unknowns Alfonzo McKinnie and Kevon Looney (combined for 24 points and 16 boards) that really helped to flip the script and so hats off to G-State head coach Steve Kerr and his staff for having those folks ready.
It’s not as if the Warriors have been cashing much – you see our chart and they’re still a game below .500 for these playoffs – and we’ll expect the oddsmakers to bump up their prices come the NBA Finals thanks to the extra rest, the fact Andre Iguodala will be back and – maybe even Kevin Durant.
Here’s the NBA Western Conference Finals game-by-game results between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers. Note home teams are in CAPS below:
DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-14 GOLDEN ST - 7 Portland 116-94
5-16 GOLDEN ST - 7 Portland 114-111
5-18 Golden St + 3 PORTLAND 110-99
5-20 Golden St - 2 PORTLAND (ot) 119-117
NOTE: More NBA Playoff Notes in the next Jim Sez plus a great Memorial Day weekend of MLB action is coming your way too!