Wall To Wall NBA Playoffs

WALL-TO-WALL NBA PLAYOFF COVERAGE

By Jim Hurley:

Okay, so sports may remain the "toy department"of the world - especially in light of the monstrous world news on Sunday night - and the games go on in NBA-land where conference semifinals are officially in full swing and we'll get to previews/analyses shortly but let's get things started with team-by-team pointspread standings for all this year's NBA Playoff teams .

Tough to remember the last time that two teams - see the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies - were without a spread loss (although some folks might have lost with the Grizz in that wild overtime game at San Antonio last Wednesday night) this deep into the post-season but that's the case and condolences to anyone out there that might have "ridden"either/both San Antonio and Portland.

 

NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD STANDINGS
(thru games of May 1st)

TEAM

WON

LOSS

PUSH

PCT

Dallas

6

0

0

1.000

Memphis

6

0

1

1.000

Atlanta

5

1

0

.833

Indiana

3

2

0

.600

Philadelphia

3

2

0

.600

LA Lakers

3

3

0

.500

Miami

3

3

0

.500

New Orleans

3

3

0

.500

New York

2

2

0

.500

Denver

2

2

1

.500

Boston

2

3

0

.400

Chicago

2

3

0

.400

Okla. City

2

3

1

.400

Orlando

1

5

0

.167

San Antonio

0

5

1

.000

Portland

0

6

0

.000

    
Hey, we'll periodically update this NBA Playoffs Pointspread Standings list, so do stay tuned.

Now hear this: We'll get to Monday and Tuesday NBA Playoff game previews in just a moment but first this important reminder: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NBA Playoffs and all the Major-League Baseball winners each and every day when you either call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you go online right here.   Check-in times are after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday afternoon Baseball games; after 1 p.m. ET for all the NBA and MLB weeknight games; and, of course, anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. Go ahead and pile up your spring-time profits with America's #1 Handicapper - the one-and-only Jim Hurley.

THE NBA PLAYOFFS

Tonight, it's ...

EASTERN CONFERENCE - ATLANTA at CHICAGO - Game #1, 8 p.m. ET

In case you're wondering, the East's top seed - a/k/a the Chicago Bulls - are listed as an 8-to-1 betting favorite to win this series but one major question that must be asked here is will the Chitowners have a healthy PG Derrick Rose for the entire set?

The league's MVP-to-be has been hampered by a sore ankle in recent days and note that in the Bulls' two regular-season wins against the Hawks, Rose poured in 34 and 30 points, respectively, in those March wins and no doubt Rose will be asked to shoulder much of the team's scoring load here but this series might go long (six or seven games) or shorter based on whether or not Bulls C/F Carlos Boozer (10 points per game in the opening-round five-game series win against Indiana) carries his weight here. So far, he's been MIA.

The main keys for the upset-minded Hawks both here in Game #1 (note the Bulls are a healthy 8 ½-point favorite at press time) and throughout this series is what can Larry Drew's club get from its bench as G Jamal Crawford (team-high 20.5 ppg in the Round One upset of Orlando) was a wunderkind in all but one game of that set and will G Kirk Hinrich (hamstring) be able to contribute anything at all in this best-of-seven series.

DATE

FAV

SPREAD

RESULT

3-2

Chicago

- 4.5

ATLANTA 83-80

3-11

CHICAGO

- 7

CHICAGO 94-76

3-22

Chicago

- 4

Chicago 114-81


WESTERN CONFERENCE - DALLAS at LOS ANGELES LAKERS - Game #1, 10:35 p.m. ET

If the two-time defending NBA champion Lakers learned anything about themselves in that six-game series win against New Orleans it's that Phil Jackson's squad is far from a one-man gang - hey, Kobe Bryant (22.5 ppg) was far-and-away the team's top scorer in that set but big men Andrew Bynum (15.2 ppg) and Pau Gasol (13.5 ppg) can wreak real havoc on the offensive end of the floor and that's a major flaw on the Dallas side.

Who - exactly - on the Mavericks' roster can contain the Bynum/Gasol tandem?

Can foul-prone C Tyson Chandler do the yeoman's work or perhaps Brendan Haywood be an ace defender/rebounder?

Than there's the matter of slowing down Bryant who has now had a few days to rest his tweaked ankle with DeShawn Stevenson expected to get the most minutes against the five-time NBA champion - can Stevenson frustrate Bryant here or will he collect fouls in a hurry?

If the underdog Mavs - note the Lakers are a solid 4-to-1 betting favorite here - are gonna steal this series than Dirk Nowitzki (27.3 ppg in the six-game series win against Portland) has to hit 50 percent of his shots and veteran PG Jason Kidd (6.5 assists per game against the Trail Blazers) must not show his age here and must find open options when Nowitzki is smothered on double-teams.

DATE

FAV

SPREAD

RESULT

1-19

Lakers

- 3

DALLAS 109-100

3-12

Lakers

- 1

Lakers 96-91

3-31

LAKERS

- 6.5

LAKERS 110-82

On Tuesday, it's ...

EASTERN CONFERENCE - BOSTON at MIAMI - Heat leads series 1-0

Now that we all know the Celtics versus Heat series is gonna be every bit as physical and every bit as contentious as originally believed - gee, how much angst was there between these teams in Game #1 alone when Miami banged out a 99-90 win behind Dwyane Wade's 38-point afternoon! - the Celtics have some real daunting tasks while heading here into Game #2:

First off, Boston nailed 12-of-24 three-point goals overall in Game #1 and it's tough to believe that Ray Allen (5-of-8 triples en route to a team-high 25-point performance) and Company can fare any better from "distance"plus the C's must be worried about stopping Miami's penetration to the hoop as the Heat wound up taking 32 free throws (Boston attempted just 18 FTs) and too often LeBron James (22 points) and mates were left alone for alley-oops and other gimme baskets and that has to end here if the Celtics are gonna get even.

One final key: The overrated ejection of Boston G Paul Pierce with seven minutes left in the game - folks, note that Miami led by 13 points when Pierce was chucked out after getting slapped a second "T"- shouldn't have more of an effect on this game: Pierce should keep his hands - and his head - to himself here and do a better job keeping Wade in check.
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE - MEMPHIS at OKLAHOMA CITY - Grizzlies lead series 1-0

Surprise, surprise:

Here's the Memphis Grizzlies - the #8 seed in the Western Conference in these 2011 playoffs -- now looking to absolutely put a stranglehold on this best-of-seven series and the fun question to be asked here is this ...

Is Memphis forward Zach Randolph now the single-biggest star of this post-season?

Randolph roared with a career playoff-high 34 points (along with 10 rebounds) in Sunday's shockingly easy 114-101 win at 7-point home favorite Oklahoma City and the destruction started early (see 28-24 lead after the first quarter and 57-47 at halftime) and even a little cosmetic fourth-quarter run really was not enough to rattle Lionel Hollins' Grizzlies who worked the ball around masterfully (see 21 assists and only 7 turnovers) and "held"the Thunder's Kevin Durant to the quietest 33-point game in recent NBA memory.

If Durant doesn't get some major help from his bench here in Game #2 - note that Okie City's reserves contributed just 16 points in 67 man-minutes - and if PG Russell Westbrook (6 assists and 7 turnovers) doesn't value the ball more here, than the Music City gang could turn this into an unexpected short-and-sweet set. Look for Westbrook to play with a real ferocious nature in this game - no doubt he'll get the usual criticism after taking more field-goal attempts than Durant (23-to-21) but the former UCLA star has to have thick skin here ... and Okie City head coach Scotty Brooks must convey the message that everyone's gotta get back on defense (or didn't you see that one time where Kendrick Perkins strolled back and left the Thunder defending 4-on-5).

Talk about your gun-to-the-head game for Oklahoma City!

NOTE: There's more NBA Playoff coverage and MLB News/Notes in the next Jim Sez.

21
Aug

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