NBA Playoffs Second Round Update

Network Now 7-1 in last 8 NBA Playoff games as Spurs/Warriors go Under 199 on Sunday!

THE NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE: ARE HOME TEAMS FINALLY TO BE TRUSTED?

WE EXAMINE THAT QUESTION PLUS PLENTY TO SAY ABOUT ALL FOUR CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL ROUND SERIES

By Jim Hurley:

If you happened to have noticed, all three NBA Playoff games that took place this past Saturday/Sunday wound up getting won - and covered - by the home teams:

  • That's Memphis' 87-81 triumph over 5-point road dog Oklahoma City

  • That's Indiana's 82-71 slog-fest win against New York

  • And that's Golden State's rollicking 97-87 overtime home win against 2-point road favorite San Antonio.

Par for the course at NBA Playoff time? Not really - at least, not this year.

In fact, the three consecutive home pointspread "W's" pushed NBA Playoff Home Teams to a 5-8 ATS (against the spread) mark here in Round II games after Home Sides went a disappointing 20-25 ATS in opening-round playoff affairs.

Add 'em all up and exiting the Mother's Day overtime game between the Spurs and the Warriors you have NBA Playoff Home Teams at a composite 25-33 versus the vig (a .431 winning rate) ... so where's the home-court advantage, folks?

One simplistic answer is - save for the Miami Heat - not a whole heckuva lot separates many of the other NBA Playoff teams this year as Western Conference #5 seed Memphis and #6 seed Golden State not only were "better than advertised" but were hitting their strides come the post-season and both have been ultra-magical on the road as the Grizzlies and Warriors start off the new work week a combined 9-1 against the odds in their post-season road tilts.

Plus keep this in mind this factoid: Good teams generally play good on the road and so we've witnessed an Indiana team win at Madison Square Garden in Game 1 of this current Eastern Conference series and a good San Antonio team win Game 3 at Golden State. In short, there's been great value for road teams in this year's NBA Playoffs and this little mini three-game spread winning streak by home teams might just be a little blip on the radar screen based on the overall body of work we've seen so far in this NBA post-season.

Now, let's march forward with more NBA series-by-series coverage ...

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - EASTERN CONFERENCE --

Tonight, it's ...
#1 MIAMI at #5 CHICAGO - Heat leads series 2-1
Everyone's expecting another physical showdown here in Game 4 at the United Center in Chitown but the $64,000 question is will the refs be working with a "quick whistle" here?

It's safe to say that Miami mega-star LeBron James (11-of-11 from the free-throw line in Game 3) would love to keep parading to the charity stripe but gotta believe Heat star (and Chicago native) Dwyane Wade (just 10 points in Game 3 and no FT attempts at all) needs to generate a drive-to-the-hoop mentality here even if he knows the likes of Joakim Noah and/or Carlos Boozer are gonna occasionally flatten 'em.

Note that Noah and Boozer combined for 10 fouls in Game 3 with Noah fouling out and so pay special attention here as to whether the personal fouls pile up or not on Chicago's two big men. If the Heat attempts 25-or-more free throws here, major advantage to Miami!

Here's how the Heat-Bulls series has gone so far (note home teams are in CAPS):

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-6 Chicago + 13 MIAMI 93-86
5-8 MIAMI - 12.5 Chicago 115-78
5-10 Miami - 8.5 CHICAGO 104-94

 

On Tuesday night, it's ...
#2 NEW YORK at #3 INDIANA - Pacers lead series 2-1
The Pacers' double-digit win in Game 3 this past Saturday night was the "best game ever" played by 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert - that's according to Indiana head coach Frank Vogel. The oft-statuesque Hibbert filled up the stat sheet with 24 points and 12 rebounds but his defense in the paint really unnerved a Knicks team that wound up shooting 25-of-71 from the floor (that's 35.2 percent) and if Hibbert is the most dominant force in the lane here as was the case also in Game 1, than Spike Lee and the Knickerbockers could be history faster than you can say Cazzie Russell!

No secret that New York must get Sixth Man Award winner J.R. Smith heated up - he's now a dreadful 11-of-42 from the floor this series following Saturday's not-so-electric 4-of-12 shooting night - and maybe he should think about knocking off the club scene with Rihanna until further notice!

Here's how the Knicks-Pacers series has gone so far (note home teams are in CAPS):

DATE

WINNER

SPREAD

LOSER

SCORE

5-5

Indiana

+ 5.5

NEW YORK

102-95

5-7

NEW YORK

- 6

Indiana

105-79

5-11

INDIANA

- 5

New York

82-71

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Tonight, it's ...
#1 OKLAHOMA CITY at #5 MEMPHIS - Grizzlies lead series 2-1
You can betcha bottom dollar that the Okie City Thunder spent lots of time the past 48 hours re-living the final one-plus minute of Game 3:

Not only did Thunder star Kevin Durant clank a pair of free throws with 39.3 seconds left (he's a 91 percent free-throw shooter) but the Grizzlies banged in all six of their foul shots in the last 1:03 and that included two made free throws by PG Mike Conley with 16 seconds left that forced lots of moolah to change hands as Oklahoma City could have covered or at least "pushed" at the + 5 price but instead left all OKC bettors searching for a double dose of aspirin.

Now, if Okie City is gonna knot up this series with a Memphis crew that has lost only one playoff game since April 22nd, than Durant (25 points and 11 rebs in Game 3) must get to the foul line more than nine times and someone's gonna have to answer the Grizz bench - that unit scored 29 points and chipped in 9 rebounds and so hats off to Quincy Poindexter, Jerryd Bayless, Darrell Arthur and Kenyon Dooling ... hey, if depth is going to be the deciding factor in this series that would have been a lot more fun with a healthy Russell Westbrook on OKC's side than Lionel Hollins' Grizzlies will win in six games or less!

Here's how the Thunder-Grizzlies series has gone so far (note home teams are in CAPS)

DATE

WINNER

SPREAD

LOSER

SCORE

5-5

OKLAHOMA CITY

- 3.5

Memphis

93-91

5-7

Memphis

+ 3

OKLAHOMA CITY

99-93

5-11

MEMPHIS

- 5

Oklahoma City

87-81

On Tuesday, it's ...
#6 GOLDEN STATE at #2 SAN ANTONIO - Series tied 2-2
They're four games into this best-of-seven and the momentum - already - has switched sides approximately a gazillion times.

The latest twist and turn occurred late in regulation and right throughout overtime when Golden State seemingly scored all the points - the Warriors won the OT session 13-3 after overcoming an eight-point deficit with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter - and happened despite G Stephen Curry playing with a bum ankle that nearly kept him from the G-State lineup.

In one of the real strange items here, Golden State out-boarded San Antonio 65-to-51 and won despite nailing just 7 triples with Game 2 star Klay Thompson making good on zero trifectas ... hmmm.

Thompson (10 points in 51 minutes in Game 4) better get his groove on here for this pivotal tilt in the Alamo City and a word to the wise to the aging Spurs:

Get PG Tony Parker lots of ice/rest prior to this one as his achy calf slowed him down big time in Sunday's game (see 6-of-17 made FGs and only 3 assists).

Here's how the Warriors-Spurs series has gone so far (and note home teams are in CAPS):

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-6 SAN ANTONIO - 9 Golden State 129-127 (2ot)
5-8 Golden State + 7.5 SAN ANTONIO 100-91
5-10 San Antonio + 2.5 GOLDEN STATE 102-92
5-12 GOLDEN STATE + 2 San Antonio 97-87 (ot)

 

NBA PLAYOFFS POINTSPREAD CHART
(thru Sunday, May 12 - includes only "still-alive" teams)

TEAM W L P PCT
Golden State 9 1 0 .900
Memphis 8 1 0 .889
Miami 5 2 0 .714
Indiana 6 3 0 .667
San Antonio 5 3 0 .625
New York 4 5 0 .444
Chicago 4 6 0 .400
Oklahoma City 3 6 0 .333

NOTE: There's NBA and MLB News & Notes in the next Jim Sez!

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