The NBA Playoffs Midweek Report

Network on a 9-2 run in the playoffs after winning Tuesday with Pacers (-5.5) over Knicks 93-82!

THE NBA PLAYOFFS MID-WEEK REPORT:

HEAT & GRIZZLIES LOOK TO NAIL DOWN ROUND II SERIES TONIGHT ...PLUS WE REVIEW LAST NIGHT'S RESOUNDING PLAYOFF WINS BY THE PACERS & SPURS

By Jim Hurley:

Turn out the lights, the party's (probably) over for the Chicago Bulls this evening and you might be singing a similar refrain in Oklahoma City too should the Thunder not be able to figure out how to finish off games.

If you watched the fleeting final moments in both Game 3 and Game 4 in Memphis the past handful of days, well, than you know what we are talking about!

In the meantime, all four of the NBA's Conference Semifinal Round Series could be history come Thursday night now that the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs are on the brink of eliminating their respective foes from New York and Golden State - we'll be into a "Final Four" of sorts soon enough in NBA-land but first let's tackle what's straight ahead tonight and what just happened last night:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#5 CHICAGO at #1 MIAMI - Heat leads series 3-1
Memo to the still-ailing and short-handed Chicago Bulls: Do not expect to receive any sympathy here in Game 5 from the defending champ Miami Heat ... in fact, the Bulls - a 14-point underdog at press time -- best be prepared for an early-game onslaught here 'cause MVP LeBron James and friends would like to get a little "down time" before it faces the New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers survivor.

No doubt the Heat wasn't throwing any "pity party" two nights ago when Miami slammed 8-point home dog Chicago 88-65 (talk about your extended garbage time that TNT studio boss Ernie Johnson termed "G-time") and for anyone who was ready to elevate Bulls G Nate Robinson into all-star status you have to think again after his rotten 0-for-12 field-goal game that included five misses from "downtown" as Chicago managed just two trifecta makes in 17 overall tries ... ugh!

Gotta believe this will have a scrimmage-like feel to this potential/likely wrap-up game of this Eastern Conference Semifinal Round set even though "Da Bulls" have played a fierce brand of basketball for most of these playoffs (save for that 23-point loss the other night inside the United Center). And - should Heat G Dwyane Wade (knee) continue to be hurting - there will be more offensive weight falling on F Chris Bosh (14 points on 7-of-10 shooting in Game 4) and a Miami bench that got plenty of "run" in that last tilt.

Please, you're not still wondering if PG Derrick Rose is gonna suit up for the Chitowners here, are you?

Here's how the Bulls-Heat 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
5-13 Miami - 8 CHICAGO 88-65

Last night, it was ...#3 INDIANA 93, #2 NEW YORK 82 - Pacers lead series 3-1
Lots of media folks want to drone on and on regarding the dysfunctional Knicks who admittedly couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in last night's twin-figure, never-in-doubt loss at "The Fieldhouse" as New York missed 20-of-28 triple tries.

But how about a round of applause for a hungry/focused Pacers crew that didn't allow many open shots for Mike Woodson's team and really pounded the boards with a vengeance as Indiana sported a sizable 54-to-36 rebounding advantage and chuck into the mix the fact G George Hill (26 points and 4 assists) was the best player on the floor - not NYK's Carmelo Anthony (see 24 points on 23 FG tries). The Pacers learned their lessons well from being up two games-to-one in last year's playoffs against Miami and so they stayed on point here and those solid role players such as Lance Stephenson (13 points and 7 rebounds) and F Tyler Hansbrough (14 rugged minutes with some fierce paint defense) were major difference-makers while the Knicks failed to make any major adjustments and big-mouth C Tyson Chandler (12 quiet points and 10 rebs in 40 minutes) really wasn't much of a factor or - come to think of it - much of a leader either!
 
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

5-14

INDIANA

- 5

New York

93-82

Take note ... Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to bash the Las Vegas books with this year's NBA Playoffs (on a 9-2 run!) and there's lots more Side & Totals Hoop Winners straight ahead this 2013 post-season plus get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too -- so go ahead and sign up today and get it all as that's NBA and MLB winnin' action each and every day! Just be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the daily and nightly NBA and MLB winners.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#5 MEMPHIS at #1 OKLAHOMA CITY - Grizzlies lead series 3-1
Simply put, the Oklahoma City Thunder desperately miss superstar point guard Russell Westbrook - but this series they sure could have used Mariano Rivera!

The defending Western Conference champs simply have failed miserably as late-game closers in those last two games in Memphis and who would have believed that Kevin Durant would turn ice-cold in this past Monday's gotta-have-it Game 4 loss?

Durant managed to connect on just 2-of-13 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter/overtime in Game 4 and again he missed a critical free throw that would have made all the difference in the world. Suffice to say, any bettors with serious "green" on the Thunder in Games 3 and 4 in this series are thinking about a new "hobby" but now if OKC wants to prolong this best-of-seven set it needs Durant to stand strong in the final frame and it must come up with some defensive rebounds 'cause that was simply crazy in Game 4 with the Grizzlies finishing with 13 offensive rebounds and it only seemed that half of 'em came on one back-breaking sequence that really told the tale here.

If Okie City - a 4-point betting fav in Game 5 here at press time - can get-out-and-go here (only 12 fast-break points in Game 4) than perhaps this series will get extended to a Game 6 and/or even a Game 7 but are guards Reggie Jackson and Kevin Martin capable of scoring 40-or-so points between 'em and thus lessening the load on Durant who played a whopping 48 minutes in that Game 4 overtime loss the other night.
 
Here's how the Grizzlies-Thunder 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

5-13

MEMPHIS

- 5

Oklahoma City 

103-97 (ot)


Last night, it was ...#2 SAN ANTONIO 109, #6 GOLDEN STATE 91 - Spurs lead series 3-2
So you want to know the "secret formula" to KO the G-State Warriors from these playoffs?

Than put a major muzzle on the so-called "greatest shooting backcourt" as San Antonio did last night en route to a pull-away 18-point win in the Alamo City. Afterwards, TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley claimed the tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson - a combined 6-of-22 from the floor in the loss - was "tired" but can someone please tell us why Warriors head coach Mark Jackson didn't force the action in the first six or seven minutes of the final quarter ... looked like the Golden State boss was asleep at the wheel!

Lots of verbal bouquets were tossed in the general direction of the usual suspects - Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined for 49 points - but make no mistake that a major part of the Spurs' success here in the pivotal Game 5 win was because Kawhi Leonard (17 points on 7-of-8 FG shooting) and Danny Green (16 points on 6-of-10 FG shooting) also played great on the defensive end where both silenced the Curry/Thompson duo big-time.

If Golden State's guards are pooped here, than San Ant will pounce in Game 6 and make this a quick exit but something tells us Gregg Popovich's crew will really have to dig down deep to avoid playing a Game 7.

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)

5-14

SAN ANTONIO

- 7

Golden State

109-91


NBA PLAYOFFS POINTSPREAD CHART

(thru Tuesday, May 14)

TEAM

W

L

P

PCT

Memphis

9

1

0

.900

Golden State

9

2

0

.818

Miami

6

2

0

.750

Indiana

7

3

0

.700

San Antonio

6

3

0

.667

New York

4

6

0

.400

Chicago

4

7

0

.364

Oklahoma City

3

7

0

.300

Editor's Note: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites enter the Wednesday night menu with a 34-28 ATS (against the spread) mark that's good for a .548 winning rate.

NOTE: Get all our NBA News & Notes plus the NFL and MLB too in coming editions of Jim Sez all week long!

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