Jim Sez NBA Conference Finals Report
THE NBA CONFERENCE FINALS:
A MUST-WIN GAME IS LOOMING FOR THE WARRIORS IN GAME 4 TUESDAY, WHILE THE CAVS HAVE PAYBACK IN MIND NORTH OF THE BORDER ...
THE BASEBALL REPORT: DID WE ALL BURY THE YANKEES TOO SOON? (YOU KNOW THE ANSWER!)
Let's face it ... it's not every weekend that the likes of Cleveland's LeBron James and Golden State's Stephen Curry (six league MVP's between 'em) lose their two respective playoff games by a combined 43 points.
Egads is right!
No doubt that King James and Company had history in mind when they entered this past Saturday's tilt in Toronto as the Cavaliers were all starry-eyed regarding an 11-and-oh start to their playoffs but the Raptors shot 'em down 99-84 and Cleveland didn't exactly lose with dignity (see Dahntey Jones' low blow in the closing seconds of the game).
Meanwhile, we don't blame you if you rubbed your eyes more than a few times on Sunday night in that rollicking 133-105 Oklahoma City win against 2.5-point road favorite Golden State - yes, the Warriors have yet to lose back-to-back games all season long but if it happens now you may want to give a jingle to the "fat lady" 'cause beating the Thunder three times in a row would figure to be an extremely tall order.
More analyses on both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals in just a moment but first this:
Let's get you the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with the still-alive teams listed below (thru games of Sunday, May 22nd:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been bashing the books right from the start of this year’s NBA Playoffs and nothing’s gonna change here as we head into the Conference Championships. We’ll continue to rock-n-roll our way through the NBA post-season – and you can purchase Jim’s NBA Post Season program right here at www.JimHurley.com or call 1-800-323-4453 each/every day and be sure that we’ll send you straight into the winner’s circle.
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On Monday, it's ...
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND at TORONTO - Cavaliers lead series 2-1; 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
So, playoff perfection is out the window - hey, if you ever thought the Cavaliers were gonna go 16-0 SU (straight-up) this post-season you were dreaming - but now we do have a scenario that's not happened previously in these playoffs and that's James and mates are comin' off a loss.
If payback's gonna be a you-know-what for the host Raptors here, than Cleveland better go hard to the hoop and not let Toronto big man Bismack Biyombo (26 rebounds in Game 3) have his way in the paint.
No doubt that Cleveland's thrived in this series when shooting from in close but no matter where the Cavs arc up their shots here than the combo of G Kyrie Irving and F Kevin Love (a combined 4-of-28 FGs shooting in Game 3) better get a grip!
Toronto was encouraged by the fact star G DeMar DeRozan drained 8-of-9 FTs among his game-high 32 points the other night but we say DeRozan and backcourt mate Kyle Lowry must get off somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 foul shots here ... got it?
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Cavaliers and the Raptors (note all home teams are in CAPS below):
On Tuesday, it's
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
GOLDEN STATE at OKLAHOMA CITY - Thunder leads series 2-1; 9 p.m. ET, TNT
Let's answer the question everyone's asking today: Will NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suspend Warriors' F/C Draymond Green here for that first-half private parts kick to the Thunder's Stephen Adams?
We say "nay" because all those replays didn't convince us that Green was trying to injure the do-it-all Okie City front-court star so let's examine things here based on everyone being dressed and ready to play Game 4:
No doubt the Warriors have some character issues to answer - like why did Steve Kerr's club play zero defense in that 28-point loss in Game 3 and why did so many of Curry's early-game shots appear as if he was playing a game of chuck-and-duck?
Folks, that might have been the quietest 24-point game for any player hoops history because Curry was nary a factor and it says here that he and fellow "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson likely need to connect on 30 FGs (or double what they did in Game 3) for G-State to even this series ... hey, the Las Vegas folks opened this Game 4 with the Warriors priced as one-point favorites and doesn't that seem a bit tame?
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Warriors and the Thunder (all home teams are in CAPS):
|5-16||Okla City||+ 7.5||GOLDEN ST||108-102|
|5-18||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Okla City||118-91|
|5-22||OKLA CITY||+ 2.5||Golden St.||133-105|
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Quick: What MLB team entered this new work week riding the longest current winning streak?
If you said the New York Yankees (five wins in a row), then take a bow!
It was only last week on WFAN - the proverbial flagship radio station of the Yankees - that a few of the all-talk radio shows were figuring out what players would get shipped out of town but instead of a major facelift by Memorial Day, the Yanks (21-22) are very much alive-and-well in the American League East where they are just 5.5 games back of Baltimore and Boston and just 3.5 games back of the second/final wild card berth.
Sure, that end-of-bullpen mix of RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Amdrew Miller and closer LHP Aroldis Chapman have been insanely good since Chapman returned from his early-season suspension in early May but give kudos to manager Joe Girardi - not usually one of our favorites - for hanging tough even though the Yanks right now rank 13th in the league in runs scored (163), only 10th in the AL in home runs (40) and 11th in overall team ERA (4.22) with a batch of starters that have generally ranged between mediocre-to-awful.
The Yanks' four-game weekend sweep of the host Oakland A's had a little bit of everything - except no DH Alex Rodriguez - and a composite 22-9 score and suddenly the pinstripers are no longer an endangered species.
NOTE: More NBA Playoffs News & Notes in the next Jim Sez and stay tuned for MLB, NFL and NCAA Football goodies too in the days ahead!