Time For Cavs-Celtics to Get it On -- Plus Spurs-Warriors and More

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: HEY, THE CAVALIERS FINALLY GET BACK INTO ACTION AS #1 SEED CELTICS SET TO HOST ‘EM WEDNESDAY IN GAME 1 OF EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS…

PLUS IT’S GAME 2 OUT WEST / SPURS VS. WARRIORS AND VEGAS HAS G-ST A FULL “2-TD” FAVORITE…

THE BASEBALL REPORT: THE WORST PITCHING STAFFS IN THE BIGS

Maybe there are some “ghosts” still lingering around Boston Garden … in any event, the Celtics improved to 19-4 SU (straight-up) in playoff Game 7s at home and that includes (of course) the “old” and the “new” Garden in Beantown.

Now, should the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have anything to worry about with Game 1 and Game 2 set for Boston on Wednesday/Friday nights … and a potential Game 7 in Bah-ston a couple of weeks down the line?

You better believe they have reason to fret!

The Cavs – who have played all of eight playoff games (all wins) in the past 30 days – have not stepped onto the floor for an NBA game since May 7th when LeBron James and Company were busy putting the brooms to an overmatched Toronto Raptors team but the Celtics bring new/different challenges to “The King” here and we’ll dissect the series in a moment but first this important reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have all the NBA Playoff and Major-League Baseball winners – get ‘em at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.

Here’s how that just-completed Washington-Boston series went on a game-by-game basis:

Note all home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
4/30 BOSTON -4½ Washington 123-111
5/2 BOSTON -5 Washington 129-119
5/4 WASHINGTON -5½ Boston 116-89
5/7 WASHINGTON -5 Boston 121-102
5/10 BOSTON -4 Washington 123-101
5/12 WASHINGTON -5 Boston 92-91
5/158 BOSTON -5 Washington 115-102

On Wednesday, it’s…

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS –

CLEVELAND at BOSTON – Game 1 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Talk about the ultimate “rest versus rust” argument:

As we pointed out, the Cavs have not exactly been breaking a sweat in many games at all lately – just four games played since the 1st of May and none of them was closer than a seven-point victory – while the Celtics don’t have time to catch their breath here for Game 1 as Brad Stevens’ crew went the seven-game distance against Washington and that’s after losing the first two games in a six-game opening series win against Chicago.

Hey, if you didn’t know any better as a Celtics fans you’d “sign” for a split in these first two games at home but the $64,000 question here for Game 1 is whether Cleveland will have its legs with James likely playing no more than 35 minutes and so major keys in this series lid-lifter include the oft-overlooked Kevin Love (almost a forgotten man in this post-season) and three-point specialist J.R. Smith.

Meanwhile, Boston knows that G Isaiah Thomas (29 points and 12 assists in the 115-105 win in Game 7 versus Washington) must get off another 25-or-so shots here but can Game 7 hero F Kelly Olynyk (playoff career-best 26 points including 14 biggies in the final frame) come up huge here? Stay tuned.

Here’s how the regular-season matchups went with Cavaliers-Celtics:

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
11/3 CLEVELAND -10½ Boston 128-122
12/29 CLEVELAND -6 Boston 124-118
3/1 BOSTON -2 Cleveland 103-99
4/5 Cleveland -4 BOSTON 114-91

On Tuesday, it’s…

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

SAN ANTONIO at GOLDEN STATE – Warriors lead series 1-0; Game 2 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

No Kawhi Leonard here in Game 2 for the visiting San Antonio Spurs … so what’s a 14-point underdog supposed to do?

Well, if you’re Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich – who happens to deserve his share of the blame for that Game 1 meltdown that included Golden State roaring back from a monstrous 25-point deficit – your wish list is too long to mention here in this particular Jim Sez column but let us say that the Spurs looked extremely tired in the final 20 minutes or so in that Game 1 loss with “help defense” slow to react (we’re talking to you, Manu Ginobili) and so expect Golden State to emphasize quick ball movement and try to get Klay Thompson (just six points in 38 minutes in Game 1 this past Sunday afternoon) involved while the tag-team of Stephen Curry (40 points) and Kevin Durant (34 points) should expect to get bumped off their spots by a San Ant team that needs to get physical and stay physical.

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5/14 GOLDEN STATE -10 San Antonio 113-111

THE BASEBALL REPORT

The 2017 MLB season is not yet a quarter-way through the schedule and yet there’s grave concerns that a handful of pitching staffs already are running on “E”.

In fact, entering Monday’s action there were six MLB teams that sported team ERAs of 4.50 or worse and you might be surprised to find out who’s on the list.

From the bottom down, here’s the lowdown with pertinent comments:

TEAM ERA COMMENT
New York Mets 5.07 No Syndergaard, no Familia and maybe no hope in ‘17
Atlanta 4.74 And wait till the ball really starts jumpin’ out of the new stadium
Detroit 4.70 The Tigers’ bullpen already has blown eight saves … ouch!
Philadelphia 4.69 Wait, the Phillies have more blown saves (9) than saves (6)
san Diego 4.67 We’ll give you a prize if you can name 3 starters in the Pods’ rotation
Seattle 4.63 The M’s have four-fifths of their starting rotation on the DL … really!

NOTE: More NBA Playoff coverage in the next Jim Sez.

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