The Cavaliers Go For The Closeout in Eastern Finals
THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE:
WILL CAVS CLOSE IT OUT TONIGHT
IN BOSTON OR WILL WE HAVE
PRO HOOPS ACTION THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND? …
LAST NIGHT’S MLB NEWSMAKERS/NOISEMAKERS
The all-knowing Las Vegas folks have the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers sitting there as 10.5-point betting favorites for Thursday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston against the Isaiah Thomas-less Celtics … can we remind y’all that the Cavs were 4- and 5-point betting faves for the first two games of this best-of-seven series in Beantown (yes, with Thomas then in action for the Boston bunch).
Maybe the fact that road teams have covered all four games in this series so far plays a factor in the number-making – or maybe the feeling is Cleveland megastars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving (a combined 76 points in the Game 4 come-from-way-behind win) just want their Memorial Day Weekend off before what should be a rock-‘em, sock’em NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors beginning Thursday, June 1 in Oakland.
We shall get to a Game 5 preview of Cavaliers versus Celtics in just a moment but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to bang out big-time winners in this year’s NBA Playoffs and we’ll continue to roll through the post-season right through next month’s NBA Finals plus there’s Baseball winners every day too -- call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here at www.jimhurley.com each/every day and cash in with huge winners!
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS –
On Thursday, it’s …
CLEVELAND at BOSTON – Cavaliers lead series 3-1; Game 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Don’t ask us why Cavaliers’ head coach Tyronn Lue still had King James on the floor with three fouls midway through the second quarter the other night – never did figure that one out unless the coach and his staff lost track of the fouls – but it wound up working in Cleveland’s favor as Irving (again!) proved he was an elite player by scoring in a variety of ways en route to a game-best 42 points but remember he tweaked an ankle and so that’s worth watching in the early stages of this Game 5.
What else is worth watching is how Boston attacks the hoop considering it shot a collective 10-of-31 from beyond the three-point arc in Game 4 – Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart were a combined 2-of-12 from triple-ville and that hurt Brad Stevens’ club and take note that every single Celtics player finished with a “minus” when it came to being on the floor with Boston a minus 16 when Jae Crowder was in action (his offensive stats were not bad with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists but shoddy defense hurt).
No doubt the Cavaliers want to slam the lid shut on this playoff round and move on to Part III of this trilogy against the Warriors – but expect Boston not to sag its shoulders even after blowing a 16-point lead in Game 6. The Celtics need to drain a few early “3’s” and make “The Garden” a loud-and-proud venue here while Cleveland big man Tristan Thompson (a + 14 in Game 4) must be active on the glass while allowing Cav mates second-chance opportunities.
Are we headed for a hoops-free holiday weekend? Sure seems that way unless Irving and/or James are off their games and Boston can drill some deep balls. Simple as that!
(All home teams are in CAPS below):
DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-17 Cleveland - 4 BOSTON 117-104
5-19 Cleveland - 5 BOSTON 130-86
5-21 Boston + 16.5 CLEVELAND 111-108
5-23 CLEVELAND - 16 Boston 112-99
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Lots of fun stuff from ‘round Major-League Baseball last night and here’s a sampling of things that you might have missed:
The Arizona Diamondbacks exited yesterday’s action with a spiffy 21-8 mark at home following that three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and keep in mind last year the D-Backs sported an MLB-worst 33-48 home record. Now, ‘Zona goes on the road for an 11-game trip and it is keeping fingers crossed that righty slugger LF Yasmany Tomas (left hip flexor) will be a “go” after he was a late scratch in the 8-6 win against the Pale Hose …
It’s safe to say the Detroit Tigers badly needed Wednesday night’s 6-3 win at Houston – a Jim Hurley Network winner! – as the middle infield combo of SS Jose Iglesias and 2B Ian Kinsler went 5-for-9 with five runs scored and a pair of Iglesias RBI.
Note the Tigers had scored four total runs while losing three straight games before the triumph last night that also starred LHP Daniel Norris (one earned run allowed in 6.1 innings).
Might Norris combine with RHPs Justin Verlander and last year’s Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer (team-best 1.08 WHIP with five wins) to make the Motowners the real “team to beat” in the American League Central the rest of the way …
Finally, not-so-fun stat of the night for the bumbling New York Mets: Note that San Diego pitchers walked nine Mets and lived to tell about it in last night’s 6-5 road win at Citi Field. Plus, the Mets had the bases loaded and nobody out in the home half of the ninth inning and didn’t score as OF Curtis Granderson and C Rene Rivera each struck out while OF Juan Lagaras flied to medium right to end the game – 12 LOB for the Mets, another multi-hit game for star leadoff hitter LF Michael Conforto and still a loss.
Wow, was the Mets’ post-game radio show a blast or what following what many called the “worst loss of the season”.
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!
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