Golden State Goes For Playoff Perfection Tonight -- a Game 4 Preview
THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: WARRIORS SHOOT FOR HISTORIC WIN TONIGHT IN GAME 4... IS THERE ANYTHING AT ALL LEFT IN THE CAVALIERS' TANK? ...
THE BASEBALL REPORT: WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS JUNE WEEKEND
Let's really put things into pointspread perspective as we head into tonight's Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals:
The Golden State Warriors - now ready/willing/quite able to complete their 16-and-oh SU (straight-up) post-season - are an electric 11-4 ATS (against the spread) during these playoffs, good for a spiffy .733 winning rate.
Now consider that the Las Vegas oddsmakers seemingly might not be able to go high enough with tonight's spread - right now it's visiting Golden State minus 6 or 6.5 points, depending on your particular locale - and keep in mind the Warriors are a very tidy 8-4 versus the vig whenever laying 7-or-more points this post-season (you can look it up!).
So, with history on the line and a Cavs club that knows - J.R. Smith tweets notwithstanding ("Cavs in 7") - it is merely impossible to win this best-of-seven series, will a proud Cleveland team "show up" here or will this be a 48-minute coronation that's capped off with Golden State holding aloft the championship trophy in the Cavs' backyard, just as Cleveland did a year ago in Oakland?
We'll have our Game 4 preview in just a moment, but first this reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep banging out Sides & Totals winners in this year's NBA Finals and so just go online right here today or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus, get all the Major-League Baseball winners every day when you check with us ... and remember America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay hot all month and all summer long and that includes Belmont Stakes winners on Saturday too!
THE NBA FINALS - GAME 4 PREVIEW
GOLDEN STATE at CLEVELAND - Warriors lead series 3-0, Game 4 is tonight at 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Okay, so enough already regarding the emotions of these two teams heading into this Game 4 clash, what about some old-fashioned X's and O's?
Golden State - make no mistake about it - wants to play yet another lightning-quick first-quarter pace so that the overmatched Cavs get tired come the fourth quarter and so it's in Cleveland's best interests here to milk a few seconds here and there on the shot clock and maybe play "big" with more size on the floor so that perhaps Tyronn Lue's club can win the all-important board battle.
Let the whole world kick around the albeit impressive stats of Warriors' megastars Kevin Durant (31 points in Game 3) - fresh off his dramatic late-game finish the other night - and sidekicks Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (they combined for 56 points on 37 FG tries this past Wednesday night) and compare 'em to Cleveland's tag-team tandem of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving (a whopping 77 points in that gut-busting Game 3 loss) and keep in mind the real difference-maker here could well be Cavs' big man Tristan Thompson who snagged only three rebounds in 23 minutes in Game 3 and must be a double-digit board guy here or else.
Throw in one other strategy:
Cleveland is not gonna win - or cover - if the Warriors connect on nearly 50 percent of their triple tries (see 16-of-33 trifectas in Game 3) and so someone's gotta get James, Irving and friends to become a tad more aggressive with perimeter defense. Hey, we still think James is kicking himself for not getting right in the face of Durant for his pull-up made triple with 45.3 seconds in the game that gave G-State a 114-113 lead.
Finally, we cannot dismiss this coaching matchup: No doubt Golden State's Steve Kerr - and previous acting head coach Mike Brown - may not get enough credit just because media folks believe "anyone" can coach this talent-stocked lineup but gotta say that Lue's handful of key mistakes in the final three-plus minutes of Game 3 really hurt:
Not getting a "2-for-1" when the shot clock told 'em to get a pair of possessions; not being organized for a batch of other late-game possessions; not having sharpshooter Kyle Korver on the floor on that final offensive possession - did Lue lose confidence after Korver missed that key corner triple that could have given the Cavaliers a five-point lead?
Here's the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|6-1||GOLDEN ST.||- 7.5||Cleveland||113-91|
|6-4||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Cleveland||132-113|
|6-7||Golden St||- 3.5||CLEVELAND||118-113|
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Go ahead and raise your hand if you thought - before this 2017 season even started -- this second weekend in June would feature a first-place Minnesota Twins team taking on a San Francisco Giants squad a dozen games below the .500 mark or maybe the fact that a Milwaukee Brewers versus Arizona Diamondbacks three-game set in the desert would pit two teams with real-live post-season hopes.
Nah, that could never happen right?
Well, in a season of mucho surprises there's lots of "new blood" making early-to-mid-season runs at playoff berths this year and some oldies-but-not-necessarily-goodies floundering badly as the aforementioned Giants (25-37) and the New York Mets (25-32) look ready to be kayoed from any/all post-season talk even before we get to Fathers' Day!
One series that will be fun to watch this weekend is in The Bronx where the American League East-leading New York Yankees (34-23) host the Baltimore Orioles (31-27) in a three-game set.
The Yanks - fresh off winning two-of-three versus Boston - have somehow survived the nearly month-long injury absence of closer LHP Aroldis Chapman as RF Aaron Judge (.321, 18 HR, 41 RBI, .668 slugging) remains the brightest star in the NYY universe - can the O's pitching staff that ranks 10th in the league in team ERA (4.35) keep this 6-foot-8 monster "in the park"?
The Birds counter with a lineup that's produced 83 home runs (that's fifth-best in the junior circuit) and let's see if 3B Manny Machado - sore wrist and all after getting spiked by Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen the other night - can wrangle out of a season-long slump.
Two-of-three would be a major coup for Buck Showalter's Birds - and remember they get a shot at slumping RHP Masahiro Tanaka (6.55 ERA) on Sunday.
Jim Hurley will be on top of this AL East series and plenty more all weekend long - so cash in here online!
Today’s Hot Plays
Jim Hurley Saratoga Service
$20.00Purchase this nowSARATOGA. "Graveyard of Favorites" for losers..."Longshot Heaven" for winners. And the difference is INFORMATION. Jim Hurley’s Network Has The Information!
Network Monday Hit and Run Double Play
6-2 Over the Weekend! 3-1 Saturday and 3-1 Sunday! Our Hit & Run Baseball Club wouldn’t be enjoying another successful season without our stat gurus, who are notorious for running the numbers and digging deep into the hidden sabermetrics to find favorable situations to get the money like we did over the weekend. We’ve found two more standout plays Monday that fit the winning mold.
Network Monday MLB Blue Ribbon Shocker - Now 11-6
$20.00Purchase this nowBlue Ribbon Baseball on an 11-6 run! Shocking Underdog Scores Monday! My Top Play of the Day is A Dog That Packs a Punch.
Network Saratoga Monday Jackpot
On Monday Hurley Eyes 3 Race Jackpot. Double Digit Workout Hotshot. Longshot Form Reversal Plus Backup Exotic Runners.
Network MNF IS Back - Giants at Browns
I’ve looked at this game from every angle and am sure we’ll be on the winning side, just like I’ve been on Monday nights over 65% of the time the past 5 years. Watch and Win with me tonight.