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All Forums > WHATS ON YOUR MIND > SPORTS SHIT > nba playoff stuff!
nba playoff stuff!
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA

Tuesday's games

Miami lost four of last five games with Toronto, losing last three games in Canada by 8ot-20-10 points- under is 3-1 in last four games played in Toronto. Home side won seven of last nine series games. Heat lost three of last four road games; their last five games stayed under total, as have seven of last eight Raptor games. Toronto won last three home games by 5-3-11 points. Both teams won Game 7's Sunday- this game could ba a little sluggish, so soon after those win-or-go home games. .

Portland-Golden State (GS 1-0)
In 10 quarters since Curry hurt his knee, Warriors are +72; they've won seven of last eight against Portland, covered nine of last 11. Trailblazers are 0-5 vs spread last five times they came to Oakland. Blazers are 7-4 in last 11 games, with six of last nine staying under the total. Golden State won eight of last ten games, covered seven of last eight- under is 6-3 in their last nine games. Warriors raced out to 37-17 first quarter lead, then coasted from there to win Game 1 by 12.

Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 26-18, Over: 13-31
Second round: Favorites: 3-1, over: 2-2
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | PORTLAND at GOLDEN STATE
Play On - Favorites (GOLDEN STATE) after leading their last 2 games by 10+ points at the half against opponent after scoring 105 points or more 2 straight games
55-24 since 1997. ( 69.6% | 28.6 units )
5-2 this year. ( 71.4% | 2.8 units )

NBA | PORTLAND at GOLDEN STATE
Play Against - Road underdogs vs. the money line (PORTLAND) revenging a road loss vs opponent against opponent after 3 consecutive covers as a favorite
106-25 since 1997. ( 80.9% | 50.0 units )
1-2 this year. ( 33.3% | -3.8 units )

NBA | PORTLAND at GOLDEN STATE
Play Against - Home favorites vs. the 1rst half line (GOLDEN STATE) well rested team - playing 6 or less games in 14 days, a top-level team (>=75%) playing a team with a winning record
50-21 over the last 5 seasons. ( 70.4% | 26.9 units )
3-4 this year. ( 42.9% | -1.4 units )
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Miami Heat (48-34) at Toronto Raptors (56-26)

NBA: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET

Line: Toronto -5

Over/Under: 191.5

The Miami Heat hit the road to take on the Toronto Raptors game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night. Both teams are coming off game seven victories on Sunday. Miami topped the Charlotte Hornets 106-73. The Heat won the last two games of the series after falling behind 3-2 in the series. Toronto topped Indiana 89-84 on Sunday night. The Raptors won the series despite the shooting struggles from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry as they both shot 32 percent from the field. The two teams were surely tested in the first round.

The Miami Heat got everything they can handle from the Charlotte Hornets in the first round. Early on it appeared that the contest would go down to the final seconds. Miami went on a 25-4 run late in the second quarter to push a four point lead to 21 points in the third quarter. Goran Dragic led the Heat with 25 points and six rebounds. The 29-year-old connected on 11-of-17 from the field while adding six rebounds. Luol Deng wound up with 15 points and eight rebounds. The key in the contest came on the glass where the Heat out-rebounded the Hornets 58-36. Hassan Whiteside ended up with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. Gerald Green added 16 points off the bench.


With about just over seven minutes to play the Raptors led the Pacers by 16 points. It appeared the game was over and the Raptors would easily advance. Then Toronto got stagnant often waiting until the last few seconds of the shot clock to take a poor shot. All of a sudden Indiana only trailed by only three after Monta Ellis connected on a three-pointer with just over two minutes to play. Fortunately for Toronto, Paul George committed two turnovers in the final 90 seconds. DeRozan led the Raptors with 30 points but he went 10-of-32 from the field. Kyle Lowry added 11 points and nine assists, while Norman Powell scored 13 points (3-4 threes) off the bench.

Trends:

The Miami Heat are:

5-2 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
24-10-1 ATS in their last 35 Conference Semifinals games.
23-10 ATS in their last 33 vs. Eastern Conference.

The Toronto Raptors are:

3-8 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win.
0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

The pick: Miami +5

The Miami Heat have an edge in the frontcourt with Whiteside and their forwards Joe Johnson and Deng. Toronto has a slight edge in the backcourt with Lowry and DeRozan despite their struggles. I expect Wade to keep the Heat in this one and they have a chance to win outright.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Portland Trail Blazers 48-41 (47-42 ATS) at Golden State Warriors 78-10 (50-36 ATS)

When and Where: Tuesday, May 3, ORACLE Arena, Oakland, Calif. 10:30pm EDT

Two days after their series clinching win over the Clippers, Portland traveled to Oakland to take on the defending world champions in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals. The turnaround must have been too quick for the Trail Blazers, who were outscored 37-17 in the first quarter. With reigning MVP Stephen Curry sidelined with a right-knee sprain, Klay Thompson exploded for 37 points in the 118-106 win. With the victory, Golden State took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series

After Portland‘s disastrous first quarter, they could never really find a way back into the game. They did rebound with a solid second quarter and had good play off the bench, but it was really too little too late and the team would never get any closer than nine points. Losing the opening game of the series is nothing to the Trail Blazers. The squad dropped their first two games against the Clippers, by 20 and 21 points. They were able to storm back and win the final four games of the series after that. The difference is, they started winning after Los Angeles lost their two stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Against Golden State, they are already losing while the Warriors are without their All Star. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum missed 30 of their 43 shots from the field in Sunday’s loss. Lillard still managed to score 30 points behind making all 10 of his shots from the charity stripe, and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.


It was just another day at the office for Golden State on Sunday. Draymond Green messed around and got a triple double, behind 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in 37 minutes of action. Klay Thompson played 37 minutes as well, and matched his minute output with 37 points. It was his career postseason best as he connected on 14-of-28 shots, including 7-for-14 from distance. Perhaps just as importantly, while guarding Damian Lillard, he allowed the Blazers star guard to shoot just 8-for-26 from the field. With his effort, he became the first player in NBA history to hit seven 3-pointers in three straight postseason games. Andrew Bogut (10 points, 12 rebounds), and Harrison Barnes (10 points, 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles in the win, while Shaun Livingston, starting in place of Curry, had 12 points and six assists. While Curry will not play on Tuesday, there is a chance he would be available for Game 3.

Trends:

Portland is:

1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss
1-5 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games
1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
0-4 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
0-6 ATS in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game

Golden State is:

6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games
4-0 ATS in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points
5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall

Pick: Golden State -10

This Warriors team continues to impress, even without Curry. The team is firing on all cylinders and the Trail Blazers probably can not wait to get the series back to Portland. The trends strongly favor Golden State in this one, and so do I. Look for the Warriors to roll yet again.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

The Toronto Raptors have gone a PERFECT 0-6 ATS in All Playoff GAME ONE's in the last 15 years... Miami Heat: 5-0 O/U L5 Playoff GAME ONE's.


NBA Playoff teams who scored 114 > points in EACH of their last 3 games (GOL ST WARRIORS) have gone 10-1 O/U s'02 when OU line is 224 < pts.


NBA Game One home teams off a 7-GAME series (Toronto Raptors) have gone 1-8-1 ATS in the last ten years when the OU line is 174 > pts...
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:15 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA

Wednesday's game

Atlanta-Cleveland (C 1-0)
Cavaliers won their last eight games (7-1 vs spread) vs Hawks, covered four of last five played here. Four of last six series games went over the total. Cleveland made 15-31 on arc in Game 1 win; all five starters were +15 or better. Atlanta lost five of last six road games; its starters shot 32% in Game 1. Schroder had 27 points in 29:00 off bench. Cleveland is 4-2 vs spread in last six home games.

Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 26-18, Over: 13-31
Second round: Favorites: 4-2, over: 3-3
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | ATLANTA at CLEVELAND
Play Under - All teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points after 4 or more consecutive wins, well rested team - playing only their 2nd game in 5 days
69-36 over the last 5 seasons. ( 65.7% | 29.4 units )
11-9 this year. ( 55.0% | 1.1 units )

NBA | ATLANTA at CLEVELAND
Play Under - All teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points in a playoff game
468-314 since 1997. ( 59.8% | 122.6 units )
24-20 this year. ( 54.5% | 2.0 units )
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Hawks (48-34) at Cavaliers (57-25)

Date: May 04, 2016 8:00 PM EDT

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue celebrated his 39th birthday on Tuesday and proudly showed off a few gray hairs - silvery-speckled souvenirs of job-related stress.

'I dyed mine gray,' Lue joked. 'My Barack Obama look.'

Well, Lue may soon be grayer than the president if King James doesn't get to the free-throw line more often.

LeBron James attempted just one foul shot - completing a 3-point play with 2:09 left - in Cleveland's Game 1 win over the Atlanta Hawks, who overcame an 18-point deficit before fading in the final four minutes and losing by 11.

Over the course of his 13-year career, James has played in 183 playoff games, and this was just the first time he attempted only one free throw. Twice he took zero.

Lue wasn't about to risk a fine from the NBA for complaining about the officials heading into Game 2 on Wednesday, but he thought James deserved more whistles than were heard.

'When he attacks the basket, he's so strong and athletic and he goes with so much force that a lot of times, guys are bouncing off of him, but still, those are fouls,' said Lue, who improved to 5-0 in his first postseason in charge. 'We just got to continue to play through it and got to continue to keep attacking and, hopefully, we'll get those calls.'

On one late sequence, James got whacked in the face as he drove to the basket by Atlanta's Paul Millsap and crashed to the floor. Sprawled next to a few photographers on the baseline, James held his head as play continued without him. The Hawks then enjoyed a 5-on-4 advantage for several seconds before James lumbered up the floor still smarting from Millsap's blow.

James gets his share of favorable calls, no doubt. But to this point in these playoffs, the four-time MVP has only tried 16 free throws in five games.

That's hardly preferential treatment for a superstar.

Atlanta did all it could to slow him down, and James still posted 25 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals in 40 minutes as the Cavs improved to 9-0 against the Hawks in the postseason. The Hawks may need a new strategy to prevent the Cavs from taking a 2-0 lead.

While they did a serviceable job on James, the Hawks were unable to stop Kyrie Irving (21 points) down the stretch, they scored one field goal in the final 4:29 and they couldn't handle Tristan Thompson, who snared 14 rebounds, including a vital one on the offensive end that led to James' game-sealing 3-point play.

Thompson's uncanny ability to come up with rebounds has been an issue since last year's Eastern Conference finals when he averaged 11 rebounds during Cleveland's four-game sweep, outplaying Millsap and Al Horford, a pair of All-Stars.

Atlanta's dilemma - and this is true for any Cleveland opponent - is that when a second player commits to guarding James, it makes it easier for Thompson to rebound.

'If you help, then he's active on the boards,' Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. 'I know it's more important that we make them miss first. That's our priority and then we have to have all five guys in there getting after it. Credit to him. He's a good player. He plays off their penetration and shots well. If we continue to make the first shot difficult and then all five guys participate, that gives us our best chance.'

The Hawks won't have any chance if Kyle Korver doesn't get going.

Atlanta's sharpshooter attempted just one shot - and missed a 3-pointer - in nearly 37 minutes as he was unable to shake free from Cavs guards J.R. Smith, who hounded him all over the court. But while Cleveland's strategy on Korver worked, Hawks guard Dennis Schroder made the Cavs pay by dropping five 3-pointers and scoring 27 points.

Lue made a late adjustment, going over screens instead of under them, to make it tougher on Schroder.

Cleveland's only concern coming out of Game 1 was the health of Kevin Love, who banged his right shoulder when he got Hawks guard Kent Bazemore off his feet with a pump fake and drew a hard foul while trying a 3-pointer.

Love, who scored 17 points on just 4 of 17 shooting in Game 1, was not spotted at the team's facility when the media was allowed in following practice, but Lue said the forward was 'fine.'

'No problems,' Lue said.

And maybe one less gray hair.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Wednesday's NBA playoffs betting preview and odds: Hawks at Cavaliers

The lone game on the NBA schedule for Wednesday features the Atlanta Hawks attempting to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. We break down all the action so you can cap the game like a pro.


Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers (-7, 198)

Cavaliers lead 1-0

The Cleveland Cavaliers keep knocking off Atlanta in the postseason and look to do it for the 10th consecutive time when they host the Hawks in Wednesday's Game 2. Cleveland continued its playoff mastery of Atlanta with a 104-93 series-opening victory on Monday as it held the Hawks to 37.9 percent shooting from the field.

The Cavaliers let an 18-point third-quarter lead get away in Game 1 but outclassed Atlanta down the stretch to deal the Hawks another loss. "They're a great team," Atlanta shooting guard Kyle Korver told reporters. "They beat a lot of people. It's not just us. Are we getting closer to getting over the hump? I don't know. ... We definitely got to get that win first." Cleveland drained 15 3-point baskets and received a stellar all-around effort from forward LeBron James, who had 25 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals. "We played an OK game," James told reporters. "I don't think we played to our standards. The first game is always kind of a feel-out."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: The Cavaliers opened at 7.5-point favorites at home for Game 2. By Tuesday morning the public, somewhat surprisingly, bet the Hawks enough to force the books to drop the line to -7. The total opened at 199 and came down a half point to 198.5. Check out the complete line history here.

ABOUT THE HAWKS (52-37, 45-43-1 ATS, 39-50 O/U): Backup point guard Dennis Schroder was superb with a playoff career-best 27 points in Game 1, and he made five of Atlanta's 11 3-pointers. His play helped the Hawks make the second-half charge on a night in which starting guards Jeff Teague (eight points on 2-of-9 shooting) and Kyle Korver (three points, 0-of-1 shooting) were highly unproductive. "I think we can play better," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. "Obviously, Dennis had a great game for us but overall, the whole group, we can play better. Defensively, we had some possessions where we gave ourselves a chance and we just couldn’t come up with a couple of rebounds late when it was tied (at 86)."

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (62-25, 40-44-3 ATS, 43-44 O/U): Power forward Kevin Love had 17 points and 11 rebounds while struggling through a 4-of-17 shooting performance in the opener. He also appeared to tweak his right shoulder late in the contest - it was his left shoulder that he dislocated in last season's playoffs - but insisted the injury was minor. "I’m fine. I was telling (general manager David Griffin) after the game I can't catch a break with that shoulder, but I'm fine," Love told reporters. "It was just one of those plays. You've always got to watch it when you pump-fake at that 3-point line on a jump shot. You can take a hit, but I feel good."

TRENDS:

* Hawks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Southeast.
* Under is 7-0 in Hawks last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Over is 7-2 in Cavaliers last 9 Wednesday games.
* Hawks are 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

WED Hawks @ Cavs: NBA Playoff GAME TWO home favs of -7 > pts (Cavs) have gone a PERFECT 0-11 O/U L6Y w/ OU line in range of 190-200 pts.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Atlanta Hawks (48-34) at Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25)

NBA: Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET

Line: Cleveland -7

Over/Under: 199

The Atlanta Hawks travel to Quicken Loans Arena to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for game two on Wednesday night. On Monday night, the Cavaliers beat the Hawks 104-93. Cleveland held an 18 point with four minutes to play in the third quarter before the Hawks went on a 26-7 run. Atlanta held a one point lead with eight minutes to play but the Cavaliers closed the game on a 25-13 run. The key to the game was three-point shooting. Cleveland made 15-of-31 from downtown while the Hawks made 11-of-34.

The entire Hawks starting lineup with the exception of Kent Bazemore struggled on Monday night. Bazemore finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Millsap had a solid game going for 17 points and 13 rebounds but he shot 6-of-19 from the field. The star of the night was certainly Dennis Schroder. The 22-year-old backup point guard contributed 27 points and six assist off the bench. Schroder connected on 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Atlanta committed 12 turnovers while the Cavaliers only had eight. The Hawks backcourt struggled as Kyle Korver only shot one field goal in 37 minutes while Jeff Teague shot 2-of-9 from the floor.


The Cleveland Cavaliers have shot like the Golden State Warriors all postseason and it continued on Monday night. Cleveland made 15 three-pointers and that proved to be the difference in the win. The Cavaliers shot better from deep (48%) than they did from the field (45%). LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 25 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Kyrie Irving finished with 21 points and eight assists. Kevin Love scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but he only made 4-of-17 shots from the floor. Love is only shooting for 37 percent from the field in the postseason.

Trends:

The Atlanta Hawks are:

2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 Conference Semifinals games.
2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are:

4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Southeast.
6-2 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.

The pick: Cleveland -7

I expect James and Irving to lead the Cavaliers to a game two win. Millsap and Al Horford will perform better than they did in game one but it won’t be enough. Atlanta should hang around but the Cavaliers will pull away late and cover the game.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Hawks or Cavs in Wednesday's Game Two?
> NBA Playoff #1 seed GAME TWO favorites of -6 > points have gone 1-9 ATS in last three seasons (Cavaliers) off a SU Game One win... versus any non-division opponent (HAWKS)
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

he Toronto Raptors have been waiting for their All-Star backcourt to step up in the postseason, and aside from one moment in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, they are still waiting. The Raptors will try to get more out of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and even the series when they host the Miami Heat in Game 2 on Thursday.

DeRozan shot 31.9 percent from the floor in a seven-game victory over the Indiana Pacers in the first round and went 9-of-22 from the floor on Tuesday while Lowry has been even worse, shooting 31.6 percent against the Pacers and slumping to 3-of-13 in Game 1 against the Heat. "I'm trying to get my touch back. I don't know where it's at," Lowry told reporters. "It's kind of mind-boggling right now, and it's frustrating, but I'm not going to shy away from the criticism or anything. I’m going to continue to be aggressive and take shots.” The Miami backcourt carried the team through the final two games of its first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets and stepped up again against Toronto with a combined 50 points from Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade. Wade, who picked up his 100th career playoff victory with the 102-96 overtime triumph, scored seven of his 24 points in the extra period and stole the ball from DeRozan with four seconds left to seal the win.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN


ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before regrouping for overtime and credited injured forward Chris Bosh for keeping the team focused at the start of the extra period. "(Bosh) was huge in that timeout," Dragic told reporters. "When (Lowry) hit that shot, most other teams would think it's over. We didn't. We kind of (flipped) the switch and tried to make something positive from that. (Bosh) said, 'OK, it's our first game. We're playing in a hostile environment. We still have five minutes to go, and we're in a good position.’” Bosh is reportedly in a dispute with the Heat over his medical condition, with the team exercising caution and keeping him off the floor against his wishes.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Lowry went from the high of sending the game into overtime with a halfcourt buzzer-beater to missing his only shot in overtime as Toronto fell. “I have but not at this time, so that's what's frustrating,” Lowry told reporters when asked if he has been in shooting slumps like this before. “In the playoffs, all eyes are on you. It sucks to be playing this bad with all eyes on me. I know I'm better than this, so I have to pick this (stuff) up.” Lowry has not shot better than 38.1 percent in any of his eight games this postseason and stayed in the gym after finishing up with his media responsibilities on Tuesday to shoot jumpers.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Heat C Hassan Whiteside left the court after suffering a strained knee on Tuesday but returned and finished with 17 rebounds in 39 minutes.

2. Toronto reserve SF Terrence Ross scored a playoff career-high 19 points in Game 1.

3. Wade needs five points to pass Scottie Pippen (3,642) for 15th place on the all-time playoff scoring list.

TRENDS:

* Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Raptors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Heat last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
* Over is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Heat are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Toronto.

PREDICTION: Raptors 106, Heat 103


Last edited by poipounder on Thu May 05, 2016 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Heat (48-34) at Raptors (56-26)

Date: May 05, 2016 8:00 PM EDT

It took the Toronto Raptors 15 years to get this far again, and Kyle Lowry knows they won't go further if he doesn't play better.

The Raptors need Lowry to play the way Goran Dragic is.

'I know the pressure I put on myself. I know we won't advance if I don't play better,' Lowry said Wednesday. 'I have to play better for us to be a good team and win games.'

With Lowry faltering and Dragic flourishing, the Miami Heat aim to win the point guard matchup in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night in Toronto.

A day after announcing that Chris Bosh wouldn't return in the postseason, the Heat can quickly move halfway to ending Toronto's first second-round appearance since 2001.

Toronto rode its backcourt of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to a franchise-record 56 victories and the No. 2 seed in the East, but those All-Stars were outplayed by Dragic and Dwyane Wade in Miami's 102-96 overtime victory Tuesday night in the series opener.

Dragic followed his huge Game 7 that got the Heat past Charlotte in the first round by scoring 26 points, while Wade had 24 and some big defensive plays.

'Goran just wants to win,' Wade said. 'That's all he talked about, was getting back to the playoffs and feeling how it feels to be a part of winning. Right now he's in a good offensive groove for us, but he's always going to do what it takes to win and that's all we care about.'

Lowry was limited to seven points, hitting the halfcourt heave that forced overtime but otherwise missing from everywhere else on the floor in a 3-for-13 performance. DeRozan scored 22 points and shot 9 for 22, which isn't great but was well above his 33 percent in the postseason.

Lowry is at 30.6 percent and his confidence looks as shaky as his shot, and he appeared to pass up some open looks in Game 1. He worked on his shot until after 1 a.m. following Game 1, first on the Raptors' practice court and then on the main court, in an effort to rediscover a shot that's missing.

'I've had a few struggles like this in my NBA career, but nothing this big,' Lowry said. 'What makes it worse is that it's the playoffs.'

The Heat and Bosh announced Wednesday that he wouldn't play again this season, ending speculation in recent days that the All-Star forward would try to return during the playoffs.

Bosh has not played since the All-Star break after a blood clot was discovered in his left leg. Without him, the Heat have relied on some strong perimeter play - they were 8 for 11 from 3-point range Tuesday - and center Hassan Whiteside, who grabbed 17 rebounds in Game 1 after hurting his knee and briefly leaving the game in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Heat seem as puzzled as the Raptors by Lowry's struggles.

'It's surprising to me that he's struggled in the playoffs because I know him well,' Dragic said. 'We played together in Houston. He was always a confident guy and he's already played so many games and made so many big shots that it's a little bit surprising. Everybody goes through those moments when you've lost the touch a little bit.'

If it doesn't come back, perhaps the Raptors would give more playing time to backup point guard Cory Joseph, who scored 10 points in Game 1 and is shooting 58 percent in the postseason, tops on the team.

They could also continue featuring center Jonas Valanciunas, who scored 24 points in the opener.

But the Raptors know their best shot is with Lowry.

'He needs to get through it,' coach Dwane Casey said. 'We're not going to change the offense or anything like that. We believe in him.'

The series moves to Miami for Game 3 on Saturday.
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA Odds and Picks: Thursday and Friday Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews

The Miami Heat situation continues to get more interesting. Now the NBA Players' Association wants to meet with the team over the Chris Bosh issue. Bosh believes he's ready to return from his blood-clot problem and traveled with the team to Toronto for the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Yet the Heat continue to be very quiet and vague on the whole situation but have made it pretty clear he's not playing this season. I guess my question is: If Bosh signs a waiver whereby the Heat and NBA avoid any fault if he happened to die on the court, what's holding Miami back here? ESPN's Dan Le Batard, also a Miami Herald writer, has reported that Bosh has received a medical opinion clearing him to play. But the Heat medical people clearly don't agree. Not sure what the union can do to force the issue.


Thursday's Game 2: No. 3 Heat at No. 2 Raptors (-4.5, 188.5)

This line is the same as Game 1 when I previewed it but the total is 2.5 points lower. I liked the Heat in Game 1 -- and this series -- and the under. I would have been right on both counts if Toronto's Kyle Lowry hadn't made perhaps the most memorable shot in franchise history, a half-court buzzer-beater to send that game to overtime. However, the Heat quickly took control in the extra period and won 102-96. Why did I like the Heat to win this series? They have the best player on the floor in Dwyane Wade. And he was great in the opener with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Although the Heat were outscored by four points with him on the court -- that's why some people hate that plus/minus rating. Goran Dragic also was strong with 26 points and six rebounds as the Heat backcourt thoroughly outplayed Toronto's. The Heat improved to 5-1 this when Wade (who did bruise his knee in Game 1) and Dragic combined to score at least 50 points.

That Raptors backcourt was an issue in the Pacers' first-round series -- Toronto was only the second team in NBA history to win a playoff series while its top two scorers shot less than 33 percent -- and it continued in Game 1. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points but was 9-for-22. And I have no clue what is wrong with All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. He was just 3-for-13 for seven points with five fouls. His only make in seven 3-point tries was that miracle shot. Apparently Lowry is being bothered by some right elbow pain and had fluid drained from it in March. He shot only 33 percent from the floor in the final eight games of the regular season and is down to 30.6 percent in the playoffs. That's the worst postseason percentage by any NBA player in the past 50 years with a minimum of 100 attempts. The Raptors are getting swept if he doesn't shake it off.

Series line: Heat -180, Raptors +160

Key trends: The Heat are 4-1 against the spread in their past five after scoring at least 100 points in their previous game. The Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their past five at home. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Miami's past six on the road. The under is 7-2 in Toronto's past nine.

Early lean: No reason to change my mind now as Wade says his knee is no big deal. Heat and under again.
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA

Thursday's game

Miami-Toronto (M 1-0)
Toronto tied game dramatically at end of regulation, then lost in OT as Dragic had 26 points for Heat, which was -9 in 12:00 he was off floor. Miami lost four of last six games with Toronto, losing three of last four games in Canada, losing by 8ot-20-10 points. Home side won seven of last ten series games. Heat lost three of last five road games; five of their last six games stayed under total, as have seven of last nine Raptor tilts. Toronto won three of last four home games. Toronto was -16 in 12:00 without Valanciunas on floor, +10 when he was playingr.

Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 26-18, Over: 13-31
Second round: Favorites: 5-2, over: 4-3
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | MIAMI at TORONTO
Play Under - Home teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points average 3PT shooting team (33-36.5%) against an average 3PT defense (33-36.5%), in a game involving two good rebounding teams (+3 to +5.5 reb/game)
41-16 since 1997. ( 71.9% | 23.4 units )
1-1 this year. ( 50.0% | -0.1 units )

NBA | MIAMI at TORONTO
Play Against - Road teams vs. the money line (MIAMI) after beating the spread by 30 or more points total in their last three games against opponent after being beaten by the spread by 36 or more points total in their last five games
79-47 since 1997. ( 62.7% | 37.5 units )
2-3 this year. ( 40.0% | -0.9 units )

NBA | MIAMI at TORONTO
Play Against - Road underdogs of 2 to 5.5 points vs. the first half line (MIAMI) after beating the spread by 30 or more points total in their last five games, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a winning team
148-84 since 1997. ( 63.8% | 55.6 units )
5-2 this year. ( 71.4% | 2.8 units )
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Friday's Game 3: No. 2 Spurs at No. 3 Thunder (+2, 198.5)

Not sure I've ever seen an ending like Game 2 of this Western Conference semifinal, a 98-97 Thunder road win. I'm positive I've never seen a TV analyst go so bonkers -- and be right -- than when TNT's Chris Webber kept screaming "That's An Offensive Foul!" I think the way he said it at first confused both partner Marv Albert and the audience. But Webber meant that Oklahoma City's Dion Waiters gave the Spurs' Manu Ginobili a forearm to the chest as Waiters was trying to inbound the ball the final seconds. That pass would be eventually stolen and lead to a wild sequence at the Thunder basket as the Spurs were trying to win the game. I still have no clue why Ginobili didn't shoot the ball in the lane and instead kicked it out to Patty Mills for a 3-pointer. The NBA admitted after the game that the officials missed a whopping five calls in the final 13.5 seconds, including that offensive foul on Waiters. The NBA Referees' Association said it had never seen a player do what Waiters had before -- neither had I.

If there's one team that will put something like that behind it, it's the incredibly well-coached and calm Spurs. They obviously need to do a better job offensively on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Those two struggled in Game 1 but combined for 57 points in Game 2. Steven Adams was also huge with 12 points and 17 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the best player of this series and had 41 points to lead the Spurs in the loss. But Kawhi Leonard had 14, Tony Parker seven and Tim Duncan two. The Spurs shot 43 percent as a team after shooting 61 percent in the series opener. Yet they still nearly won. It was only San Antonio's second home loss all season. The Thunder had to have that one considering that teams that won at least 65 regular-season games who also went up 2-0 in a playoff series are 35-0 all-time in those series.

Series line: Spurs -290, Thunder +245

Key trends: San Antonio was 1-1 ATS on the road in the first round against Memphis and 1-1 O/U. OKC was 1-2 ATS in the first round at home vs. Dallas and 1-2 O/U.

Early lean: Thunder and over.
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks POI Hat tip Best of luck
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Miami Heat (48-34) at Toronto Raptors (56-26)

NBA: Thursday, May 5, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET

Line: Toronto -4.5

Over/Under: 188

The Miami Heat hit the road to take on the Toronto Raptors for Game Two of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night. On Tuesday night, the Heat topped the Raptors 102-96 in overtime. Miami led 90-87 when Kyle Lowry connected on a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. The Heat took control in overtime scoring the first eight points. Both teams made exactly 40-of-89 shots from the field. The difference in the game came on the glass where the Heat out-rebounded the Raptors 52-4


The Miami Heat picked up a huge game one victory in a hostile Raptors environment. The big reason the Heat won was the play of Goran Dragic. Dragic had a spectacular game, leading the Heat with 26 points and six rebounds. Dwyane Wade took over late in the game, scoring 24 points and grabbing six rebounds in the overtime win. The Heat were terrific from the outside going 8-of-11 from 3-point range. Miami experienced a scary moment when center Hassan Whiteside went down with a strained right knee in the first quarter. Whiteside returned a few minutes later and finished with nine points and 17 rebounds.


The Raptors had many opportunities to win the game but they just fell short. Lowry and DeRozan struggled for the most part and somehow Toronto was in position to win the game. Big man Jonas Valanciunas continued his playoff success with 24 points and 14 rebounds. In the postseason, he is averaging 14.9 points and 12.1 rebounds. DeRozan went for 22 points but he shot 9-of-22 from the field. The Raptors had 15 turnovers that led to 16 Heat points. Terrence Ross was solid off the bench going for a playoff career-high 19 points.

Trends:

The Miami Heat are:

4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
6-2 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
25-10-1 ATS in their last 36 Conference Semifinals games.

The Toronto Raptors are:

3-9 ATS in their last 12 games playing on 1 days rest.
1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

The pick: Miami +4.5

I will go on a limb and say that Lowry will have his best game of the postseason and he’s overdue. But Wade and Dragic should keep Miami in the contest, however, and they should once again cover the game.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 12:53 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks POI..Best of luck !
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Cavaliers (57-25) at Hawks (48-34)

Date: May 06, 2016 7:00 PM EDT

The Cleveland Cavaliers attempted the most 3-pointers in the Eastern Conference in the regular season and have simply upped that number to lead all teams in average attempts in the playoffs.

The Cavaliers turned in an astounding long-range effort their last time out and try to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their conference semifinal series Friday night on the road against the Atlanta Hawks.

Cleveland averaged 29.6 attempts from beyond the arc during the season and are hoisting up a league-best 35.7 during the playoffs. The strategy is working - the Cavaliers are the only unbeaten team left in the postseason and shooting an NBA-best 45.3 percent from long range.

Game 2 of this series featured an amazing display of marksmanship as Cleveland set a record with 25 3-pointers in Wednesday's 123-98 rout. J.R. Smith made seven and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each sank four.

'Tonight was a special night for all of us who played,' James said. 'This league has seen so many great teams, so many great players and great shooters and for us to set an all-time record is truly special.'

The Cavaliers surpassed the previous postseason high of 21 set by the Warriors in 2015 and the regular-season mark of 23, accomplished by two teams. Cleveland attempted 45 3-pointers - one shy of the playoff record set by Golden State last season.

'I don't think we searched out 3s until we heard on the Jumbotron that we tied the record,' said James, who scored 27 points. 'And then we felt like we came this far so we might as well try and break it.'

The Hawks are second in the postseason with 31.6 3-point attempts per game. They have made 22 in this series compared to 40 for the Cavaliers.

'When they put those shots down, I don't know if anyone can beat them, to be honest,' Atlanta's Kyle Korver said. 'We were hoping that they'd start missing at some point.'

Atlanta has lost 10 straight playoff games to Cleveland, and this series is looking alarmingly familiar to the Cavaliers' sweep in last year's conference finals.

Smith has made 11 of 20 attempts from long range, Irving has drained 7 of 10 and James is 6 for 10.

The Cavs led by as many as 18 while shooting 44.6 percent and making 15 of 31 3-pointers in a 104-93 victory in the series opener. Two days later, they shot 47.1 percent overall and led by as many as 41.

'That was overwhelming,' Hawks guard Kent Bazemore said. 'I thought they shot (really well) in Game 1, but that was amazing.'

The defeat was so thorough that seldom-used backup center Mike Muscala, who scored 10 points in 14 minutes, appeared at the postgame news conference with NBA teams required to send at least one player. The Hawks know they are in trouble if Muscala continues to see action in this series.

"We need to get better in a lot of areas, probably starting with our transition defense and all the way through, and execute better offensively to take some pressure off our defense," coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Paul Millsap has totaled a team-high 33 points and 24 rebounds in the series for Atlanta, with Dennis Schroder scoring 32. Jeff Teague has been ineffective, making 5 of 19 shots for 22 points and 10 assists.

The Hawks have a 68-56 advantage in points in the paint in this series. That has been a meaningless statistic given the Cavaliers have scored 54 more points via 3-pointers.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Spurs (67-15) at Thunder (55-27)

Date: May 06, 2016 9:30 PM EDT

The Oklahoma City Thunder survived a frenzied and controversial finish in Game 2 to seize home-court advantage from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs can regain it by earning a rare playoff win in Oklahoma City when the well-rested teams square off again Friday night.

The Thunder nearly blew a four-point lead in the final 15 seconds before holding on for a 98-97 victory Monday, and the NBA ruled the next day that there were five incorrect non-calls in that closing stretch. Oklahoma City's Dion Waiters was part of perhaps the most high-profile one, pushing Manu Ginobili away with his elbow on an inbounds play with 13.5 seconds to go.

The league also stated that Ginobili should have been charged with a delay-of-game violation for stepping on the sideline as he was defending Waiters. Potential fouls from the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills affected Oklahoma City's inbounds pass, which was stolen away from Kevin Durant by Danny Green.

LaMarcus Aldridge would have received two foul shots if referees had correctly called a foul on Serge Ibaka for grabbing his jersey when Aldridge was trying to rebound Mills' missed 3-pointer.

Aldridge was 10 of 10 from the line Monday and finished with 41 points in San Antonio's first loss in six games this postseason.

"Now it's our job to react," Spurs point guard Tony Parker said. "Everybody on this team understands that to win a championship, you have to win on the road. So that's our job now."

That could prove to be a challenging one as Oklahoma City has won eight of nine at home, the lone loss coming in Game 2 of its opening-round series against Dallas.

The Thunder have won in 11 of 13 at home against San Antonio, including playoffs, and are 5-1 there against the Spurs in two postseason series since relocating from Seattle.

"We have to come into the game like we're down 0-2," Waiters said. "We know that's how they're going to approach the game. We know they're going to come in and do what they do. We have to match their intensity.

"We know it's important to take care of home-court advantage. We have to come in with the mindset of coming in to win and compete, play hard as possible and play smart."

Oklahoma City averaged 111.5 points and 50.3 percent shooting in two home victories over San Antonio this season, but the Spurs' top players sat out a 111-92 defeat March 26.

Kawhi Leonard was dealing with a bruised right quad while Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Ginobili and Parker were given the night off.

Those five will try to get San Antonio off to a better start than in Monday's defeat, when Oklahoma City scored 17 of the first 21 points. San Antonio missed 12 of its first 13 shots and finished at 42.6 percent after connecting at 60.7 in a 124-92 rout in Game 1 on Saturday.

"We have got to be sharp. We have got to be better, have a better start," said Aldridge, who scored 38 points in the series opener. "We have to focus offensively and defensively, just be locked in and all the way around better."

Aldridge, making his first postseason visit to Oklahoma City, was held to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting in his only game there this season, a 112-106 defeat Oct. 28.

Leonard has totaled 58 points and shot 62.2 percent in his last two road games against the Thunder. His 32 points Oct. 28 tied his career high at the time.

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, who scored a team-best 29 on Monday, averaged 31 and 53.7 percent shooting in the two home games against San Antonio this season.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Friday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards


**Cleveland at Atlanta**

-- The East semifinals move to Philips Arena in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday night. Cleveland ventures south with a 2-0 series advantage. The Cavaliers have won nine in a row over the Hawks while going 8-1 ATS. They are 5-0 both SU and ATS in the five head-to-head meetings this season.

-- The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened Cleveland (63-25 straight up, 41-44-3 against the spread) as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 200 points. Those number hadn’t budged as of Friday afternoon. The Cavs are -145 on the money line, leaving


the Hawks at +125 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $125). Tyron Lue’s squad is a 1.5-point ‘chalk’ for first-half wagers.

-- Cleveland absolutely destroyed Atlanta in Wednesday’s Game 2 by a 123-98 count as a seven-point home favorite. The 221 combined points soared ‘over’ the 196-point total. The Cavs cashed tickets for both first quarter (-2.5, -115) and first-half wagers (-4.5) for a second straight time. With the game tied at 16-16, Lue’s club went on a 19-4 run to go ahead 35-20 heading into the second quarter. That’s when this game turned real ugly, as Cleveland exploded with a flurry of 3-pointers en route to a 74-38 advantage at halftime.

-- Cleveland drained 25 treys in Game 2 to set an all-time NBA record. Ten different players connected from deep led by J.R. Smith’s seven 3-balls. The Cavs shot at a 55.6 percent clip from long range. LeBron James scored 27 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out five assists and made three steals. Smith scored 23 points, while Kyrie Irving contributed 19 points and six assists compared to merely one turnover.

-- Atlanta (52-38 SU, 45-44-1 ATS) was led by Paul Millsap’s 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Teague had 14 points and six assists. Kris Humphries (12), Mike Muscala (10), Al Horford (10) and Thabo Sefolosha (10) were also in double figures. Atlanta head coach wisely rested all of his starters for the entire fourth quarter.

-- I’ve been perplexed with Budenholzer’s decision in these playoffs to give Muscala the minutes Humphries was getting late in the regular season. Humphries played an average of 14 minutes in the 21 games he played after being acquired by Atlanta, averaging 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He has only been given minutes twice in eight postseason games. Granted, they came at garbage time, but Humphries has continued to play well. In Game 2, he produced 12 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal in just 15 minutes of playing time. In his only appearance in the Boston series, Humphries finished with eight points, four rebounds and one assists in merely eight minutes of faction.

-- When a team is getting blasted like Atlanta was Wednesday during a seven-game series in the playoffs, you have to show some toughness and pride. Down by 36 at intermission, the game was over. But the mental warfare was still being waged. While the Cavs were gunning for the 3-point record and their bench was basically holding a dance party the entire night, the Hawks didn’t display any physicality whatsoever. You never want to hurt another player but, again, this is the playoffs. It’s completely inexcusable that no Atlanta player didn’t give any hard fouls in the lane in the second half.

-- When meeting with the media afterwards, several Atlanta players, including their two veteran leaders in Millsap and Horford, expressed unhappiness with the way the Cavs went about bombing triples in the final stanza in an effort to break the NBA record. Instead of complaining afterwards, a Hawks’ player should’ve just given a statement foul by knocking a Cavs’ 3-point shooter on his ass. Am I implying a quasi cheap shot? You damn right I am. This is the playoffs. A team has to have a backbone unless it’s resigned to going on vacation sooner rather than later.

Chris David had this take on the side for Game 3: “After watching Atlanta lose the first two games of this series, it’s certainly hard to make a case for them in Game 3. Catching points at home hasn’t happened often for the Hawks this season, only three times. They dropped double digit decisions to the Spurs and Warriors while knocking off the Thunder. I wouldn’t put the Cavaliers in the same class as San Antonio and Golden State but they are steps ahead of Oklahoma City, which makes this number seem fair.”

-- Cleveland owns a 26-17 SU record and a 18-22-3 ATS mark in its road assignments this year.

-- Atlanta has compiled a 30-14 SU record and a 24-20 ATS ledger at home this season. As David noted, the Hawks were home underdogs three times this year, going 1-2 both SU and ATS.

-- The ‘under’ is 50-40 overall for the Hawks, 25-19 in their home outings.

-- Totals have been an overall wash (44-44) for the Cavs this season. The ‘under’ is 23-20 in their road assignments.

-- VI’s David likes the total to stay ‘under’ in Game 3. He explained, I believe the oddsmakers jumped the gun on the total for Game 3 and sent an opener of 200 after we saw Game 2 close at 196. I believe the number will drop back down by tip off and I’m leaning to the ‘under’ based on what we’ve seen from Atlanta at home in the playoffs. Since head coach Mike Budenholzer took over, the Hawks have seen the ‘under’ go 12-2 at home in the postseason and that includes a 3-0 record this season. Only two teams have scored 100 points on Atlanta during this span and even though Cleveland won both of the postseason meetings last year at Philips Arena, it scored 97 and 94 points.”

-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.



**San Antonio at Oklahoma City**

-- Oklahoma City (60-29 SU, 41-47-1 ATS) bounced back from a blowout loss in Game 1 to capture a 98-97 win as a 7.5-point underdog Monday at AT&T Center. The Thunder hooked up money-line supporters with a stellar +320 payout (paid $320 on $100 wagers). Kevin Durant buried a floater with 33 seconds remaining to put his team up 96-91, but San Antonio answered when LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a 3-ball off an amazing pass from Tony Parker. With OKC leading by four after Russell Westbrook hit a pair of free throws, Aldridge gave Serge Ibaka a pump fake before taking a 3-pointer. Ibaka inexplicably fouled Aldridge in the act of shooting to provide three shots. Aldridge was true on all three from the charity stripe to slice the deficit to one. On the ensuing inbounds play from halfcourt after a timeout, Dion Waiters struggled to find an open man and just before passing the ball nailed Manu Ginobili with an elbow to clear space for a pass. Nevertheless, the entry to Durant was stolen by Danny Green, who eventually passed to Patty Mills, who missed a 3-pointer from the corner. With two seconds left, the teams battled for the rebound under the basket without a call being made. Alas, though it tried to hand San Antonio the game with a slew of knucklehead plays at crunch time, OKC emerged victorious to knot the series at 1-1.

-- Westbrook produced 29 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot in the Game 2 triumph. Durant finished with 28 points, seven boards and four assists, while Ibaka, Enes Kanter and Steven Adams scored 12 points apiece. Adams brought down a game-high 17 rebounds, while Kanter had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

-- In the losing effort, Aldridge was sensational again with a game-best 41 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of rejections. Kawhi Leonard and Ginobili were the only other Spurs in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Tim Duncan missed a bunch of high-percentage shots and had only two points on 1-of-8 shooting. Parker struggled too, finishing with seven points and six assists.

-- For Friday’s Game 3, the Westgate opened OKC as a 1.5-point favorite early on Tuesday morning. The total was 199 points on the send-out. By lunch, however, the Spurs had moved into the 1.5-point ‘chalk’ role. Then on Wednesday, the Spurs were favored by two and that remained the number as of early Thursday night. The total moved from 199 to 200 on Thursday. The Spurs are -130 on the money line, leaving the Thunder at +110 to win outright (risk $100 to win $110). San Antonio is a one-half point favorite for first-half bets.

-- San Antonio (72-16 SU, 48-40 ATS) smashed OKC in the series opener by winning a 124-92 decision as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The Spurs led by 33 at halftime and by 39 going into the final stanza. Aldridge was the catalyst with 38 points, while Leonard had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. Leonard made 10-of-13 shots, while Aldridge hit 18-of-23 attempts from the field. Danny Green chipped in 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from downtown.

-- In the Game 1 defeat, Ibaka paced the Thunder with a team-best 19 points, but he’s been getting destroyed at the other end by Aldridge for eight consecutive quarters. Westbrook (5-of-19, 14 points) and Durant (6-of-15, 16 points) had mediocre performances in the series opener.

-- OKC won both SU and ATS in a pair of regular-season meetings with San Antonio at home. On March 26, the Thunder cruised to a 111-92 win as a 12.5-point home favorite. Durant posted a double-double with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while Westbrook tallied 29 points, eight assists and six rebounds. We should obviously note that Duncan, Aldridge, Leonard and Parker did not play (rest).

-- On Oct. 28, OKC won a 112-106 decision over the Spurs as a four-point home ‘chalk.’ Westbrook led the way with 33 points and 10 assists, while Leonard countered with 32 points in defeat. San Antonio played all of its players in this encounter.

-- Gregg Popovich’s team owns a 29-14 SU record and a 22-21 ATS mark at home this year.

-- Billy Donovan’s team is 34-10 SU and 21-22-1 ATS at home this season.

-- VI’s David is bullish on the Spurs as short road faves in Game 3. David said, “I was very surprised when I saw the Thunder open as a 1 ½-point favorite for Game 3 but that line flipped in a hurry and it’s the right move in my opinion. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the Spurs went 12-0 off a loss in the regular season in meaningful games when the club put out a full squad. Another solid stat that could have you leaning to San Antonio is the record of the Thunder as underdogs. OKC did cash tickets in Game 2 of this series but it’s just 2-12 as an underdog this season. Also, it should be noted that road favorites have done very well in this year’s postseason, going 10-4 straight up and 8-6 against the spread.”

-- The ‘under’ is 46-43 overall for the Thunder, 27-17 in its home games.

-- The ‘over’ had hit in four consecutive games for the Thunder until Game 2 went ‘under’ the tally.

-- The ‘under’ is 49-37-2 overall for San Antonio, 25-17-1 in its road assignments.

-- The ‘under’ is on an 8-2 run in San Antonio’s last 10 games played at OKC.

-- ESPN will have the telecast at 9:35 p.m. Eastern.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA Odds and Picks: Friday and Saturday Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews

What had been rumored for a few days came true on Thursday: the Indiana Pacers declined to renew the contract of head coach Frank Vogel. On the surface, that seems a stupid move by the team, but I guess you have to trust boss Larry Bird. In six seasons as Pacers coach, Vogel had a 250-181 regular-season record and 31-30 playoff record, including losing in Game 7 to Toronto this season. Remember, Indiana was without superstar Paul George for basically all of the 2014-15 season. I'm not sure there's a better candidate on the market right now unless some big-name college coach is waiting in the wings. Maybe Bird calls former Warriors coach and Pacers player Mark Jackson. I'm quite sure that Bird isn't returning to coaching the Pacers himself. Bird told reporters that hiring Kevin McHale, his former teammate with the Celtics, was out of the question. Right now the Kings, Rockets and Knicks jobs are open, and I'd bet Vogel gets an interview with each of those teams.


Friday's Game 3: No. 1 Cavaliers at No. 4 Hawks (+3, 200)

TNT's Charles Barkley said the Hawks need to "take out a player" after Cleveland's 123-98 win on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in this series. Barkley's thinking is that the Atlanta players need to send a message to the Cavs in the wake of that embarrassment or this will be a sweep. Were this Barkley's era, I have no doubt that would happen. But that type of stuff gets you suspended these days, so I don't expect anything in Game 3. The Hawks should be ashamed of Wednesday's loss, which was over before it started. The Cavaliers hit an NBA record 25 3-pointers (regular season or playoff record) on 45 attempts. Cleveland hit 18 3s in the first half alone. There are six NBA teams that have never made 18 3-pointers in any game. The Hawks had just 11 first-half field goals.

J.R. Smith led the way with seven 3-pointers. Every Cavs starter but Tristan Thompson attempted at least four of them and made better than 50 percent. LeBron James led the Cavs with 27 points and had to play just 28 minutes in the blowout. No Cleveland player got more minutes than that. It was 35-20 after one quarter and Atlanta folded like a cheap tent. The Cavs have made more 3-pointers combined in the first two games than 2-pointers! Welcome to the modern-day NBA. About the only positive for Atlanta was that its starters also got plenty of rest since the team was down 74-38 at halftime. This team ranked second in defensive efficiency over the regular season but is allowing 113.5 points per game in this series.

Key trends: The Cavs are 8-3 against the spread in their past 11 Friday games. The Hawks are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 after allowing at least 100 points in their previous game. They are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after a loss. The "over/under" is 5-2 in the past seven meetings.

Early lean: The Cavs have won their past three games in Atlanta, two in last year's Eastern Conference finals. That won't change. Give the points, go over.


Saturday's Game 3: No. 1 Warriors at No. 5 Trail Blazers (+3, 211)

I'm a bit surprised there's a line up on this game, but clearly oddsmakers don't think Steph Curry is going to return from his knee injury on Saturday. And neither do I. It sounds like he will be listed as "doubtful." With a 2-0 lead, I wouldn't rush him back yet. Shoot, I might not play him at all this series. Curry has said he got a platelet-rich-plasma treatment in the knee, which is supposed to speed up healing.

To Portland's credit, it played well for three quarters of Game 2 in Oakland and led for about 43 minutes. The Blazers were ahead by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, but then the Warriors flipped a switch and outscored Portland 34-12 to win 110-99 (and barely cover). The Warriors shot 61.1 percent from the field in the quarter and pulled down 15 rebounds. Klay Thompson had another big game with 27 points (10 in fourth quarter) as did Draymond Green with 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots, the first player to reach all of those numbers in a playoff game since Tim Duncan in 2003. Green might go down as the best second-round pick in NBA history. Backup center Festus Ezeli hadn't played a minute in this series but was huge in the fourth quarter with eight points and six rebounds.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points and C.J. McCollum had 22, but both were quiet in the fourth. Portland managed six points in the final 5:21. The Blazers were 5-for-19 from the field in the quarter, missed all six of their 3-point attempts and turned it over five times.

Key trends: The Warriors were 1-1 ATS on the road in Round 1 and 0-2 O/U. The Blazers were 2-1 ATS at home in the last round and 1-2 O/U. Portland was 1-1 ATS at home during the season vs. the Warriors and 2-0 O/U.

Early lean: No team has beat Golden State twice this season. And Portland won't. This will be a sweep. Give the points, go over
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | SAN ANTONIO at OKLAHOMA CITY
Play Over - All teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 off a home loss, extremely well rested team - playing 3 or less games in 10 days
106-58 since 1997. ( 64.6% | 42.2 units )
13-9 this year. ( 59.1% | 3.1 units )

NBA | SAN ANTONIO at OKLAHOMA CITY
Play On - Road teams vs. the money line (SAN ANTONIO) explosive offensive team - scoring 103+ points/game on the season against opponent after a close win by 3 points or less
63-36 over the last 5 seasons. ( 63.6% | 32.3 units )
15-8 this year. ( 65.2% | 4.4 units )

NBA | SAN ANTONIO at OKLAHOMA CITY
Play Over - All teams where the first half total is greater than 100 off a upset loss as a favorite, extremely well rested team - playing 3 or less games in 10 days
81-40 since 1997. ( 66.9% | 37.0 units )
9-6 this year. ( 60.0% | 2.4 units )
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks POI…I'm on Cleveland tonight (Friday)
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:52 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

FRI: Spurs @ Thunder UNDER? NBA Playoff non-div road favs of > 2 pts with an OU line 200 > points (Spurs) have gone 4-17 O/U since 2006...


FRI: Cavs @ Hawks UNDER? NBA Playoff Game 3 home dogs off BB losses (Hawks) have gone 1-11-1 O/U when the OU line is 194 > pts..
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

FRI: Spurs @ Thunder on THREE days of rest...
> NBA Playoff NON-Game One home teams coming in a full THREE days of rest (THUNDER) have gone 11-1 ATS in last six years...
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25) at Atlanta Hawks (48-34)

NBA: Friday, May 6, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Line: Cleveland -3

Over/Under: 200

The Atlanta Hawks host the Cleveland Cavaliers for Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday night. On Wednesday night, the Cavaliers destroyed the Hawks at home, 123-98. Cleveland connected on an NBA record 25 three-pointers. J.R. Smith led the shooting display with 23 points on 7-of-13 from downtown. The Cavaliers put the game away early as they held an impressive 74-38 lead at the half. A win for the Hawks in Game Three would make things a bit interesting, while a win for Cleveland would put them in the driver’s seat with a 3-0 lead in this Eastern Conference semi-final clash.

The Cavaliers outplayed the Hawks in nearly every area on Wednesday night. They defended better, shot better, and committed less mistakes. LeBron James led Cleveland with 27 points and five assists, while Kyrie Irving chipped in with 19 points and six assists in the win. Cleveland shot 47 percent from the field and 56 percent from deep. 10 Cavaliers players connected on at least one three-point shot. Kevin Love added 11 points and 13 rebounds. Cleveland did a terrific job of taking care of the basketball, as they committed just 10 turnovers in the contest leading to only two Hawks points. The Cavaliers have now topped the Hawks in 10 straight postseason games.

When you give up 123 points in a game it’s almost a guarantee that you lost the game especially if you aren’t the Golden State Warriors. On Wednesday night, the Cavaliers shot the ball as if they were in a shoot-around. The Hawks shot well from deep themselves going 11-of-27 but it wasn’t enough. Defensively, they just didn’t do the job on Cleveland’s perimeter shooters. All-Star forward Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jeff Teague finished with 14 points and six assists. The Hawks committed 16 turnovers leading to 29 Cleveland points. Kris Humphries added 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

NBA Trends:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are:

5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Southeast.
4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
7-2 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 1 days rest.

The Atlanta Hawks are:

5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 Conference Semifinals games.
2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
2-8 ATS in their last 10 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.

The pick: Cleveland -3

The Cavaliers are simply too talented for the Hawks and it has shown in the first two games. Game Three may be close but I expect the Cavaliers to pull away late. James and Irving are too much for Atlanta.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

San Antonio Spurs 72-16 (48-40 ATS) at Oklahoma City Thunder 60-29 (41-47 ATS)

When and Where: Friday, April 6, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla. 9:30pm EDT (ESPN)

After a wild ending to Game 2 allowed the Thunder to steal one in San Antonio, both teams come into Game 3 in Oklahoma City off of four days rest. The loss was just the second for the Spurs on their home floor during the 2015-16 campaign. The 98-87 victory came after a wild inbound with seconds left, multiple uncalled infractions, and a mad scramble. With the win, Oklahoma City now heads back to Game 3 of the best-of-seven series with things all knotted up at a game apiece.

Entering the game with a 44-1 record on their home court, not to mention coming off a 32-point win in Game 1, seemed like pretty good reasons for the Spurs to be confident of a victory on Monday. Unfortunately for San Antonio, they may have underestimated the tenacity of a Thunder team that made the NBA Finals just under four seasons ago. The team fell behind by double-digits early but clawed their way back into it in the second half. LaMarcus Aldridge certainly did his part, scoring a game-high 41 points. Kawhi Leonard, however, had an off night, scoring just 14 points on 7-of-18 shooting. The series really is about experience vs. youth as the average age of the Spurs top seven scorers is 31, against 26 for the Thunder‘s top seven.

After being completely embarrassed in Game 1, Oklahoma City rebounded with a gritty road-win in Game 2 behind a combined 57 points from Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Westbrook scored 29 and added 10 assists to complete the double-double, while Durant dropped 28 points on the Spurs to hand San Antonio their first postseason defeat this year. Other Thunder players in double-figures consisted of Serge Ibaka, Enes Kanter, and Steve Adams, all of which scored 12 points. Adams also pulled down 17 boards in the victory. Westbrook’s two free throws with 18.3 seconds left gave Oklahoma City a four-point lead. Although they would not score again, they managed to hold onto the lead after the Spurs missed a 3-point shot with two seconds left.

Trends:

San Antonio is:

7-2 ATS in their last 8 Conference Semifinals games
5-2 ATS in their last 6 games overall
5-2 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference
4-2 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record

Pick: San Antonio -1.5

Look for the Spurs to bounce back on Friday night in Oklahoma City. While Billy Donovan has proven to be a great up-and-coming coach in his rookie campaign, Greg Popovich has the experience factor at this point in the postseason and four days to get his team ready for redemption in Game 3. Look or the crowd to give the Thunder a boost as they keep it close for a half, but San Antonio should pull away late.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks for posting POI
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Raptors (56-26) at Heat (48-34)

Date: May 07, 2016 5:00 PM EDT

(AP) - Game 2 became a big missed opportunity for the Miami Heat.

Going home could help ease their disappointment.

Either the Toronto Raptors or Miami will move within two wins of a trip to the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday, when the Heat host Game 3 of their knotted-up series.

The Heat had a fourth-quarter lead in Toronto on Thursday in Game 2, only to see it - and a chance for what would have been a 2-0 lead in the series as it heads back to Miami - disappear in an overtime loss. The Heat won the series opener in overtime after Kyle Lowry's half-court shot at the end of regulation.

'That's the playoffs,' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. 'Things can happen in one game and you'll look totally different another game. Nothing's guaranteed. Momentum doesn't carry over. We've already proven that we can have a great offensive outing and then the next night it might be different. That's the playoffs. That's what happens in competition.'

Miami has a 13-2 home record since the beginning of March with the only losses coming to Charlotte, including one in the first round.

Toronto got a home split to start the second round despite ongoing struggles from Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, an All-Star backcourt that has shot a combined 35 percent from the field and 45 percent from the foul line so far against the Heat. Even though the postseason issues for Toronto's backcourt have been well-chronicled, the Heat cannot expect Lowry and DeRozan to keep missing at this rate.

'I've gotten so many phone calls and texts from people that just care about me in general, fellow NBA players and friends of mine,' said Lowry, the first player in the last 60 years to have nine consecutive games of shooting under 40 percent with 10 or more shot attempts in each contest, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. 'They're supportive.'

The Heat have held Charlotte and Toronto under 100 points in seven consecutive games now, which would seem to be a strong sign given that Miami has topped 100 points in 18 of its last 19 home games.

Then again, neither the Heat nor the Raptors put on anything that would resemble an offensive showcase in Games 1 or 2. Miami committed 20 turnovers in Game 1 and had 21 in Game 2.

'If we don't turn the ball over 20-some times, we'll be fine,' said Heat guard Dwyane Wade, averaging 20.5 points and 4 turnovers in the series. 'Offense is fine. We can't keep giving up 20 turnovers a game. That limits us a lot.'

At some point, fatigue will likely start being a factor - if it isn't already. Saturday's game will be the fifth in nine days for the Raptors, the eighth in 15 days for the Heat. Lowry has played 89 minutes in the first two games of this series, DeRozan has played 84. For the Heat, Joe Johnson has played 83 and Luol Deng has logged 81.

The bigger issue for Miami is Toronto's biggest player.

Jonas Valanciunas is a 7-foot, 255-pound problem for the Heat. He's shot 68 percent in the two games, averaging 19.5 points and 13 rebounds - at times getting the best of Miami center Hassan Whiteside.

'He's been big,' DeRozan said. 'You can honestly see who's the dominant big out there when it comes to rebounding and scoring. JV's doing a lot for us. We need him to continue to keep doing it.'
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Warriors (73-9) at Trail Blazers (44-38)

Date: May 07, 2016 8:30 PM EDT

(AP) - First it was a chest cold, then it was a fourth-quarter dry spell. The start of Damian Lillard's playoff series against the Golden State Warriors has been rough.

And as Lillard goes, often his Trail Blazers teammates follow.

Portland is down 2-0 in its Western Conference semifinal series against the defending NBA champions. And it certainly won't get much easier when the series shifts north Saturday - even though presumptive league MVP Stephen Curry is unlikely to return from a knee injury.

Curry did work on the side while the Warriors practiced Thursday but couldn't yet do any of the scrimmaging that the medical staff and coaches want to see before he is cleared to return.

'It's tough to see him playing Saturday,' coach Steve Kerr said. 'He's gotten better and better each day.'

In fact, Kerr said 'probably not' when asked about Curry playing Saturday. Game 4 on Monday is still a conceivable option if Curry keeps making good progress.

That game won't mean as much if the Blazers don't win Game 3, but Lillard and his team have a history of stepping up after getting knocked down. In fact, that's been the theme of their whole season.

'I know the kind of guys I'm running with. Besides that, we've answered the call all season long. We've been in bad positions time and time again, and we've never shied away. We've never not answered the call. I don't see why this time it would be any different,' he said.

Lillard, who averaged 25.1 points and 6.8 assists during the regular season, scored 25 points in the Blazers' 110-99 loss in Game 2 on Tuesday night, including 17 in the third quarter. But the Warriors held him scoreless in the crucial final period when they came from behind to win, outscoring Portland 34-12. The Blazers only scored six points over the last 5:21.

With a day off Wednesday, Lillard let the loss digest.

'After the game I was pretty frustrated by not being able to finish that game. Yesterday I didn't even want to see a basketball,' he said. 'I wasn't even gonna watch the playoff game until I heard Cleveland was hitting a bunch of 3s. So I wanted to see for myself, but I didn't even want to have nothing to do with basketball after that game.'

In the series opener, Lillard started cold but eventually scored 30 points in a 118-106 loss. The Oakland native admitted later to battling a cold afterward. On Thursday, he said he was healthy.

A two-time All-Star, Lillard was snubbed this year. How did he respond? By dropping 51 points, including nine 3-pointers, in a 137-105 victory over - wait for it - the Warriors. Lillard shot over Curry at will in that Feb. 19 victory, one of just nine losses for Golden State in a record-setting 73-win season.

Knowing the Blazers are capable will be key Saturday night.

'We'll have bounce. We came back after 0-2 against the Clippers (in the opening round) and came with a lot of energy in Game 3. We know how important Game 3 is,' Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. 'Having energy, having bounce, at the Moda Center, with our crowd? That's the least of our concerns."

Lillard also struggled in the opening two games against the Clippers in the first round. Portland came back to win the next four to win the series, but the Clippers were hurt when top scorers Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were knocked out with injuries.

The Warriors also get credit for Lillard's struggles after making defensive adjustments on both Lillard and C.J. McCollum, particularly the play of Festus Ezeli.

'They are so explosive and they run really good stuff, I mean, it's hard to guard. You have to cover a lot of floor against Portland, and I thought between Festus and Draymond (Green), those guys did a great job of protecting the feed and moving and handling the pick-and-roll on top,' Kerr said.

Ezeli came up big in Game 2, scoring eight points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking a shot in nearly 13 minutes after not even getting into Game 1.

'I'm always ready. I'm always prepared,' Ezeli said. 'I brought energy to the team. Hopefully moving forward there's more situations where I'm needed. It takes a little while. The injury's behind me now. Every time I'm on the court, I'm just trying to get that momentum, I'm trying to get my rhythm back."

Ezeli played in only 46 regular-season games, having undergone arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 8 and not playing again until April 3.

On Tuesday, his contributions were clutch as the Warriors had to rally back from an early 17-point deficit and trailed 87-76 going into the fourth for their largest deficit all playoffs heading into the final 12 minutes.

Klay Thompson keyed the comeback with 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and hit at least five 3-pointers for a fourth consecutive game. He scored 37 in Game 1 as he continues to step up in Curry's absence.

So has Green, averaging 20 points, 13.5 rebounds, 9 assists and 3.5 blocks in the series.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Saturday's Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers

Eastern Conference – Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Raptors at Heat (-5 ½, 187) – 5:05 PM EST – ESPN

It’s not often that the first two games of an NBA playoff series go past regulation, but that was the case between Toronto and Miami. After the Heat overcame Kyle Lowry’s desperation half-court heave to win Game 1 in overtime, 102-96, the Raptors made another late rally in Game 2 to force overtime once again. But the second time around, Toronto wasn’t going to be denied and found a way to even the series at 1-1 heading down to Miami.

The Raptors erased a six-point deficit in the final four minutes of Game 2 with a 10-0 run, but a late Goran Dragic three-pointer sent things to an extra session once again tied at 86-86. ‘Under’ bettors from Game 1 were dealt a harsh blow as the Heat and Raptors concluded regulation all even at 90-90 on a 192 total thanks to the Lowry three-pointer at the buzzer. In Game 2, the total dropped to 189 and ‘under’ backers were ready to cash out but needed to sweat out overtime as Lowry missed a late free throw to keep the game ‘under’ as Toronto prevailed, 96-92.

Due to Lowry’s free throw that bounced in and out of the rim in the final seconds of overtime, Raptors’ backers who laid the five points were squeezed as Toronto failed to cover the number for the sixth straight game. In spite of the loss, the Heat shot 49% from the field, compared to Toronto knocking down 42% of its attempts from the floor. Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined to shoot 16-of-48 (33%) from the field, while DeRozan converted only 2-of-8 free throws in spite of shooting 85% from the charity stripe in the regular season.

Dragic carried over his strong performance from Game 7 of the opening round against Charlotte (25 points) to put up 26 points in the Game 1 victory over Toronto and 20 points in Thursday’s Game 2 defeat. Miami didn’t receive much help from its bench in Game 2, as the Heat reserves contributed just 13 points, while Joe Johnson scored 17 points in spite of not hitting a three-pointer in six attempts. Dwyane Wade pulled down six rebounds for the fourth straight game, while pouring in 17 points in the loss.

The Heat covered for the fourth consecutive game, while Erik Spoelstra’s squad improved to 6-3 ATS in the postseason. Miami cashed in three of four opportunities at American Airlines Arena in the first round against Charlotte, as all three victories came by double-digits. After eclipsing the ‘over’ in each of the first two victories against the Hornets, the Heat have gone ‘under’ the total in six of the past seven games with the lone ‘over’ coming in the Game 1 overtime triumph against Toronto.

Miami has seen plenty of success in the playoffs at the AAA, winning 32 of the past 40 postseason home games since 2012. The Raptors have lost six of their last eight road playoff games dating back to 2014, while busting the 100-point mark only once in this span, coming in the Game 3 blowout over the Pacers in the opening round.


Western Conference – Game 3 – Warriors lead 2-0
Warriors (-3 ½, 211 ½) at Blazers – 8:35 PM EST – ABC

Golden State keeps creating new challenges for itself in its title defense and has cleared those hurdles to take a 2-0 series advantage over Portland. Even though Stephen Curry missed his fourth game of the playoffs due to injury, the Warriors overcame a 17-point first half deficit to stun the Blazers in Game 2 with a 110-99 victory. Golden State covered as nine-point favorites thanks to a fourth quarter outburst, as Steve Kerr’s club outscored Portland, 34-12 in the final 12 minutes to improve to 44-2 at Oracle Arena this season.

The only way Portland can compete with Golden State is if the Blazers’ backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum perform well offensively. In Game 2, Lillard and McCollum combined to score 47 points on 17-of-39 shooting, including six three-pointers made by Lillard. Portland knocked down 13 treys, but shot 14-of-21 from the free throw line, which certainly irked Blazers’ backers to cash tickets in spite of their fourth quarter meltdown.

With Curry sidelined, his “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson stepped up once again following his 37-point effort in Game 1 to score 27 points in Game 2, while being responsible for hitting five of Golden State’s eight three-pointers. Last season’s NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala poured in 15 points off the bench, while Draymond Green put together another double-double with 17 points and 14 assists. Shaun Livingston may not compile Curry-like numbers, but the veteran shooting guard has scored at least 12 points in each of his four starts in the reigning MVP’s place, including 14 points in Tuesday’s victory.

Curry is unlikely to play in Game 3 due to the knee injury he suffered in the opening round against Houston. The Warriors split a pair of regular season meetings with the Blazers at the Moda Center, as Portland ripped Golden State on February 19 by a 137-105 count to cash as eight-point underdogs. The Blazers dropped 42 points in the first quarter, while Lillard torched Golden State for 51 points, including nine three-pointers.

Portland has thrived at home in the postseason by winning all three games in the opening round against the Clippers. The Blazers won each of the first home contests against Los Angeles in low-scoring affairs, while holding off the Clippers in the series clinching Game 6 as 9 ½-point favorites, 106-103. Terry Stotts’ squad has won seven of their last 10 home playoff games since 2014, including a 3-0 ATS record as a home ‘dog.

Golden State has won eight of its last 12 road playoff contests, but the Warriors own an 0-4 ATS record as a road favorite in Game 3’s. The only cover in this stretch in a Game 3 came in the Western Conference Finals against Houston last season, but as a 1 ½-point underdog in a 115-80 blowout of the Rockets. The Warriors have cashed the ‘under’ in eight of 12 away postseason games since the beginning of their championship run, while allowing 100 points or less 10 times.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

NBA Odds and Picks: Friday and Saturday Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews

What had been rumored for a few days came true on Thursday: the Indiana Pacers declined to renew the contract of head coach Frank Vogel. On the surface, that seems a stupid move by the team, but I guess you have to trust boss Larry Bird. In six seasons as Pacers coach, Vogel had a 250-181 regular-season record and 31-30 playoff record, including losing in Game 7 to Toronto this season. Remember, Indiana was without superstar Paul George for basically all of the 2014-15 season. I'm not sure there's a better candidate on the market right now unless some big-name college coach is waiting in the wings. Maybe Bird calls former Warriors coach and Pacers player Mark Jackson. I'm quite sure that Bird isn't returning to coaching the Pacers himself. Bird told reporters that hiring Kevin McHale, his former teammate with the Celtics, was out of the question. Right now the Kings, Rockets and Knicks jobs are open, and I'd bet Vogel gets an interview with each of those teams.

Saturday's Game 3: No. 1 Warriors at No. 5 Trail Blazers (+3, 211)

I'm a bit surprised there's a line up on this game, but clearly oddsmakers don't think Steph Curry is going to return from his knee injury on Saturday. And neither do I. It sounds like he will be listed as "doubtful." With a 2-0 lead, I wouldn't rush him back yet. Shoot, I might not play him at all this series. Curry has said he got a platelet-rich-plasma treatment in the knee, which is supposed to speed up healing.

To Portland's credit, it played well for three quarters of Game 2 in Oakland and led for about 43 minutes. The Blazers were ahead by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, but then the Warriors flipped a switch and outscored Portland 34-12 to win 110-99 (and barely cover). The Warriors shot 61.1 percent from the field in the quarter and pulled down 15 rebounds. Klay Thompson had another big game with 27 points (10 in fourth quarter) as did Draymond Green with 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots, the first player to reach all of those numbers in a playoff game since Tim Duncan in 2003. Green might go down as the best second-round pick in NBA history. Backup center Festus Ezeli hadn't played a minute in this series but was huge in the fourth quarter with eight points and six rebounds.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points and C.J. McCollum had 22, but both were quiet in the fourth. Portland managed six points in the final 5:21. The Blazers were 5-for-19 from the field in the quarter, missed all six of their 3-point attempts and turned it over five times.

Key trends: The Warriors were 1-1 ATS on the road in Round 1 and 0-2 O/U. The Blazers were 2-1 ATS at home in the last round and 1-2 O/U. Portland was 1-1 ATS at home during the season vs. the Warriors and 2-0 O/U.

Early lean: No team has beat Golden State twice this season. And Portland won't. This will be a sweep. Give the points, go over
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | GOLDEN STATE at PORTLAND
Play Against - Road favorites (GOLDEN STATE) after having covered 4 of their last 5 against the spread, a top-level team (>=75%) playing a team with a winning record
66-31 since 1997. ( 68.0% | 31.9 units )
2-2 this year. ( 50.0% | -0.2 units )

NBA | GOLDEN STATE at PORTLAND
Play Against - All teams with a money line of +135 to -155 (GOLDEN STATE) after having covered 4 or 5 of their last 6 against the spread, a top-level team (>= 75%) playing a marginal winning team (51% to 60%)
38-17 since 1997. ( 69.1% | 22.3 units )
0-1 this year. ( 0.0% | -1.0 units )

NBA | TORONTO at MIAMI
Play Under - Any team vs. the 1rst half line average 3PT shooting team (33-36.5%) against an average 3PT defense (33-36.5%), in a game involving two good rebounding teams (+3 to +5.5 reb/game) after 42+ games
132-74 since 1997. ( 64.1% | 50.6 units )
4-3 this year. ( 57.1% | 0.7 units )
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Toronto Raptors (56-26) at Miami Heat (48-34)

NBA: Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. ET

Line: Miami -5.5

Over/Under: 187

The Toronto Raptors travel to American Airlines Arena to take on the Miami Heat for game three on Saturday night. On Thursday night, the Raptors tied the series up at 1-1 when they beat the Heat 96-92 in overtime. Kyle Lowry hit a pair of big shots in the final minute of the fourth quarter to help Toronto win. The difference in the game was turnovers as the Raptors committed 10 turnovers and the Heat had 21. The winner of game three will take control of the series going into game four.

Kyle Lowry has had a nightmare all postseason but on Thursday night he delivered when Toronto needed him most. Lowry (18 points) made a few baskets for the Raptors to help send the game to overtime. The 30-year-old is averaging 13.6 points on 31 percent shooting in the postseason. DeMar DeRozan wound up with 20 points and eight rebounds. Toronto won despite shooting 42 percent from the field and allowing Miami to shoot 49 percent. DeMarre Carroll finished with 21 points and four steals. Jonas Valanciunas added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Miami Heat outplayed the Raptors in a few areas despite losing Thursday night. Miami shot 49 percent while holding Toronto to 42 percent. The Heat also out-rebounded the Raptors 45-39 in the contest. The main reason the Heat lost was the amount of turnovers they committed (21). All five Heat starters scored at least 12 points. Miami only got 13 points from their second unit. Goran Dragic led the Heat with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson scored 17 points apiece in the loss.

Trends:

The Toronto Raptors are:

2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.

The Miami Heat are:

4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
26-10-1 ATS in their last 37 Conference Semifinals games.
25-10 ATS in their last 35 vs. Eastern Conference.

The pick: Miami -5.5

The Raptors have struggled on the road at times in the postseason. I expect Lowry and DeRozan to keep Toronto in it through three quarters before Miami pulls away. Take Wade and the Heat to barely cover the spread.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Golden State Warriors 79-10 (51-36 ATS) at Portland Trail Blazers 48-42 (47-43 ATS)

When and Where: Saturday, May 7, Moda Center, Portland, Ore. 8:30pm EDT (ABC)

For three quarters, it looked like the Trail Blazers were going to be able to steal a game away from the Warriors in Oakland. That is until Portland saw their 11-point lead quickly evaporate in the last quarter. Golden State outscored the Blazers 34-12 in the final stanza to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, by winning 110-99. The Western Conference semifinals now head to the Rose City for a Game 3 that is pretty much a must-win scenario for the Trail Blazers. One thing working in their favor is that Warriors coach Steve Kerr has said publicly that reigning MVP Stephen Curry is unlikely to play in Saturday night’s contest.

With Curry wanting back as soon as possible, it is probably smart for Kerr to continue to keep him out . . . that is until they need him. So far against Portland, they have not. Golden State found themselves in a 13-point hole after just one quarter of action on Tuesday night, and entered the fourth quarter down 11. The Warriors answered with a 22-8 run, and outscored the Blazers by 22 points in the final frame. Klay Thompson scored 27 points and hit a 3-pointer with 5:33 left to give the team their first lead of the game. Draymond Green added a double-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds, plus seven assists and four rejections. Starting in place of Curry, Shaun Livingston scored 14 points, his fifth double-digit output of the postseason.

Damian Lillard tried to will his team to a victory in Game 2. The guard finished with 25 points, 17 of which came in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Unfortunately for Lillard that would be his final points of the game, as he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. C.J. McCollum added 22 points and Portland hit 13 shots from beyond the arc, but once again, it was not enough. “Obviously, Golden State is a different monster,” Lillard said after the game. If the Blazers want to stay in the series, they are going to need to bounce back Saturday. A 2-1 deficit seems a lot easier to overcome than falling down 3-0. If they are going to cut into the series lead, they will need the kind of energy that propelled them to 34 first-quarter points in Game 2, the most the Warriors have allowed in the playoffs this year.

Trends:

Golden State is:

5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games
5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall

Portland is:

2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog
1-6 ATS in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss
3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall

Pick: Golden State -3

The Trail Blazers have to be discouraged after letting Game 2 get away from them. While they will be happy that the series heads to Portland, the Warriors have shown that when it is crunch time, they can flip the switch. What is scary is that they are continuing to do this without their top player. Curry is expected to miss Saturday night’s game as well, but it should not matter. It is just too hard to pick against Golden State the way they are playing right now.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks POI Hat tip
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

he Cleveland Cavaliers are putting on a 3-point shooting show and are on the verge of sweeping the Atlanta Hawks for the second straight postseason. Cleveland made 21 3-pointers on Friday - four shy of its record-setting performance in Game 2 - and looks to finish off the host Hawks in Sunday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Backup forward Channing Frye knocked down seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in Friday's 121-108 victory, which marked the Cavaliers' 11th consecutive postseason win over the Hawks. Cleveland has made 61 3-pointers in the series -- the most through three games of any playoff series in NBA history. "We have some great shooters," Cleveland forward LeBron James told reporters. "The reason why we have great shooters is because that ball is popping - the ball has energy behind it, and guys feel confident when the ball gets to them that they can just let it go." Atlanta was outrebounded by a 55-28 margin in Game 3 but coach Mike Budenholzer downplayed the differential by saying "we outrebounded them in the first game and lost. I think what matters more is who scores the most."


ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Frye's performance was easily the best postseason showing of his career as his previous best effort was 20 points in 2010 when he played for the Phoenix Suns. He said teammate James Jones told him to shoot more because he's not a good passer and James has also been urging him to hoist more long-range shots. Three other Cavaliers topped 20 points - James had 24 points and 13 rebounds, point guard Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and power forward Kevin Love made five 3-pointers while contributing 21 points and 15 rebounds.

ABOUT THE HAWKS: Atlanta attempted to shake things up in Game 3 by inserting Thabo Sefolosha into the starting lineup and bringing shooting guard Kyle Korver off the bench. The move helped Korver as he made five 3-pointers while scoring 18 points - he averaged five points over the first two contests - while center Al Horford also had a breakout performance with 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting and expressed that more moves are necessary. "We're fighting for our playoff lives right now," Horford told reporters. "At this point, we have to do some changes, because what we've done hasn't worked."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cavaliers C Tristan Thompson had 13 rebounds in Game 3 and is averaging 11.3 in the series.

2. Atlanta PG Jeff Teague had 19 points and 14 assists in Game 3 after averaging 11 points (on 5-of-19 shooting) and five assists in the first two games.

3. Cleveland SG J.R. Smith is 13-of-24 from 3-point range in the series.

PREDICTION: Cavaliers 118, Hawks 107
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant could be playing his final home game as a member of the franchise when the Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs in Sunday's Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. Durant has been coy about his postseason free-agent intentions and an Oklahoma City loss on Sunday would present the Spurs with the opportunity to close out the series at home in Game 5.

Durant isn't interested in discussing whether or not he will return to the Thunder and also scoffed at questions pertaining to how the team will need to win at least one more time in San Antonio to win the series. "We play Sunday," Durant said at Friday's postgame press conference. "We play Sunday. We can't worry about going to San Antonio. We've got another game here." Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard was the Game 3 hero with 31 points and 11 rebounds in a 100-96 victory while power forward LaMarcus Aldridge continued his strong series with 24 points and eight rebounds. Aldridge is averaging 34.3 points and shooting 63.1 percent in the seri

ABOUT THE SPURS: Veteran point guard Tony Parker scored 19 points in Game 3 after averaging 4.5 over the first two games and also contributed eight rebounds and five assists in a strong all-around effort. "It was great," Parker told reporters. "I got a couple of more shots than usual. Just have to be aggressive. It's all about the team. Kawhi and LaMarcus, they were unbelievable. I just had to do my part." Leonard's 30-point outing was his second of the postseason and he is averaging 23.3 points in the Oklahoma City series.

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Standout point guard Russell Westbrook had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Game 3 but his five turnovers and porous 10-of-31 shooting stood out in a four-point loss. "Too many shots," Westbrook told reporters. "I've got to do a better job getting guys shots. I've got to get other guys involved, especially to beat this team. Even though I had some shots I usually make, I've got to read and find ways to get guys shots. I take the blame." Durant only took 18 shots (making 10) while scoring 26 points and red-hot power forward Serge Ibaka (15 points on five 3-pointers) could have received more attempts (eight overall, six from 3-point range).

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Durant and Westbrook have each scored 25 points in the same playoff game on 33 occasions - tied for second all-time with the former Los Angeles Lakers' duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

2. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams has reached double digits on the boards in all three games and is averaging 12.7 rebounds in the series.

3. San Antonio SG Danny Green is 10-for-19 from 3-point range in the series while averaging 11.7 points.

PREDICTION: Thunder 105, Spurs 104
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

TRENDS:

* Cavaliers are 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Hawks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss.
* Over is 4-1 in Cavaliers last five road games.
* Under is 5-0 in Hawks last five when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.


TRENDS:

* Spurs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Conference Semi finals games.
* Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a SU loss.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Under is 14-2 in Spurs last 16 road games versus a team with a winning home record.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

For those of you who have spent a three or four-night weekend in Las Vegas, you’re fully aware of the fact that there are only two options at your disposal for how to manage rest while attempting to survive all of the temptations that Sin City is notorious for throwing your way.

The first is to push the gas pedal to the floor, throw caution to the wind and try to survive on free drinks and pumped-in oxygen knowing full well that the following week will be a disaster. The alternative option is a game plan dependent upon moderation: Some drinking, some gambling, some partying, some sleep.

The latter of these options will release you back into the real world with little trouble. But I think we’d all agree that a four-day weekend in Las Vegas with a mentality focused on moderation is a failure in and of itself.

That’s why Disney World was created.

Outside of Las Vegas, sufficient rest is an integral component to a healthy and successful lifestyle. But how much rest is too much rest? Do some of us perform in a more efficient manner with six hours of sleep as opposed to eight? Is a 90-minute afternoon nap a good thing or a bad thing? Were I to possess any medical training whatsoever, perhaps I could answer those questions for you. Since I don’t, I’ll simply transition in blunt fashion to how different levels of rest affect NBA playoff teams.

One of the reasonable complaints you’ll hear from sports fans this time of year is the amount of time NBA teams get in between playoff games as opposed to how the NHL operates. For example, the Warriors and Trail Blazers played Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal on Tuesday before receiving three nights of rest prior to Saturday night’s Game 3. In contrast, the Sharks and Predators played a three-overtime Game 4 thriller in Nashville on Thursday night/Friday morning before dropping the Game 5 puck in San Jose approximately 44 hours later.

Which leads us into today’s big question: Is there a sports betting edge to be found in regards to the NBA playoffs based on how much rest takes place in between games?

A thorough examination of the last five NBA postseasons (which includes the 2016 edition) produced the following results:

ZERO DAYS OF REST

Home team SU: 0-2 (.000)
Home team ATS: 1-1 (.500)
Total: 2-0 to the OVER (1.000)

ONE DAY OF REST

Home team SU: 139-94 (.596)
Home team ATS: 106-123-4 (.462)
Total: 115-115-3 (.500)

TWO DAYS OF REST

Home team SU: 68-43 (.612)
Home team ATS: 56-53-2 (.513)
Total: 61-48 to the UNDER (.559)

THREE DAYS OF REST

Home team SU: 24-3 (.888)
Home team ATS: 20-7 (.740)
Total: 15-11-1 to the UNDER (.576)

FOUR DAYS OF REST

Home team SU: 3-1 (.750)
Home team ATS: 3-1 (.750)
Total: 2-2 (.500)

At first glance you’ll likely notice that there are few edges to be gained from a thorough evaluation of rest and how it affects NBA teams during the playoffs, although betting the under in games played on either two or three days of rest has produced small profits over the last five years.

But look closer at what happens in regards to home teams playing on three days of rest, which is something you will see Saturday night in Portland. In those situations over the last five years, home teams are a blazing 24-3 straight-up and 20-7 against the spread, which is good for a winning percentage of 74.0 percent. At the time of publication, Portland was a three-point underdog for Game 4 against Golden State.

Unlike a four-day weekend in Las Vegas, NBA postseason games played on three days of rest happen multiple times a year. However, just like in Las Vegas, the home team almost always wins.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Cavaliers (57-25) at Hawks (48-34)

Date: May 08, 2016 3:30 PM EDT

Though a potential NBA Finals rematch remains far off, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear well-equipped to counter the defending champions' perimeter prowess if it occurs.

A second consecutive prolific 3-point display has the hot-shooting Cavaliers in position to sweep the Atlanta Hawks for a second straight year entering Sunday's Game 4 of this one-sided Eastern Conference semifinal.

A change in venues didn't at all alter Cleveland's devastating marksmanship from beyond the arc. After hitting an NBA playoff-record 25 3-pointers in 45 attempts during a 123-98 home rout in Wednesday's Game 2, the Cavaliers went 21 of 39 en route to a 121-108 win and a 3-0 series lead Friday at Philips Arena.

After J.R. Smith, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving did most of the damage in Game 2, Channing Frye added another element to Cleveland's already formidable offense Friday. The veteran forward finished 7 of 9 from 3 in amassing a playoff career-high 27 points, complementing 24 each from James and Irving and Kevin Love's 21 and 15 rebounds.

The Cavaliers acquired Frye from Orlando at February's trade deadline to bolster their outside shooting, a glaring weakness when ousted by Golden State in last June's Finals. Cleveland shot just 29.3 percent from 3-point range for the six-game series while the Warriors averaged 11.8 3s in their wins.

'We brought him here to shoot,' James said. 'And shoot and shoot and shoot.'

It's safe to say the Cavaliers have addressed the problem. They're averaging 16.9 3s and a scorching 46.6 percent from distance during this postseason.

"When the ball is moving, we have some great shooters," James said. "When we have great shooting, the ball is popping and it has some energy behind it."

The Hawks simply haven't been able to keep up. They held a 101-93 lead with 9:14 remaining in Game 3, then missed six of their next seven shots as Frye and James led Cleveland on a game-changing 20-3 run.

"For the first three quarters, (we) felt really good about what we had going," center Al Horford said. "I think they just took it to another level in the fourth there. They really just got hot and for us, at the end of the day, if they're shooting it like that, they're going to be unstoppable."

Atlanta did have its best offensive performance of the series, shooting 16 of 34 on 3-pointers and 48.8 percent overall after being held to 39.9 percent in the first two games. Kyle Korver, held to 10 points while starting Games 1 and 2, had five 3s and provided 18 points off the bench.

However, the Hawks were outrebounded 55-28 as Cleveland owned an 18-9 advantage in second-chance points. Horford, who recorded 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting, had just one rebound and was a minus-26 on the court.

Still, a surprising inability to defend the perimeter remains Atlanta's biggest challenge. The Hawks held opponents to 33.8 percent on 3-pointers - sixth-best in the league - during the regular season and limited Boston to 30.7 percent in the opening round.

"There are times when in transition, particularly in the first two games and a little bit (Friday), (defense) was a major problem," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "I think that's when they are getting their most open looks."

It's an area the Hawks will need to improve quickly to avoid the same fate as last year, when the Cavaliers swept Atlanta in the East finals.

Cleveland has now won 11 straight playoff games against the Hawks, one shy of matching an NBA record for consecutive postseason victories over a single opponent. The Cavaliers tied the mark with their opening-round sweep of Detroit.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Preview: Spurs (67-15) at Thunder (55-27)

Date: May 08, 2016 8:00 PM EDT

Russell Westbrook is willing to find out if less means more to help the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The star guard is thinking shooting less and passing more as the Thunder try to knot their Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece Sunday in Oklahoma City.

While Westbrook had 31 points in Friday night's 100-96 defeat to the Spurs, he needed 31 field-goal attempts to get there. He admitted that contributed to the Thunder lacking an offensive rhythm for most of the contest despite erasing a 15-point halftime deficit.

'Too many shots,' said Westbrook, who ranked ninth in the NBA with 18.1 shots per game. 'I've got to do a better job getting guys shots. I've got to get other guys involved, especially to beat this team. Even though I had some shots I (usually) make, I've got to read and find ways to get guys shots. I take the blame.'

Twenty-five shots may be the cutoff where the Thunder sink or swim. Including the playoffs, the Thunder are 7-8 when Westbrook takes at least 24 shots, but that record changes to 1-5 when he puts up 27 or more. In those 15 games, he's also a better facilitator for his teammates on the lower end of that range of shots - Westbrook has a 2.33 assist-to-turnover ratio taking 24 or 25 shots but a 1.81 mark with 27 or more attempts.

'We know he's going to be very aggressive,' Spurs guard Tony Parker said. 'They go down, we know he's going to be extra aggressive, so we just make sure that everybody's paying attention to weak side defense. He's coming at us. That's who he is. He's got a lot of energy, and he's just going to keep attacking.'

Westbrook was 11 of 25 in Oklahoma City's Game 2 victory.

That doesn't mean the Spurs can slack off Kevin Durant, who has been effective when he's gotten the ball. He's gone 19 for 30 inside the arc over the last two games - 21 for 37 overall - and made all five of his shots in the paint Friday night.

The Spurs likely will keep attacking through LaMarcus Aldridge. He finished with 24 points on 8-of-21 shooting, but that was an improvement for the Thunder after Aldridge torched them for 79 points on 75 percent shooting in the first two games. While he was slightly out of sync, the forward also appears prepared to make adjustments to what made the Thunder relatively more successful.

"They pick their spots when they double," said Aldridge, whose eight baskets came from 13 feet out or further Friday. "When I tried to go quick to the baseline, they doubled early and I think that's their scheme - if I try to go baseline, then they're going to double team me. Other than that they played me straight up."

San Antonio was held to 20 points in the paint - the only other time it scored that few dating to the 2000-01 postseason came in 2004 against the Los Angeles Lakers - after racking up 90 in the first two games. But proving their versatility, the Spurs connected on 10 of 19 from 3-point range in the Game 3 victory as they continued to be ruthless from deep.

"They made tough 2s, they made 3s," Durant said. "We did a good job of making them shoot tough shots, but they made them."

The Spurs have connected at a 45.8 percent clip from beyond the arc in the postseason, well above their 37.5 percent mark for the season.

The series returns to San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Handicapping Sweeps


The NBA Playoffs often find many twists and turns when it comes to handicapping the postseason.

One of the more enlightening is when teams are winless in a series and are about to be swept.

How do they respond?

We put the question to our all-knowing, well-oiled database and the results are clearly definitive.

Take a look.

These are results for teams in Game Four of a playoff series, down 0-3.

All results are since 1991 and are SU (Straight Up), ATS (Against The Spread), and in Over/Under total sequence unless noted otherwise.

Home:
24-41 SU and 27-35-3 ATS
32-31-2 Over/Under
23-21-2 ATS as an underdog
3-14-1 ATS as a favorite

Away:
2-7 SU and ATS
10-1 Over/Under
2-7 ATS dog
0-0 ATS favorite

As you can see it’s out with the old and in with the new when it comes to teams staving off elimination in Game Four of a best of seven playoff series – especially when favored to win.

FYI: Underdog of more than eight points are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS while teams off an ATS win are 0-6 SU and 0-5-1 ATS.

Meanwhile, games with an Over / Under total of more than 210 points are 5-1 OVER.

There you have it.

Another edge to add to your handicapping arsenal this postseason.

The above results include outcomes from this year's postseason when the Cavaliers and Spurs swept the Pistons and Grizzlies respectively in the first round.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Eastern Conference – Game 4
Cleveland at Atlanta (ABC, 3:35 p.m. ET)
Cavaliers lead series 3-0

After setting an NBA record with 25 baskets from 3-point land in Game 2 last Wednesday, the Cavaliers followed up that effort with 21 bombs from downtown on Friday as they defeated the Hawks 121-108 in Game 3 as 2 ½-point road favorites.

The game was closer than the final score indicated and much tighter than the 25-point blowout in Game 2 but a loss is a loss and the Hawks are all too familiar with this result versus the Cavaliers. Including Friday’s setback, Atlanta has now dropped 10 straight to Cleveland and it’s a dreadful 1-9 against the spread in those losses.

The series isn’t over yet but with Cleveland opening as a 5 ½-point road favorite for Game 4 on Sunday, it appears the oddsmakers have lost hope in Atlanta.

Including Friday’s setback, the Hawks are now 1-3 both SU and ATS as home underdogs this season and all three losses were 10-plus points.

NBA expert Kevin Rogers believes it's hard to go against Cleveland when they're ready to advance, especially lately.

He explained, "The Cavaliers are 1-0 in close-out games in this year's postseason, plus they went 3-0 both SU and ATS in close-out games of the 2015 playoffs. Three of those victories occurred on the road -- Detroit in the first round this year plus victories against Boston and Chicago last year. Since 2011, LeBron James-led teams have compiled a 14-4 SU and 11-7 ATS mark when trying to clinch a series, but two of those losses came with his team (Heat) leading 3-0 on the road in the first round in 2011 and 2012."

It should also be noted that in his playoff career, LeBron has been in 10 series where his team has built a 3-0 series lead. Those teams finished off the sweep eight times while capturing victories in five games in the other two series.

Atlanta has dropped three consecutive games during the regular season four times. After the third loss, the Hawks rebounded with four emphatic wins and three came by double digits while the offense posted 112, 103, 127 and 103 points.

The team total on the Hawks for Game 4 is 99 ½ while the Cavaliers have a number of 104. After watching Cleveland put up 123 and 121 points, it’s hard not to go against them, especially when a guy like Channing Frye hits 7-of-9 from 3-point land for the Cavs and finishes with a career-high 27 points.

The Hawks got a great performance from an outsider in Game 1 when backup point guard Dennis Schroder erupted for 27 points in 29 minutes. Since then, he’s only played a combined 26 minutes while posting 13 points. I know Jeff Teague has played better in the last two games but Schroder has a different gear and will likely be the starter in Atlanta next season.

After two straight ‘over’ tickets in this series, oddsmakers opened Game 4’s total at 202 and it’s been bet up to 203. Despite Friday’s shootout, Atlanta has watched the ‘under’ go 12-3 in 15 home playoff games under Mike Budenholzer. And since LeBron rejoined the Cavs, the club has watched the ’under’ go 8-3-2 in road playoff games. Even though the trends could have you leaning low, the recent offensive fireworks can't be ignored.

The Cavaliers have played at 3:30 p.m. ET six times this season and have posted a 6-0 mark in these spots, which includes a 106-101 win over Detroit in Game 1 of their first round series. Atlanta has gone 2-2 in afternoon games.

For those believing the Hawks can become the first team in the NBA to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games, then check out 5Dimes.eu and grab a generous return of 65/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $6,500).

If necessary, Game 5 will take place on Tuesday from Quicken Loans Arena.


Western Conference – Game 4
San Antonio at Oklahoma City (TNT, 8:05 p.m. ET)
Spurs lead series 2-1

San Antonio opened this series with a wire-to-wire blowout in Game 1 but it’s been nothing but close calls in the last two games. The Spurs earned a 100-96 victory on Friday against Oklahoma City as 2 ½-point road favorites and the outcome came down to the final quarter.

The Thunder led 81-77 with seven minutes remaining in the fourth but were outscored 23-15 and San Antonio earned 11 of those points from the free throw line. OKC couldn’t buy a shot from 3-point land (0-for-5) during this span and turned the ball over three times while looking stagnant on offense.

Looking at the big picture, this best-of-seven matchup has become a game of 2 on 2 with Leonard and Aldridge clashing with Durant and Westbrook.

San Antonio won that battle Friday as Kawhi Leonard led the team with 31 points and 11 boards, which came after a 14-point effort in Game 2’s loss. LaMarcus Aldridge dropped in 24 points on Friday and he’s averaging 34.3 points per game in this series. Those numbers are much needed for San Antonio since it appears that “Father Time” has caught up with Tim Duncan (4 PPG, 4 RPG) a bit earlier than most expected.

All of the blame for OKC is usually pointed at Russell Westrbook, and that criticism is sometimes deserving. He finished with 31 points in Game 3 but he took 13 more shots than Kevin Durant (18) and that includes an ugly 3-of-10 performance from 3-point land. KD finished with 26 and only took six attempts in the fourth quarter.

Westbrook owned his play in Game 3. "Execution. That starts with me," Westbrook said. "I've got to do a better job of executing and putting guys in position to score the basketball, especially late. And especially against good defense. You've got to find ways to move the ball around and that starts with me, so I've got to do a better job leading into the next game."

Fast forward to Sunday’s key matchup and the Spurs have been installed as short road favorites (-1) over the Thunder and that’s a real tricky number to handicap.

Oklahoma City has gone 2-0 both SU and ATS off a loss in this year’s postseason and it should feel confident at home versus the Spurs. The Thunder have gone 11-3 against San Antonio in their last 14 meetings at Chesapeake Energy Arena and that includes a 5-2 record in the playoffs.

However, the Thunder are underdogs and their numbers when catching points haven’t been great at the betting counter. OKC is 2-12 as an underdog this season and that includes a 0-2 mark at home.

Even though this venue hasn’t been kind to San Antonio, Gregg Popovich’s team is 8-2 in its last 10 playoff games on the road which includes three victories in this year’s postseason.

The total for the first three games in this series closed at 200 and the ‘under’ has cashed in the last two games. Overall, the ‘under’ has cashed in six of the past eight meetings between the pair. Sunday’s number is hovering around 198 and that’s the lowest total that these teams have seen since a Christmas Day affair in 2014. That game went ‘over’ the number, easily.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has adjusted their series odds to San Antonio at minus-900 (Bet $100 to win $11) while the takeback on Oklahoma City has ballooned to plus-600 (Bet $100 to win $600.)

After this game, the series heads back to San Antonio on Tuesday for Game 5.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

StatFox Super Situations

NBA | SAN ANTONIO at OKLAHOMA CITY
Play Under - All teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points well rested team - playing 4 or less games in 10 days, on Sunday games
62-28 over the last 5 seasons. ( 68.9% | 31.2 units )
4-4 this year. ( 50.0% | -0.4 units )

NBA | SAN ANTONIO at OKLAHOMA CITY
Play On - Home teams with a money line of +135 to -155 (OKLAHOMA CITY) after going over the total by 48 or more points total in their last seven games, on Sunday games
27-9 over the last 5 seasons. ( 75.0% | 18.6 units )
1-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 1.4 units )

NBA | CLEVELAND at ATLANTA
Play Under - Road teams where the first half total is 100.5 to 105 after 3 consecutive covers as a favorite, with a winning record on the season
78-38 since 1997. ( 67.2% | 36.2 units )
6-2 this year. ( 75.0% | 3.8 units )
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25) at Atlanta Hawks (48-34)

NBA: Sunday, May 8, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Line: Cleveland -5

Over/Under: 202

The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Philips Arena to take on the Atlanta Hawks for Game Four on Sunday night. On Friday night the Cavaliers topped the Hawks 121-108 to take a 3-0 series lead. The key in the contest came on the glass where the Cavaliers out-rebounded 55-28. The Cavaliers went into the fourth quarter trailing by six points before getting outscored 36-17 in the fourth. A win for the Cavaliers would complete their second straight sweep and they will end Atlanta’s season for the second straight season.

If you asked any casual NBA fan that didn’t watch game three to take a guess at who led the Cavaliers in scoring in Game Three they would’ve been off. Sure they would’ve guessed Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kevin Love, and J.R. Smith. It was Channing Frye who led Cleveland with a playoff career-high 27 points on 7-of-9 from 3-point range. Cleveland made 21-of-39 three-pointers in the contest. James wound up with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. The Cavaliers have to do a better job of limiting their mistakes as they committed 20 turnovers leading to 27 Hawks points. Irving added 24 points while Love had 21 points and 15 rebounds.


The Atlanta Hawks held a 91-85 lead going into the fourth quarter before getting outplayed significantly. Not only did Atlanta go cold scoring 17 points they allowed 36. Al Horford was terrific going for 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting. The problem is that Horford only had one rebound in the contest his lowest total since January 16th. Jeff Teague wound up with 19 points and 14 assists. Atlanta connected on 16-of-34 from 3-point range, the problem is that they allowed 21 three-point makes. Kyle Korver went for 18 points on 5-of-9 from deep. Paul Millsap added 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Trends:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are:

4-0 ATS in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games.
6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Southeast.
5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.

The Atlanta Hawks are:

4-9-2 ATS in their last 15 Sunday games.
3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. Eastern Conference.
5-17-1 ATS in their last 23 Conference Semifinals games.

The pick: Cleveland -5

Whenever a team is down 3-0 they rarely have any confidence heading into Game Four. I expect Cleveland to miss more shots from deep but they should still be able to cover. James will lead Cleveland to a convincing road win to close the series against a team they normally dominate.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

San Antonio Spurs 73-16 (49-40 ATS) at Oklahoma City Thunder 60-30 (41-48)

When and Where: Sunday, May 8, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla. 8:00pm EDT (TNT)

After the upset road win in Game 2 by Oklahoma City, the Spurs went to the Sooner state and wrestled back home-court advantage away from the Thunder. Game 3 of the series was not a blowout by any means, but San Antonio still looked to be the victory for most of the night. With the 100-96 victory, the Spurs take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals will also be in Oklahoma City, and the contest is a bit of a must-win situation for the Thunder, who do not want to fall behind 3-1 with the next game coming in San Antonio.

The Spurs kept trying to run away with it, but Oklahoma City would not let them. The squad led 27-20 after a quarter of action, and extended the lead to 35-20 early in the second quarter, but the Thunder responded with a 9-2 run. A five-point lead at halftime, turned into a three-point lead after three quarters. Ultimately San Antonio would have settle for a four-point win, but they will take it, especially on the road against such a quality opponent. Kawhi Leonard led the way with a 31 point, 11 rebound night. Veteran guard Tony Parker pitched in 19 points and eight rebounds, while forward LaMarcus Aldridge eight rebounds of his own to go along with 24 points. After making 33 of 44 shots in the first two games of the series, Aldridge was just 8 of 21 on Friday night.

You hate to enter a game thinking of it as a dire situation, but the reality is, Oklahoma City needs a victory on Sunday night at home. If they do not get it, then they will face elimination in Game 5 in San Antonio where the Spurs have proven practically unbeatable this season. To make matters worse, two of the final three games will take place in the Lone Star State if necessary. The good news is that the Thunder have already stolen one from the Spurs in San Antonio, but they could make thins a whole lot easier on themselves by coming up with a home win in Game 4. On Friday night, the Thunder had just 14 assists o 34 baskets and their reserves were just 7-for-20 from the field. They did win the rebounding battle, 42-37, but it was still not enough. Russell Westbrook poured in 31 points, but struggled from the field, making only 10-of-31 shots.

Trends:

San Antonio is:

2-5 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest
3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win
4-11 ATS in their last 15 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. NBA Northwest

Oklahoma City is:

4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss
4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss
11-3 ATS in their last 14 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
29-10-2 ATS in their last 41 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600
10-4 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record

Pick: Oklahoma City +1

This is a must-win game for the Thunder, who do not want go back to San Antonio down 3-1 in the series. They have already proven they can beat the Spurs in the postseason, and should be able to do it on their home floor in Game 4. Look for a focused Oklahoma City squad to come out Sunday night in front of a raucous home crowd that propels them to a much-needed victory.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Thanks POI Hat tip These always help a little bit
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Kyle Lowry found his shooting stroke and the Toronto Raptors jumped back into the driver’s seat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Lowry scored 29 of his 33 points in the second half of Game 3 and will try to put together two solid games in a row when the Raptors visit the Miami Heat for Game 4 on Monday.

Lowry was shooting 30.8 percent through the first nine postseason games and went 2-of-14 from 3-point range in the first two games of the semifinals before breaking out with five 3-pointers in the second half on Saturday. “I’ve got a guy to my left, he’s probably my biggest supporter, and backbone to me right now,” Lowry told reporters in reference to All-Star teammate DeMar DeRozan. “And he said ‘Just keep going.’ He’s always going to ride or die with the decisions I make, and my teammates too. So just go out there and take the shots I’ve taken all year.” The Heat decided to ride or die with Dwyane Wade at the end of Game 3 and left Goran Dragic, who led the team in scoring in the first two games of the series, on the bench down the stretch. Wade matched Lowry with 29 of his game-high 38 points in the second half but Joe Johnson missed a tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds and the Raptors sealed the 95-91 win at the free-throw line.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Toronto hung around in Game 1 and earned an overtime win in Game 2 despite Lowry’s struggles in part because center Jonas Valanciunas controlled the middle with a pair of double-doubles. The 7-0 Lithuanian added 16 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes in Game 2 before leaving with a sprained ankle and will miss the remainder of the series. "We can't change schematically or philosophically what we do, so that's not going to change," Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters in reference to the loss of Valanciunas. "It doesn't matter who starts - that person is going to have to come in and fill the role of screening, rebounding, defending his position and adding to the team."

ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami center Hassan Whiteside lasted only six minutes into Game 3 before going down with a right knee injury, and his status is officially considered day-to-day after an MRI revealed a sprained MCL. The centers being out of the game opened things for the perimeter players but Dragic, whose 3-pointer in Game 2 forced overtime, was left on the bench after a late Heat timeout that resulted in Johnson’s missed 3-pointer. "It's not fun," Dragic said. "Of course, I would like to be (in the game), but that's a coaching decision, so I respect it. It is what it is."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Johnson is 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the series.

2. Toronto SF DeMarre Carroll went 11-fof-20 from the field in the first two games but slipped to 2-of-9 in Game 3

3. Miami committed 10 turnovers in Game 3 after totaling 41 miscues in the first two games of the series.

PREDICTION: Heat 104, Raptors 103

Toronto Under is 7-0 in Raptors last 7 road games.
Under is 5-0 in Raptors last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 5-0 in Raptors last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Miami Under is 4-0 in Heat last 4 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 7-1 in Heat last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
Under is 7-1 in Heat last 8 overall.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

The Portland Trail Blazers are back in the series after a win in Game 3 and look like a different team in front of their home fans. The Trail Blazers will try to even the Western Conference semifinals at two wins apiece when they host the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in Game 4 on Monday.

The availability of reigning MVP Stephen Curry has been looming over the entire series, and the star guard is inching closer to a return. Curry (knee sprain) played 2-on-2 before Game 3 but was on the bench in street clothes when the game started and had to watch Portland guard Damian Lillard bury deep 3-pointers and spark his team to victory while rallying his teammates and the home fans. “I didn’t think it was on me to go win the game or anything, but I did think it was my job to come out and be aggressive from the start,” Lillard told reporters. “A lot of times, the team will go as I go. That goes for more than just scoring the ball, that means how focused I am, how accountable I’m holding myself.” The Trail Blazers are undefeated at home during the playoffs and went 17-of-30 from 3-point range in the 120-108 victory.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State grabbed a 28-22 lead after the first quarter of Game 3 but fell off the pace when Draymond Green and Klay Thompson went to the bench to begin the second and never managed to get back over the hump. “We didn’t keep that same edge,” Thompson told reporters. “We got away from our game plan at times, especially on the offensive end, too many one- or two-pass shots. We’ve got to wear these guys down with five more passes and make those guys work out there playing big minutes, but we’ll make the adjustment Monday.” Curry practiced on Saturday and Sunday and is making progress but is considered "doubtful" for Monday, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS: Portland got a huge boost on Saturday from small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who went 8-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to give Lillard some much-needed scoring support. “He had 23 points on nine shots, he shot it with confidence,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters of Aminu. “I thought defensively, he was solid. You’ve got to be able to score against Golden State. If you don’t score, they’re such an explosive offensive team that you’ve got to be able to score and I liked his aggressiveness a couple times on drives to the basket and obviously going 4 for 5 from three.” Aminu is averaging 17.3 points on 59.4 percent shooting in the series.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Green scored a career-high 37 points and made a career-best eight 3-pointers in Game 3.

2. Portland C Mason Plumlee had a string of seven straight games with double-digit rebounds come to an end with seven boards in Game 3.

3. Golden State F Andre Iguodala managed one point on 0-of-5 shooting in 30 minutes on Saturday.

PREDICTION: Warriors 116, Trail Blazers 109


Golden State Under is 4-0 in Warriors last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 8-1 in Warriors last 9 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 7-1 in Warriors last 8 road games.
Portland Over is 4-0 in Trail Blazers last 4 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Trail Blazers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Trail Blazers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Head to Head Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Portland.
Over is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
Warriors are 20-7 ATS in the last 27 meetings.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: nba playoff stuff!

Raptors lead series 2-1

Kyle Lowry found his shooting stroke and the Toronto Raptors jumped back into the driver’s seat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Lowry scored 29 of his 33 points in the second half of Game 3 and will try to put together two solid games in a row when the Raptors visit the Miami Heat for Game 4 on Monday.

Lowry was shooting 30.8 percent through the first nine postseason games and went 2-of-14 from 3-point range in the first two games of the semifinals before breaking out with five 3-pointers in the second half on Saturday. “I’ve got a guy to my left, he’s probably my biggest supporter, and backbone to me right now,” Lowry told reporters in reference to All-Star teammate DeMar DeRozan. “And he said ‘Just keep going.’ He’s always going to ride or die with the decisions I make, and my teammates too. So just go out there and take the shots I’ve taken all year.” The Heat decided to ride or die with Dwyane Wade at the end of Game 3 and left Goran Dragic, who led the team in scoring in the first two games of the series, on the bench down the stretch. Wade matched Lowry with 29 of his game-high 38 points in the second half but Joe Johnson missed a tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds and the Raptors sealed the 95-91 win at the free-throw line.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: The Heat opened as 5.5-point favorites and the line hasn't move as of Sunday afternoon. The total opened at 188.5 and was bet up slightly to 189.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (62-30, 48-44 ATS, 44-47-1 O/U): Toronto hung around in Game 1 and earned an overtime win in Game 2 despite Lowry’s struggles in part because center Jonas Valanciunas controlled the middle with a pair of double-doubles. The 7-0 Lithuanian added 16 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes in Game 2 before leaving with a sprained ankle and is considered day-to-day. “We may not look pretty, but we have gritty guys, they’re going to play hard and compete, that’s something that we have as an identity,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters. “It may not be the way everybody wants it to be done, but you’ve got a bunch of competitors in there. Now our thing is, we’ve been all year long, next man up, whoever that may be and (Saturday) it was Kyle and he got the lid off the bucket.”

ABOUT THE HEAT (53-39, 49-42-1 ATS, 37-54-1 O/U): Miami center Hassan Whiteside lasted only six minutes into Game 3 before going down with a right knee injury, and his status for the rest of the series is up in the air. The centers being out of the game opened things for the perimeter players but Dragic, whose 3-pointer in Game 2 forced overtime, was left on the bench after a late Heat timeout that resulted in Johnson’s missed 3-pointer. "It's not fun," Dragic said. "Of course, I would like to be (in the game), but that's a coaching decision, so I respect it. It is what it is."

TRENDS:

* Raptors are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
* Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
* Under is 7-0 in Raptors last 7 road games.
* Under is 7-1 in Heat last 8 overall.
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