Submitted by Jim Hurley’s Network on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 12:39 PM
IT'S A MONSTER NBA WEEKEND - WARRIORS, CAVS SHOOT TO STAY PERFECT IN THE POST-SEASON ...
PLUS PRE-MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BASEBALL NEWS/NOTES
Just had to love that TNT animation of a cartoon figure of Cleveland's LeBron James spanking the Boston Celtics' famed leprechaun ... it was some levity following Friday's 130-86 Cavs' beat down of the C's and now the $64,000 question is should they even bother to play Games 3 and 4 of this Eastern Conference Finals?
Heck, you might be wondering the same out West where - heading into Saturday night - the Golden State Warriors were (just like Cleveland) looking to stay perfect in this post-season.
Yes, yes. We knew all along that the Cavs and Warriors were gonna stage an NBA Finals Part III all along but did anyone anticipate such utter dominance in these playoff series?
Cleveland's 10-0 SU (straight-up) in the post-season thus far while heading into Sunday night's Game 3 clash with the Celtics in the Rock-N-Roll City; Golden State is 10-0 SU in its post-season while going into Saturday's Game 3 tilt in San Antonio.
Oy-vay! Somewhere in hoops heaven, the late/great Moses Malone is sayin' "Four, Four, Four, Four" ... right?
On Saturday, it's ...WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
GOLDEN STATE at SAN ANTONIO - Warriors lead series 2-0; Game 3 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
The late word on injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard was that he's "questionable" for this gotta-have-the-win tilt in the Alamo City; truth is Leonard's ankle isn't getting a whole lot better as San Ant head coach Gregg Popovich told media mounds that all his star player could do was "shoot" at Friday's practice.
Heck, even if Leonard could be a stand-still shooter and go for 30-or-so points here you still wonder if that would be enough to topple a Golden State squad that still isn't getting much offensive pop from Klay Thompson but plenty of big hoops from the dazzling duo of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant - the Warriors do need to step it up on the boards after San Ant pulled down 22 offensive rebs in Game 2.
Note all home teams are in CAPS below:
|5-14||GOLDEN ST||- 10||San Antonio||113-111|
|5-16||GOLDEN ST||- 13.5||San Antonio||136-100|
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have all the NBA Playoff and Major-League Baseball winners - get 'em all here online or else call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
On Sunday, it's ...EASTERN CONFERENCE:
BOSTON at CLEVELAND - Cavaliers lead series 2-0; Game 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Wasn't there a once-upon-a-time movie called "Celtic Pride"?
Gee, sure didn't see any of that in Friday's Game 2 roll-over-and-play-dead loss that marked Boston's worst-ever home playoff defeat and whether it was Cleveland's King James (30 points and 7 assists in Game 2) or G Kyrie Irving (23 points) or F Kevin Love (21 points and 12 rebs) the proverbial bottom line was the Cavs slam-dunked the Celtics with a vengeance and a real message - we're gonna get rid of you guys as quickly as possible and move on to bigger/better things.
Obviously, the Celtics may be further challenged here by the latest health crisis: G Isaiah Thomas removed himself early on from that Game 2 debacle with an injured hip and he sure didn't look very mobile but - what the hay - nobody else on the Celtics was playing any defense either as Cleveland shot 48-of-85 from the floor for an electric 56.5 percent.
Expect the sales of brooms to be up, up and away in the Cleveland area these next few days ... now let's see if there's anything the Celtics can do to prevent this sweeperoo.
Note all home teams are in CAPS below:
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Hey, we're still a week out from Memorial Day Weekend and yet the argument could be made that the National League East and the American League West has all but been won already!
The Washington Nationals (NL East, of course) and Houston Astros (see AL West) entered this pre-Memorial Day Weekend boasting 8- and 7.5-game leads, respectively, and you might be so inclined to believe that both the Nat and 'Stro lineups are gonna heat up moreso with the weather heating up.
Folks, right now there's nothing in the NL East that's gonna make Dusty Baker's Nationals quake in their cleats - what, you think this mess of a New York Mets' team is gonna make a run, forget it! - while note the Texas Rangers entered this weekend riding an MLB-best 9-game winning streak and yet the Rangers are still more than a half-dozen games back of the Astros.
Ask us right now and we say the Nats will win the NL East by a minimum of 15 games and probably will threaten the 100-win mark - keep in mind Washington had an "over" wins total of 91.5 while heading into this '17 campaign - while our crystal ball says Houston will win the AL West by 8-to-10 games and also be real close to 100 wins (the Astros had a projected wins total of 91 heading in).
Fun stats for both the Nats and Astros:
Washington RF Bryce Harper entered the weekend series in Atlanta with a sizzling .479 on-base percentage; Houston closer Ken Giles has posted 11 saves in 12 opportunities but note he's walked 7 batters in just 16.1 innings so far.
NOTE: More NBA Playoff coverage and MLB, NFL Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.