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  1. #1726
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    WEDNESDAY, MAY 17

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    CLE at BOS 08:30 PM

    BOS +4.0

    U 219.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #1727
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    Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1
    May 17, 2017


    BOSTON (AP) LeBron James had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 117-104 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    Kevin Love added a playoff career-high 32 points and had 12 rebounds to help the Cavaliers improve to 9-0 in the first three rounds of the playoffs. They opened 10-0 last season en route to their first NBA title.

    James scored at will in the first half and the Cavs built a 26-point lead. Love opened up the floor for James, burying outside jumpers and forcing Boston to leave defenders one-on-one with James.

    Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points each. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points. Boston missed 11 of its first 14 shots.

    Game 2 is Friday night in Boston.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #1728
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    Kerr to travel with Warriors for Game 3
    May 17, 2017


    The Golden State Warriors are two wins away from a third straight Western Conference title and ailing head coach Steve Kerr will make the trip to San Antonio for Game 3.

    Kerr is on an indefinite leave of absence while he deals with pain and other issues from his 2015 back surgery. General manager Bob Myers said Wednesday that Kerr will make the trip on Thursday.

    "He will be on the trip," Myers said on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.

    It is unclear where Kerr will be or what he will be doing. His activity level has increased since he started experiencing problems.

    Assistant Mike Brown will continue to serve as head coach. Brown was on the sidelines as Golden State rolled to a 136-100 rout over the Spurs on Tuesday.

    Kerr sat in the locker room for the first two games and also addressed his team during halftime in both games. He began attending practices Saturday and it was the first time he had been on the floor with the team since April 21.

    ******************************

    Cuban: Mavs tanked after elimination
    May 17, 2017


    Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his team went into tank mode after being eliminated from NBA postseason contention this season.

    The outspoken owner indicated Wednesday morning on "The Dan Patrick Show" that it wasn't the players' fault, but he orchestrated moves to lower the team's chances of success.

    "Once we were eliminated from the playoffs, we did everything possible to lose games," Cuban said on the radio show.

    "Once a guy walks on the court, they're going to play their heart out. Particularly the young guys because they have something to prove."

    The Mavericks finished 33-49 in 2016-17 after starting an injury-marred season 3-15.

    Dallas was officially eliminated from the playoffs on April 1 and the Mavs then went 2-5 in the last seven games.

    In spite of Cuban's strategy, Dallas was not able to overcome its 6.1 percent odds of landing a top-three pick in Tuesday night's lottery and will select ninth overall in next month's draft.

    "It works well enough, I guess," Cuban told Patrick of the lottery. "It obviously creates some misincentives toward the end of the season for teams that aren't going to make the playoffs. Until you come up with a better solution, that's what we've got."

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been critical of any form of tanking.

    "We are gonna have to react and change incentives a bit. I do think it's frustrating," Silver said last month on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" radio show. "I was talking to my European soccer men a few minutes ago. I'm not saying we are gonna do it in the NBA, but they have the best incentives of all because teams actually get relegated from the league. Think of the consequences there, they lose their television money, they lose their big ticket revenue by not playing the top teams. So teams have every incentive not to fall to the bottom."

    ***********************

    Lonzo Ball to work out for Lakers only
    May 17, 2017


    There is only one team for UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball. At least that's the take from his opinionated father, LaVar Ball, who said his son will only agree to a private workout for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    "That's all we working out for is the Lakers," LaVar Ball said in an exclusive interview with Lakers Nation. "Just the Lakers. There's nobody else that we need to work out for."

    LaVar Ball, who recently launched a $500-per-pair sneaker brand after major apparel lines such as Nike and Adidas passed on a deal with the Ball Family, told Lakers Nation there is "no doubt in my mind" that the Lakers will draft Lonzo Ball.

    Lonzo Ball spent one season at UCLA before declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft.

    The Lakers landed the No. 2 overall pick in next month's draft and will have the selection for the third consecutive year.

    New team president Magic Johnson evaluated Lonzo Ball multiple times in person and said during the NCAA Tournament that his father's outspoken nature was not a negative. It is not clear whether the Lakers are planning to meet with LaVar and Lonzo Ball, but Johnson indicated the meeting would happen.

    Johnson did a brief interview with TMZ Sports after Tuesday's lottery and wasn't tipping his hand.

    "I don't know who we're gonna take right now. ... We're excited though. You know we're excited," Johnson said.

    Still, LaVar Ball's confidence was unbowed.

    "There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever," LaVar told Lakers Nation in an exclusive interview. "I'm going to say it again, in English, speak it into existence. In Spanish, speak it into existence. In Africa, speak that mother (expletive) into existence."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #1729
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    May's Best Bets:
    Date W-L-T % Units Record

    05/17/2017.......... 0-2-0........... 0.00%........ -11.00
    05/16/2017.......... 1-1-0......... 50.00%.......... -0.50
    05/12/2017.......... 1-1-0......... 50.00%.......... -0.50
    05/11/2017.......... 2-0-0........ 100.00%....... +10.00
    05/10/2017...........2-0-0.........100.00%.........+10.00
    05/09/2017.......... 1-1-0......... 50.00%........... -0.50
    05/08/2017.......... 0-2-0 ..........0.00%.......... -11.00
    05/07/2017.......... 2-4-0......... 33.33%.......... -12.00
    05/06/2017.......... 0-2-0........... 0.00%.......... -11.00
    05/05/2017.......... 2-2-0......... 50.00%........... -1.00
    05/04/2017.......... 0-4-0........... 0.00%.......... -22.00
    05/03/2017.......... 3-1-0.......... 75.00%......... + 9.50
    05/02/2017.......... 4-0-0......... 100.00%........ +20.00
    05/01/2017.......... 3-1-0.......... 75.00%........... +9.50

    Totals................21 - 21...........50.00%%..........- 9.50

    Best Bets Daily:
    Sides / Totals

    05/17/2017............0 - 1..........00.00%...........-1.10..............0 - 1.......00.00...-1.10
    05/16/2017............0 - 1..........00.00%...........- 1.10.............1 - 0......100.00 +1.00
    05/12/2017............1 - 0............100%...........+1.00.............0 - 1........0,00...-1.00
    05/11/2017............1 - 0............100%...........+1.00.............1 - 0......100.00..+1.00
    05/10/2017............1 - 0............100%...........+1.00.............1 - 0......100.00..+1.00
    05/09/2017............0 - 1 .........00.00%............-1.10.............1 - 0......100.00....+1.00
    05/08/2017............0 - 1..........00.00%............-1.10.............0 - 1 ......0.00%....-1.10
    05/07/2017............2 - 1..........66.66%............+0.90............0 - 3.......0.00%...-3.30
    5/06/2017.............0 - 1...........00.00%............-1.10.............0 - 1.......0.00%...-1.10
    5/05/2017.............1 - 1...........50.00%............-0.10.............1 - 1......50.00%...-0.10
    05/04/2017............0 - 2...........00.00%............-2.20.............0 - 2......0.00%.....- 2.20
    05/03/2017............1 - 1...........50.00%...........- 0.10.............2 - 0......100%....+ 2.00
    05/02/2017............2 - 0..........100.00%.........+ 2.00.............2 - 0.......100%....+ 2.00
    05/01/2017............2 - 0..........100.00 %........+ 2.00.............1 - 1.......50%.......- 0.10

    Totals...................11 - 10............52.38%.........+0.00..............10 - 11.......47.61%...-2.00
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #1730
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    LeBron, Cavs have Celtics reeeling
    May 18, 2017


    BOSTON (AP) LeBron James did pretty much whatever he wanted to against the Celtics in the Cavaliers' dominating win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    He was efficient, scoring from the outside, rolling downhill and getting to the rim at will, passing to teammates and locking down Boston's scorers when called upon.

    With home-court advantage gone, the Celtics face a virtual must-win Game 2 on Friday night. Boston must find a way to slow down James while not getting eaten up by a supporting cast, which other than Kevin Love's big game , didn't produce at its usual high rate.

    Oh, and there's extra motivation for Cleveland - now 9-0 in these playoffs - which could earn another long rest if it makes quick work of the Celtics.

    But here's the rub for top-seeded Boston on Friday night: James said he wasn't even playing at peak condition after Cleveland's 10-day layoff between rounds.

    ''I felt OK last night,'' James said Thursday. ''I knew I wouldn't feel that great after the game, and I don't feel that great right now. ... But I should be much better (Friday).''

    Better than 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists? Good luck with that Boston.

    Still, James said the Cavs are mentally preparing for the Celtics' best shot in Game 2.

    ''There's going to be some adjustments made from both sides. We have to be ready for it,'' he said. ''Obviously, we don't know the exact adjustments, but we know they're going to make adjustments. That's what good teams do, and we have to be ready for whatever they bring to the table.''

    Most of the damage in Game 1 was done by only two players - James and Love. Kyrie Irving had just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, and usually dependable sharpshooters J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver were a combined 2 for 8 as coach Tyronn Lue used a different second unit to start the second quarter with James resting.

    A loss Friday would also leave Boston with the daunting proposition of having to win four out of five games to take the series - a nearly impossible task against a team that since James returned to Cleveland in 2014-15 has a 33-4 playoff record against Eastern Conference opponents.

    Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his optimism remains high, and that he was ''really encouraged'' by his team's performance over the final 18 minutes of the game. It included getting within 11 points with less than 2 minutes to play.

    But if the Celtics are going to pick themselves up, it must start with All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who scored 17 points, but had to work for every single one just to finish 7 for 19 from the field. He also had a team-high four turnovers - another red flag for Boston's prospects.

    For his part, Thomas said there doesn't need to be a lot of soul searching.

    ''There's nothing to figure out,'' Thomas said. ''They play their traditional way. I mean, they definitely showed a few bodies that was aggressive on me, but that's nothing I haven't seen this whole year. I mean, I've seen it all...I've just got to be more aggressive, make plays, make shots, and go from there.''

    A bigger problem for Boston is that James scored on all seven defenders that the Celtics threw at him in Game 1 - Crowder, Thomas, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Gerald Green and Kelly Olynyk.

    Conversely, James has shown an ability to completely stifle Thomas on the defensive end. On the lone one-on-one possession in which Thomas was guarded by James - in the second quarter - the Boston guard was called for a travelling violation after James cut off his driving lane, contested his awkward layup attempt and forced Thomas to catch his own shot, resulting in a turnover.

    And even if Thomas can rediscover his shot, he will need more scoring help against the Cavs' Big Three. It's a luxury not lost on Lue.

    ''Any given night, it could be Kyrie, could be LeBron, could be Kevin, Korver, J.R. (Smith), Tristan (Thompson),'' Lue said. ''So we just take what the defense gives us, and that's how we try to play. And whatever guys are doing, we try to ride the hot hand and everyone else will fill in.''

    So, with James maybe 100 percent, and more options waiting in the wings, the Celtics indeed face an uphill challenge.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #1731
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    David West's play off bench key for GSW
    May 18, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) David West checks in to start the second quarter and the rest of the Warriors know to have their hands up and ready to catch his passes, because they will come fast and right on target. He has a knack for finding the open man before the man is even open, somehow seeing a play develop before it has even developed.

    For all the years West yearned to be part of the great San Antonio Spurs franchise, he finally got that chance last season. Now, he is facing them from the other side with Golden State and doing his part to chase a championship. His old coach, Gregg Popovich, believes West has found a perfect fit in the Bay Area alongside Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the others, as hard as it is for Pop to see him in another uniform.

    ''We've got a lot of experience and guys who have seen just about every sort of mix you can find in the NBA, so that's been the joy, also just sort of figuring out what works for us defensively with all the different moving parts we have,'' said West, a 14-year veteran who returns to San Antonio for Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals with his new team up 2-0.

    ''Personally, I expected us to take a little bit longer. That was a surprise just how well we all sort of meshed.''

    The 36-year-old West is a big reason why. He has experienced a special two-year stretch deep into his successful NBA career, finding an important role with the Warriors' second unit that strives to take the pressure off while maintaining the high level of the starters.

    ''Ah, man, one of the best teammates I've ever had,'' forward Draymond Green said after Thursday's practice. ''He's a special person. I didn't know he could pass as well as he does, he's as smart as he is, on and off the court, just a brilliant person, someone who always has your back. Anybody on the team, he's riding for you. It's just been great having D-West here. Hopefully we can keep him for as much longer as he wants to play.''

    West always wanted to play for Popovich in San Antonio, then once he'd done so decided to move on to Golden State. It seemed like the next intriguing move to be part of the Warriors' roster of superstars.

    Still, the Spurs miss him.

    ''He was wonderful. He's a class act. He's a contemplative guy. He thinks about things,'' Popovich said. ''Beyond basketball, it's fun to be around him to talk about social situations. We'd share that sort of thing. As a player, he's in the perfect system. They've got the big guys out on the court and passing and everybody's running splits and back door and slipping, and he's a good passer. If you get off, he can shoot the shot. So I'm happy for him in that situation. We hated to lose him.''

    West has been a steady contributor, initially surprising many teammates with just how spot-on a passer he is and how he immediately makes things happen while providing much-needed boosts during important stretches.

    ''David is such a good passer. He loves to get to those elbows,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''He has good cutters around him. We have a lot of guys on the floor who really like to cut and move without the ball so David has fit in beautifully with the way we like to play anyway. He's really added a dimension to our game this year to be able to play through him when he's out on the floor.''

    West dished out a season-best seven assists in Game 1 against Utah the last round, his most in a playoff game since getting eight three years ago with Indiana. He notched six assists in just 15 minutes last month against Minnesota, five during a short second-quarter stretch.

    Golden State is fortunate to use three distinct centers: starter Zaza Pachulia, dunk master JaVale McGee and West.

    Durant left Oklahoma City to join the Warriors last July 4 then West signed only five days later.

    ''I got the freedom just to pick a place to go play ball and leaving there wasn't tough,'' West said. ''Obviously, it was just something I wanted to do. It was sort of one of those things on my bucket list. I always wanted to play for the Spurs, see what the inside of the organization felt like. Really last year was the only opportunity I had in my career to do it. Took a shot at it. I felt like coming up here to play, experience this environment. It has all worked out.''

    Notes: F Andre Iguodala, who missed Game 2 with soreness in his left knee, practiced in full Thursday while Pachulia participated in some of practice then worked out on a stationary bike as he nurses a bruised right heel that sidelined him for the second half of Game 2. Both were listed as questionable to play Saturday.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  7. #1732
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    Spurs' Leonard questionable for Game 3
    May 18, 2017


    San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard did not participate in Thursday's practice, and his status for Saturday's Game 3 in San Antonio against the Golden State Warriors remains in question because of an ankle injury.

    The Spurs provided no information regarding Leonard's status.

    Although Leonard, who was named to the All-NBA first team on Thursday, did not take part in the practice, several players told ESPN.com that he was at the club's practice facility.

    "He was sitting nicely on the sidelines. It's going well, as well as it can go," center Pau Gasol said. "We have a good training staff. He's working with them, and trying to get that ankle right. That's what I know."

    Leonard reinjured his left ankle Sunday during the second half of San Antonio's 113-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

    "The thing that worries me is that he did it again, the exact same thing," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after Game 1. "So, one would logically think maybe it will take longer, but I'm hoping that's not true and we'll have him for Game 3."

    The Spurs led by 23 points when Leonard was forced to leave Game 1 in the third quarter. Since then, the Spurs have been outscored 194-133 by the Warriors, who hold a 2-0 series lead.

    Leonard was injured when he landed on the foot of Warriors' center Zaza Pachulia.

    Pachulia is listed as day-to-day with a bruised right heel suffered in Game 2.

    ************************

    Spurs need Aldridge to take charge
    May 18, 2017


    In the summer of 2015, the San Antonio Spurs went shopping like they never have before.

    Long content to spend big money on their core while using free agency to sprinkle role players around them, the Spurs lavished a max contract on LaMarcus Aldridge, a four-time All-Star from Portland who would join Kawhi Leonard as one of the focal points of the franchise after Tim Duncan retired.

    Now with Leonard ailing and San Antonio facing mighty Golden State in the Western Conference finals, the Spurs need Aldridge to take control.

    ''LaMarcus has to score for us,'' coach Gregg Popovich said after the 136-100 wipeout in Game 2 that put the Warriors up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. ''He can't be timid. He turned down shots in the first quarter. He can't do it. You've got to score.''

    Aldridge had just eight points on 4-for-11 shooting in Game 2 as he was swarmed all night by a Warriors defense that was free to double- and sometimes triple-team him since it didn't have to worry about Leonard, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Aldridge was 0 for 2 with two turnovers in the first quarter and knows he has to be more aggressive when the two teams meet for Game 3 in San Antonio on Saturday.

    ''The ball has to move, but I have to take a shot if it's there,'' Aldridge said Thursday. ''I was trying to make the extra pass, but I have to score, too. If I'm open, I have to shoot.''

    The Spurs signed him to a four-year, $80 million deal to take some of the scoring burden off of aging stars Duncan, who retired last summer, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

    ''Timmy's last couple years, he couldn't score nearly like he used to and Manu's getting older and Tony's getting older,'' Popovich told the AP in March. ''Luckily we had Kawhi who was going through the roof. But there's got to be an inside threat, somebody else that can score for you. So LaMarcus was a huge opportunity for us to try to convince him to come.''

    Aldridge was everything they needed in the clincher over Houston in the conference semifinals. While Leonard sat out with the ankle injury, Aldridge scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Spurs to a stunning 39-point victory.

    Aldridge brought it in Game 1 against the Warriors as well, scoring 28 points in a two-point defeat. Leonard went down just over halfway through that game and his status for Game 3 remains undecided. But Golden State blitzed Aldridge from all angles in Game 2 and the Spurs are scrambling to find their identity with both Leonard and Parker out with injuries.

    Since Leonard's ankle rolled on Zaza Pachulia's foot while taking a jump shot in Game 1, Aldridge has turned the ball over eight times and made only seven shots against Golden State's swarming defense.

    ''They've been throwing different things at us, throwing different things at LaMarcus,'' guard Danny Green said. ''Obviously, thinking a little bit. It's a lot easier to do that when we don't have everybody that we need to make plays so they can trap a little more on those guys.

    ''But offensively, I think it's a combination of them playing good defense and also us not finding our chemistry, not finding our rhythm, and not knowing where to be with two of our main playmakers not there.''

    The key, Aldridge said, was finding a balance between being assertive and looking to score while also making sure that he keeps his teammates involved and hits them with passes when they're open on the perimeter.

    ''It was definitely something different than I've seen here, but you've got to play through it,'' Aldridge said of the increased attention from the Warriors. ''I either take my shot or try to find the open guy. I think the last game it definitely worked in their advantage with me getting passive, but next game I won't do that.''

    For San Antonio, there is no time to lose. Popovich made that abundantly clear in his pointed remarks after Game 2 when he lamented the team's lack of intensity and belief.

    It all starts with a team's star players, and Aldridge is the biggest one still standing for the ailing Spurs.

    ''I think he's got a major responsibility in Game 3 to come out and get something done, whether it's for himself or teammates,'' Popovich said. ''They come after him, to find somebody, turn it over, take good shots. He's got to do it. No doubt about it.''

    ******************************
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Blowouts the rule in the NBA playoffs
    May 18, 2017


    Think back to the very first game of this NBA postseason: A one-point nail-biter of a win for Cleveland over Indiana, that outcome not getting decided until the final second.

    Hardly any have gone like that since.

    Dramatic playoff finishes have been very rare this year. Through 68 games, the average victory margin is 12.9 points. More than half of the 23 games in May have seen one team lead by 25 points or more. A postseason record has already been tied with four 4-0 sweeps - all by Golden State and Cleveland, who are a combined 19-0 and en route to what seems like an inevitable third consecutive NBA Finals matchup.

    If you like blowouts, you love these NBA playoffs.

    ''Double-digit leads and wins are pretty surprising,'' Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. ''But it's just part of it right now.''

    They seem less surprising every day.

    Only eight playoff games this season have been decided by three points or less, while 40 have been decided by 10 points or more - a rate significantly higher than the NBA average over the last 30 years. San Antonio's blowout-filled postseason has included winning a game by 39 and losing another by 36, both without star forward Kawhi Leonard. And the lone ''upset'' in a series so far was fifth-seeded Utah topping the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in their first-round Western Conference matchup.

    Calling that an upset is a real stretch, since both teams finished the regular season 51-31.

    ''So many blowouts, it has surprised me a little bit,'' Miami center Willie Reed said. ''Playoffs, the crowd intensifies, the games get a lot tougher. I can see why the home teams are blowing out teams, jumping on them early. But it's happening a lot. Seeing 10-point games doesn't surprise me, but seeing the 20-point, 30-point games, that does.''

    It's certainly odd. But nobody seems to be complaining.

    Every ticket for every game has been sold so far; it was the fourth straight year all first-round games were sold out and the third straight year where all conference semifinal tickets were purchased. Combined viewership for playoff games across the league's network partners - ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV - is up 3 percent over last year's pace, averaging 3.7 million.

    Turner is enjoying its best numbers for playoffs since 2014, the network saying it's up 6 percent over last year with gains across all key demographics. Blowouts might have people leaving arenas before the final horn, but the at-home audience - the main reason why the league has a new $24 billion television deal that is changing the financial landscape of the game - remains strong.

    ''What you look at, it doesn't matter how many points you win by,'' Golden State acting coach Mike Brown said.

    The top teams are predictably driving the storylines, as are stars like Cleveland's LeBron James, Golden State's Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, Houston's James Harden and San Antonio's Leonard. When those stars are matched up, like Westbrook vs. Harden were in the first round and Harden vs. Leonard were in the second round, the interest level rose accordingly.

    Although injuries derailed some teams - Chicago seemed poised to knock off Boston before Rajon Rondo got hurt, the Clippers finished the first round without Blake Griffin, San Antonio was already without Tony Parker and saw its best hope in the West finals damaged when Leonard re-rolled his ankle, and Toronto's slim chance against Cleveland got slimmer when Kyle Lowry turned his ankle - the interest level isn't ailing.

    The top two teams in both conferences are the ones still playing now.

    Whether they're close games or routs, the matchups now are the ones many probably have been waiting for.

    ''This is the best time of the year,'' Golden State forward Draymond Green said. ''Every game matters. Every single possession matters. I love to play that way. When you're just out there playing and it doesn't mean anything, and whether you're good or bad, it does not matter. It's kind of boring to me. But every possession matters in the playoffs, every little detail. I love playing that way.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  9. #1734
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    Friday’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals Betting Preview: Cavaliers at Celtics

    Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics (+4.5, 219.5)

    Cavaliers lead series 1-0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers displayed little signs of rust in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals and look to take a 2-0 lead when they visit the Boston Celtics on Friday. Cleveland had been off since May 7 before annihilating Boston for the first three quarters of Wednesday's Game 1 and settling for a 117-104 victory.

    The second-seeded Cavaliers are 9-0 in the postseason and are the recipients of a slew of superb efforts by forward LeBron James, who had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Game 1. "He's playing at a high level, and that's the reason why we're riding him so much," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. "When LeBron's playing at that level other guys just have to be solid and we have a good chance to win." The third-seeded Celtics are looking to avoid digging a huge hole at home but point guard Isaiah Thomas declared his squad isn't intimidated. "They lace up their shoes just like us," Thomas told reporters on Thursday. "They just happened to play better than us in Game 1. We just gotta protect home court in Game 2 and get the win."

    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT

    LINE HISTORY: The Celtics opened as 5-point home dogs for this critical Game 2 and that line was quickly bet up to 6 on Thursday morning before fading back to 5 on Thursday night. The total hit the betting board at 220 and came down slight to 219.5.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY: "Each team was in a completely different scheduling situation in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Cavaliers had nine days off after an easy four-game sweep of the Raptors, while the Celtics had a just one day of rest after a grueling seven-game series versus the Wizards. The Cavaliers were not rusty, or maybe the Celtics were just flat, as Cleveland stormed out to a 22-point lead at halftime. Now Boston must try to regroup on their home court where they are 35-14 SU this season." - Steve Merril.

    INJURY REPORT:

    Cavaliers - C Edy Tavares (Out For Season, hand), PG Kay Felder (Out Indefinitely, leg).

    Celtics - No injuries to report.

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (60-31 SU, 42-45-4 ATS, 54-36-1 O/U):
    LeBron James is averaging 34.8 points, nine rebounds and 7.1 assists in the postseason and has scored 30 or more points in each of the last seven games. He received help in Game 1 from power forward Kevin Love (career playoff-high 32 points to go with 12 rebounds) and center Tristan Thompson, who tallied a career playoff-best 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting. "I felt like everybody was moving the ball, passing the ball well," Love, who drained six 3-pointers, told reporters. "On both ends of the floor our game plan was pretty tight."

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (61-35 SU, 49-45-2 ATS, 47-44-4 O/U): Isaiah Thomas tallied just 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting in the opener, marking the fourth time in the past six games he has scored fewer than 20 points. As the contest spiraled away from Boston, rookie forward Jaylen Brown made a case for more time in the series by producing 10 points (on 5-of-7 shooting) and nine rebounds in 20 minutes and going toe-to-toe with James after more experienced Celtics were exposed. "It was just playing basketball," Brown told reporters. "He laces his shoes up like I lace mine up. Coming out, playing basketball and trying to make it tough for him. I feel that's my job."

    TRENDS:

    * Cavaliers are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.

    * Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

    * Over is 4-1 in Cavaliers last 5 games following a straight up win.

    * Over is 7-1 in Celtics last 8 games following a straight up loss.

    * Road team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

    CONSENSUS: 64 percent of users are siding with the road favorite Cleveland Cavaliers and 55 percent of are on the Over.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  10. #1735
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    NBA
    Dunkel

    Friday, May 19



    Cleveland @ Boston

    Game 501-502
    May 19, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Cleveland
    131.306
    Boston
    121.704
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Cleveland
    by 9 1/2
    216
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Cleveland
    by 5 1/2
    220
    Dunkel Pick:
    Cleveland
    (-5 1/2); Under





    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Friday, May 19


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CLEVELAND (60 - 31) at BOSTON (61 - 35) - 5/19/2017, 8:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    BOSTON is 44-29 ATS (+12.1 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons.
    CLEVELAND is 23-11 ATS (+10.9 Units) on Friday nights over the last 2 seasons.
    CLEVELAND is 72-49 ATS (+18.1 Units) in all playoff games since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CLEVELAND is 8-7 against the spread versus BOSTON over the last 3 seasons
    CLEVELAND is 12-4 straight up against BOSTON over the last 3 seasons
    10 of 16 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Friday, May 19


    Cleveland is 9-0 in playoffs (6-2-1 vs spread), 5-0 on road (4-0-1 vs spread); over is 7-2 in their last playoff games. Cavaliers were up 22 at the half here in Game 1 Monday; they’re 8-2 in last ten games vs Boston, winning five of last six games in this building. Four of last six series games went over the total. Boston lost four of last six games overall but won five of last six home games. Over is 6-2 in Celtics’ last eight games. Boston is playing for third time in five nights; Cleveland had 11 days off before starting this series.

    Conference finals:
    San Antonio-Golden State
    GState 113-111, -10, O209.5
    GState 136-100, -13, O211

    Cleveland-Boston
    Clev 117-104, -4.5, O219




    NBA

    Friday, May 19


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    8:30 PM
    CLEVELAND vs. BOSTON
    Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Boston
    Cleveland is 4-0-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing Cleveland
    Boston is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Cleveland
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  11. #1736
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    Friday's NBA Essentials
    May 19, 2017


    Eastern Conference Finals
    No. 2 Cleveland at No. 1 Boston (TNT, 8:30 p.m. ET)


    In Game 1, the Cavs obliterated all hope that we might get a competitive conference finals in an NBA playoffs that has been light on games not decided until the final few possessions.

    Fortunately for Boston, a series can't end on a first-round knockout.

    It can't end in a Game 2 either, though the Celtics might want to cop to a TKO and skip the trip to Cleveland if they can't get off the mat and even the Eastern Conference finals up at home, keeping the Cavs from tying the 1988-89 Lakers with 13 consecutive playoff wins.

    LeBron James dominated the opener with a masterful performance in leading the Cavs to a wire-to-wire 117-104 win that was nowhere near as close as the final score indicates. Realistically, Game 1 was over before halftime, following a 12-0 run that turned a 36-25 deficit into an insurmountable 23-point gap. The Cavs led by as many as 28 points and never allowed Boston within single-digits after the 53-second mark of the opening quarter.

    The crowd at TD Garden was never allowed to truly become a factor as James largely toyed with defensive schemes he apparently saw coming in his extensive preparations.

    What can change for Game 2? For our purposes, let's start with the spread. After opening as a 3.5-point home underdog, Boston closed at 4-to-4.5 dogs in Game 1. The eye-opening rout saw the Game 2 line open at 5 and quickly reach the 5.5-to-6 range as the public pounded the Cavs.

    Considering the Celtics were behind three possessions-worth of points for the final time before the 5:00 mark of the opening quarter on Wednesday, this still seems like easy money. What remains to be seen is whether Boston has a completely different game in it this time around. That doesn't really start with defense, but rather, with 3-point shooting.

    In Game 1 of the semifinal series against Washington, Boston erased a 16-0 deficit quickly by going on a 3-point barrage. They made 19 of the 39 they fired up, continuing a trend that began against the Bulls. Yes, the Celtics only survived Chicago after Rajon Rondo was lost, but their formula to reach these depths has been spreading the floor via the 3-pointer and defending with intensity on the opposite end. They averaged just shy of 15 made 3s in their victories over the Wizards and has to be the driving force hagainst Celveland.

    James' size advantage against Celtics wings and his ability to create mismatches by getting to the rim or beating double-teams with his deft passing likely means Boston will struggle to find answers on defense, but they can still hang around if outside shots are falling. In the first half of Game 1, it shot 2-for-16 in the first half, going 1-for-8 in each quarter. They were down double-digits after the opening 12 minutes despite the Cavs starting off the game 0-for-5 from 3-point range. If the Cavs aren't hitting shots, that's no problem because of the quality shots their getting.

    If the Celtics are off, they don't rebound well enough to make up the difference and can't set their defense properly to even have a chance at keeping Cleveland to its spots. The second half was won by Boston in part because of the Cavs being less aggressive due to their sizeabale lead, but going 10-for-22 from beyond the arc went a long way in helping them top the century mark for 10th time in 12 playoff games after scoring just 39 first-half points.

    No one has hit more 3-pointers than Boston over the last month. Although the Cavs average 14 per game, Boston is right behind at 13 but has played six more games and has made nearly 70 more 3s since the playoffs have begun. They shoot them at a higher percentage too (35.1-to-32.9), so it's not out of the question that the Celtics will be able to play the 3-for-2 game, mix in some breaks and potentially steal a game on their home floor.

    Cleveland isn't great at closing out on 3-pointers and struggled defensively throughout the collapse that cost it the No. 1 seed in the East down the stretch. Thus far in this postseason, they're surrendering nearly 35 percent shooting from 3-point range, while the Celtics are second behind OKC among the 16 playoff teams in holding teams to 31.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The key to making up the massive gulf of separation James provides sure seems like it's going to come here.

    It probably won't come on the boards, where Cleveland only won Game 1 44-40 but seemed to dominate when it came to second-chance opportunities or rebounds that had to be corraled while the outcome still hadn't been decided. Boston probably won't be able to play two bigs on the floor at the same time given the mismatches that creates for James and Kyrie Irving in pick-and-roll situations. Considering Irving only scored 11 points on 11 shots and the teams combined for 4-for-25 3-point shooting, the fact we still got a higher-scoring game than the closing number in Game 1 was astounding.

    Bettors riding the ‘over’ in Game 1 (219) cashed tickets on Wednesday and they had to work for the winner as the number connected in the final minute on a layup from Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.

    Oddsmakers opened Game 2’s number at 220 and VegasInsider.com NBA analyst Chris David offered his thoughts on the opener and Friday’s total.

    “The old adage ‘Defense wins Championships’ can be kicked to the rocks this postseason and the phrase should be ‘First to 120’ could easily replace it. Including the result from Game 1, the ‘over’ is now 17-7 since the conference semifinals and is 3-0 in the first three matchups of the conference finals,” said David.

    “Even though the ‘under’ was the right side in Game 1, it’s hard to lean to the low side again just based on the offensive form from Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped 117 on Wednesday and they only made 11 triples from downtown, which was tied for their second-worst effort in this year’s playoffs. They did make up for it at the free throw stripe by connecting on 28-of-35 (80%) freebies and I wouldn’t expect that number to drop that much in this series. Boston hasn’t been able to slow down Cleveland all season (116.4 PPG) and if you thought the Celtics were tired in Game 1, what’s going to change in Game 2? The team total for the Cavaliers is hovering at 112 ½ for Friday’s encounter and bettors should be aware that Boston’s defense (108.4 PPG) has been less productive at home in the postseason.”

    Boston has to keep Kevin Love from being such a dependable outlet for James since the game really got away once he got loose for layups and open 3-point looks. The player the Celtics once coveted and Kelly Olynyk knocked out of the 2015 postseason scored 32 points and grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. He had a 30-point, 15-rebound game against the C's in December too.

    Despite the Game 1 rout, the Celtics are 9-3 ATS record over the last 12 contests. A run of five straight home covers ended for Boston, Cleveland is on a 6-0-1 ATS run over the past seven games. James-led teams are 20-0 upon going up 2-0.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  12. #1737
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    FRIDAY, MAY 19

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    CLE at BOS 08:30 PM

    CLE -5.5

    O 218.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #1738
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    Default

    Forgot to post this:

    FRIDAY, MAY 19

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    CLE at BOS 08:30 PM

    CLE -5.5

    O 218.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Cavs send Celtics to record loss, 130-86
    May 19, 2017


    BOSTON (AP) An NBA playoff-record, 41-point halftime lead. A franchise record for total points. A 13th consecutive playoff win, tying another league record.

    And LeBron James says the Cleveland Cavaliers can still do better.

    ''I believe we've got another level, as well,'' he said after Cleveland steamrolled the Boston Celtics with 130-86 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. ''As well as we played tonight, we've got a couple of things we can do better. There's no complacency for us now. But we like where we're headed.''

    Minutes after the NBA announced the three finalists for the MVP award - and James wasn't among them - the Cavaliers star scored 30 points before resting in the fourth quarter. Kevin Love had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which led by 14 points after one quarter, by 72-31 at the half and by 46 after three.

    Even with all of the starters sitting out the fourth, the 130 points was the most ever scored by the Cavaliers in a playoff game.

    Kyrie Irving had 23 points for the Cavaliers, who return home with a chance to finish off the Celtics in Cleveland. It would be the third straight sweep this postseason for the defending NBA champions, who also won the last three games of last year's finals.

    Game 3 is Sunday night.

    ''It's one game. I don't care if you win by 200 points,'' Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. ''We're going back home, we're not going to get comfortable. We understand that this is a good team. They're not No. 1 in the East for no reason.''

    The Celtics played the second half without Isaiah Thomas, who had a strained right hip. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the star point guard had a nagging injury that he aggravated a week ago during the second-round series against Washington.

    Asked how much that hurt his team, Stevens said, ''Not 44 points worth.''

    ''I don't want to put that on any one guy,'' he said. ''Ultimately, they were terrific. We were poor. You've got to be able to pick up the slack, certainly, when other guys aren't available.''

    With both teams going to their benches in the fourth, the only suspense was whether the Celtics could avoid the worst playoff loss in franchise history. The Orlando Magic beat them by 47 points in the first round of the 1995 postseason.

    Still, it was the worst home playoff loss ever for the most-decorated franchise in NBA history.

    ''It is embarrassing,'' guard Avery Bradley said. ''As a man, as a basketball team, it will say a lot about us how we respond.''

    Thomas finished with just a pair of free throws, missing all six shots from the field. Rookie Jaylen Brown scored a career playoff-high 19 points for Boston.

    The game tipped off about 15 minutes after the NBA announced that James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard were the finalists for the MVP award - the first time since 2008 that James won't finish in the top three.

    Lue chuckled when he found out after the game that James was not a finalist.

    ''You've got to give the award to different people every now and then,'' Lue said. ''But to me, LeBron's the MVP.''

    James, a four-time MVP, said he did not see the list before the game.

    ''My only job is to try to be the MVP for this team every night,'' he said. ''I know what I bring to the table. This league knows what I bring to the table.''

    James still has a chance for a fourth NBA title - and second in a row. Maybe Golden State can figure out a way to slow him down, or San Antonio, if it can come back in the West. The Celtics haven't found a way, and they're running out of time.

    James had 22 points in the first half, when had six of his seven assists and all three of his blocked shots, including a chase-down rejection of Bradley that was reminiscent of the one against Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

    That one was critical to clinching Cleveland's first championship since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964.

    This one more like rubbing the Celtics' noses in the fact that they just couldn't stop him.

    After outsprinting the Cavaliers to the No. 1 seed in the East and home-court advantage in the final weeks of the season, the Celtics squandered it by losing both games in Boston - without ever having a lead.

    ''It's hard to take,'' Al Horford said. ''We've worked really hard and put ourselves in this position to be here. It's been tough for our group. Tonight was real rough, there's no other way to put it. It's definitely a low point for our group.''

    TIP-INS

    Cavaliers: James is first player with at least 30 points in eight straight playoff games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970. ... James played just 33 minutes - a low for this postseason and just the second time he played fewer than 40 in the 2017 playoffs.

    Celtics: Stevens started Gerald Green in place of Amir Johnson. Green made his first two shots - both 3-pointers - but finished with six points. ... The Celtics missed their first six shots. ... There was a large contingent of New England Patriots sitting courtside, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and owner Robert Kraft.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Celtics' Thomas leaves with hip strain
    May 19, 2017


    BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas left Friday night's second game of the Eastern Conference finals with a right hip strain.

    The Celtics' leading offensive threat, who was averaging 24.8 points and 6.7 assists in the playoffs entering the game, failed to hit a field goal as Boston fell behind the Cleveland Cavaliers 72-31 at halftime.

    Thomas was 0-for-6 from the floor and had six assists on his team's 11 baskets in the half. He also had three rebounds and was 2-for-2 from the foul line.

    He did not come out for the second half.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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