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  1. #1
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    Default The Bum's 2017 NBA Finals - Picks, Trends, News !

    Saturday’s six-pack

    Some interesting pointspreads for Labor Day weekend college football games:

    — Oregon State @ Colorado State (-2)

    — Boston College (-2) @ Northern Illinois

    — Colorado State vs Colorado (-8) (@ Denver)

    — South Carolina (-4) @ NC State

    — Kentucky (-12) @ Southern Miss

    — Temple @ Notre Dame (-13)

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

    Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

    13) This from the Associated Press: A naked man in Florida was arrested driving away from a storage center in a stolen pickup truck loaded with a statue of a large, black and white checkered swan that’s worth tens of thousands of dollars.

    Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had this to say: “Look folks. Where are you going to hide a five-foot tall, checkered swan? If someone’s harboring this swan and not telling us, we’re going to put them in jail. And we hope when we find them, they have clothes on.”

    Alrighty then……..

    12) Interesting article in the Houston Chronicle Friday on the guy who takes care of the pitching mound at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Important job that we don’t think about a lot— this guy has worked for the Astros for 46 years as a groundskeeper- the pitchers swear by the job he does keeping the mound, and pitchers are particular about their workplace.

    11) Lonzo Ball isn’t going to do a pre-draft workout for the Celtics, who have the first pick in the NBA Draft; what the hell happens if Boston drafts Ball?

    10) Joe Davis is the Dodgers’ play-by-play guy; he is very good, also does basketball on FS1, is just excellent at his job. The thing is, he is only 29 years old, which doesn’t seem possible. He is replacing the greatest baseball announcer ever (Vin Scully) but is doing it very well.

    9) ESPN signed Chip Kelly as an analyst for its ESPN2 football coverage, which could be very interesting. Curious to see what the former Oregon-Eagles coach has to say.

    8) Tampa Bay Rays had 521 strikeouts thru 50 games, the most by any team ever thru 50 games, 26 more than the next-highest, last year’s Astros.

    7) Rangers faced four Boston relievers in the last three innings Thursday nite; all nine batters struck out. In all, 20 of the 27 Texas outs in that game came on strikeouts.

    6) Mississippi State had two basketball players transfer this week: Mario Kegler and Eli Wright. Rough week for Ben Howland. Bulldogs had the 2nd-least experienced team in the country last year; Kegler played 70% of the time, Wright 30%. Pretty big loss.

    5) When Joe Gibbs coached the Redskins, he had a fine schedule for various offenses; one of the fines was $100 for spraining your ankle if you didn’t have it wrapped/taped beforehand. This is 25-30 years ago, so $100 fine was more than it sounds like now.

    If a player missed a trainer’s/doctor’s appointment, the fine was $300.

    4) The Ben Simmons infomercial was on Showtime again Friday afternoon; its been almost a year since he was drafted and we still have no idea how good the kid is. We know Simmons is already really rich; we’ve heard he’s grown two inches and is just about 7-feet tall, but still no one knows if he’s going to be any good. He played one year at LSU and his team was a disaster; he is going to be needed to be a team leader— can he do that?

    3) Golden State is $260, Cleveland +$220 in the NBA Finals which don’t start until Thursday (why?!?!?!) and could stretch out for 18 days, if it goes seven games.

    2) There is nothing in sports- NOTHING as good as overtime in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Had one of those Thursday night, as the Penguins broke the heart of everyone in Canada with a 3-2 double OT win over the Ottawa Senators. Tremendous drama.

    People in Ottawa greeted the Senators when they landed at the airport at 3am, sitting thru the rain to applaud their team after a great season.

    1) There have been 27 major league games rained out this season, more than all of last year.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors
    May 26, 2017


    Here they go again.

    For the third straight year, it's Cleveland and Golden State in the NBA Finals. The 2016 champions versus the 2015 champions . The first ''threematch'' - rematch of a rematch - in league history. It's the matchup most expected, the matchup most predicted, and probably the matchup the Cavaliers and Warriors wanted as well.

    Let the hype, and the waiting, begin: Game 1 isn't until June 1.

    ''I've been very blessed the last few years to be a part of this league and play on the big stage,'' said Cleveland star LeBron James, who has now reached the Finals for the eighth time - including each of the last seven years. ''But we're going to enjoy this for a couple more days before we have to lock in on that juggernaut out west.''

    The Cavaliers and Warriors split their two meetings this season, both winning at home. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day, Golden State prevailed by 35 on Jan. 16.

    Golden State led the league with 67 wins this season and is a staggering 27-1 in its last 28 games - including a perfect 12-0 in the Western Conference playoffs, the first time a team has gone this deep into an NBA postseason without losing. Cleveland, which seemed sleepy at times in the regular season, went 12-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs that ended with a win over Boston on Thursday night.

    ''Playing in this league, you can't take anything for granted,'' Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. ''Thirty teams suit up every year trying to get to this point, and only two teams do. So you have to appreciate it. ... We need to understand the privilege that we have and the opportunity that we have to play in the Finals again, to have the opportunity to win a championship.''

    Already, the back-and-forth is underway.

    Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue was quoted earlier this week saying he thought Boston's offense was ''harder to defend'' than Golden State's. Countered Golden State acting coach Mike Brown, when asked about it Thursday: ''That's his opinion. It's cute.''

    And there will be reminders of the Halloween party that James threw for the Cavaliers last fall, with ''3-1 Lead'' - a nod to what the Warriors lost in last year's Finals - prominently displayed on the drum set.

    Much more of that sort of that will likely follow over the next week, filling time before Golden State plays host to Game 1. But there's also a clear respect level between the clubs as well.

    ''The best team in our league the last three years,'' James said of the Warriors. ''And they've added an unbelievable player in Kevin Durant this year. So it makes it even more difficult. They're going to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically. We have to be ready for the challenge.''

    For James, the Finals are an annual rite.

    For Durant, this trip ends a five-year wait.

    Durant's only other time in the Finals was 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City. The Thunder lost to Miami in five games, a series that made James a champion for the first time.

    At the very moment where the clock ran out in that series, the person James was embracing was Durant - telling the then-Thunder star, his offseason workout partner at the time, how proud of him he was.

    ''Hopefully,'' James said that night, ''I don't continue to have to run into him.''

    They'll collide again, starting next week.

    Durant's decision to leave the Thunder for Golden State as a free agent last summer meant the Warriors went from mere overwhelming favorites to win the West again to super-duper-overwhelming favorites to win the West again. They got a big scare in late February when Durant had a left knee injury, but he's back and the Warriors have rolled since.

    ''It's a little different, definitely. I can't lie,'' Durant said, when comparing the 2012 Finals trip to this one. ''I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was almost like the championship. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. So it's a little different now, obviously. We have a bigger goal in mind.''

    The storylines are many. Can James win his fourth ring? Can Durant win his first? Will the Warriors be haunted by letting last season's 3-1 lead slip away? Will they become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated in a postseason? How will Golden State guard Kyrie Irving? How will Cleveland try to contain Curry?

    There's also the irony that Brown, the first coach who took James to an NBA Finals in 2007 - Cleveland was swept by San Antonio - will now coach against him, likely in the same leading role he's had for Golden State since head coach Steve Kerr was forced to take a break because of continued problems with his surgically repaired back.

    ''I don't care who you're playing, to make it to the NBA Finals, to win your conference finals, it's a big task,'' Brown said.

    The biggest task awaits.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Warriors open as favorite over Cavs
    May 26, 2017


    LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the underdog against the Golden State Warriors as the NBA Finals get underway next week.

    The 2016 champion Cavs will battle the 2015 champion Warriors for the third straight year.

    James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cavaliers routed the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title.

    Both teams dominated throughout the playoffs -- the Warriors making history by going an unprecedented 12-0 through three rounds in the Western Conference with the Cavs losing just a single game to the Celtics.

    The league will showcase the two best teams again when the NBA Finals tip off on Thursday night (ABC, 9 p.m. ET).

    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook installed Golden State as a minus-260 favorite, with Cleveland at plus-220, meaning a $100 bet on the Warriors would win $38.46 and the same bet on the Cavaliers would win $220, according to ESPN.

    The Warriors are listed as seven-point favorites for Game 1 at home, according to CBS Sports.

    "I'm going to be honest," James told reporters in Boston on Thursday night, "I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State. It's too stressful, and I'm not stressed right now."

    The Cavaliers and Warriors split their two meetings this season, both winning at home. Cleveland won by one point on Christmas Day and Golden State prevailed by 35 points on Jan. 16.

    The Finals will mark the seventh straight trip for James and his eighth overall.

    "I've been very blessed the last few years to be a part of this league and play on the big stage," James said. "But we're going to enjoy this for a couple more days before we have to lock in on that juggernaut out west."

    Golden State led the league with a 67-15 record this season and is 27-1 in its last 28 games, including the playoffs.

    "Playing in this league, you can't take anything for granted," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said after the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 129-115 in Game 4 on Monday night. "Thirty teams suit up every year trying to get to this point, and only two teams do. So you have to appreciate it. ... We need to understand the privilege that we have and the opportunity that we have to play in the Finals again, to have the opportunity to win a championship."

    While James is going for his fourth ring, Warriors forward Kevin Durant will be trying to win his first. Durant signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract with the Warriors last offseason.

    Durant's only other time in the Finals was 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in a series that made James a champion for the first time.

    "It's a little different, definitely. I can't lie," Durant said when comparing the 2012 Finals trip to this one. "I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was almost like the championship. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. So it's a little different now, obviously. We have a bigger goal in mind."

    James said of the Warriors, "The best team in our league the last three years. And they've added an unbelievable player in Kevin Durant this year. So it makes it even more difficult. They're going to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically. We have to be ready for the challenge."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA Finals MVP Odds
    May 26, 2017


    The 2017 NBA Finals are set as Golden State and Cleveland will meet for the third consecutive year.

    Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag opened the Warriors as minus-240 favorites to win the best-of-seven series over the Cavaliers, who are plus-200 on the takeback.

    Along with series odds, the offshore betting shop posted numbers on which player will be named the Most Valuable Player.

    Win or lose, the oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag are expecting the hardware to be handed to Cleveland’s LeBron James at 39/20 odds (Bet $100 to win $195).

    Right behind James, is Golden State's Kevin Durant (2/1) and Stephen Curry (9/4).

    For those wondering, the only player to win the NBA Finals MVP on a losing team is Jerry West, who accomplished the feat when the Lakers lost to the Celtics in seven games of the 1969 finals.

    Listed below are the opening odds per Sportsbook.ag.

    Opening Odds to win 2017 NBA Finals MVP (6/18/17)

    LeBron James (Cavaliers) 39/20
    Kevin Durant (Warriors) 2/1
    Stephen Curry (Warriors) 9/4
    Draymond Green (Warriors) 8/1
    Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 15/1
    Kevin Love (Cavaliers) 25/1
    Klay Thompson (Warriors) 25/1
    Andre Iguodala (Warriors) 100/1
    Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers) 150/1
    JR Smith (Cavaliers) 200/1
    Ian Clark (Warriors) 500/1
    Kyle Korver (Cavaliers) 500/1
    JaVale McGee (Warriors) 750/1
    Deron Williams (Cavaliers) 1000/1
    David West (Warriors) 1500/1
    Zaza Pachulia (Warriors) 1500/1

    Odds Subject to Change - Updated 5.26.17
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA Finals Series Odds
    May 26, 2017


    Home Team listed first - Best of 7 Games (2-2-1-1-1)
    (Opening Odds in parentheses)

    NBA Finals

    Golden State vs. Cleveland
    Warriors (-240)
    Cavaliers (+200)

    Exact Game Props - Prior to Series (5/26/16)

    Golden State vs. Cleveland
    5 Games Warriors Win 5/2
    7 Games Warriors Win 3/1
    6 Games Warriors Win 4/1
    6 Games Cavaliers Win 5/1
    4 Games Warriors Win 13/2
    7 Games Cavaliers Win 8/1
    5 Games Cavaliers Win 15/1
    4 Games Cavaliers Win 30/1
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Cavs-Warriors Part III joins past championship trilogies
    May 26, 2017


    It never happened between Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics. Same for Michael Jordan and Karl Malone or Jerry West and Bill Russell.

    While there have been 14 rematches in NBA Finals history, this year's meeting between LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors will be the first trilogy in league history.

    After the Warriors beat the Cavs for their first title in 40 years in 2015, Cleveland got revenge last season with a comeback from 3-1 down to give the city its first major championship since 1964. Now they meet for the rubber match starting June 1 in Oakland.

    While this may be unprecedented in the NBA, it has happened once in each of the three other U.S. major team sports with matchups that included some of those sports' biggest stars.

    There was Babe Ruth vs. Frankie Frisch in the 1920s and then a pair of memorable three-peat matchups in the 1950s featuring Otto Graham against Bobby Layne in the NFL and Gordie Howe against Maurice Richard in the NHL.

    Here is a look at the other U.S. pro sports championship trilogies:

    New York Yankees vs. New York Giants 1921-23


    In his second season in New York, Babe Ruth led the Yankees to their first World Series berth in 1921 against the Giants. The entire series was played at the Polo Grounds, home to both teams that season. The Giants won the Series 5-3 in the final best-of-nine matchup as a banged-up Ruth got just one plate appearance during the final three games, all won by the Giants.

    John McGraw's Giants won the rematch the following year 4-0 with one tie before Ruth gave the Yankees their first title the following year to cap the first season at Yankee Stadium. Ruth had three homers in the Series, including one in the decisive sixth game. The big star for the Giants that year was future Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to win Game 1 and drove in the only run in Game 3 with another homer.

    ---

    Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions (1952-54)


    These teams that have spent much of the post-merger days near the bottom of the standings were the cream of the crop in the 1950s led by star quarterback Graham and innovative coach Paul Brown in Cleveland and Lions Hall of Fame passer Layne and running back Doak Walker.

    In the first championship meeting in 1952, Layne and Walker ran for TDs to give the Lions a 17-7 win and their first championship since 1935.

    Detroit became the league's third repeat winner in the championship game the following season when Layne threw a 33-yard TD pass to Jim Doran with just over 2 minutes remaining for a 17-16 victory.

    The Browns came out on top the following year, ending a run of three straight title game losses (they also lost to the Rams in 1951). The Lions won the regular-season finale the week before the title game and scored first on a field goal by Walker.

    But it was all Browns after that with Graham throwing three TD passes and running for three more in a 56-10 win.

    ---

    Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings (1954-56)

    The first matchup of this trilogy started with one of the most memorable in 1954. In a series full of megastars like Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay and Red Kelly in Detroit and Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion in Montreal, it was an unsung player who became the hero.

    In overtime in Game 7, Red Wings forward Tony Leswick got credit for the series-clinching goal when his innocent looking shot from the point was deflected by Harvey past Gerry McNeil for a 2-1 win 4:29 into OT. There hasn't been a Game 7 overtime since in the Final.

    The Red Wings won the rematch in an all home team seven-game series the following year. Howe set a record with 12 points in the round and Lindsay scored four goals in a Game 2 win. Richard missed the series because of a suspension for slashing Boston's Hal Laycoe in the head and punching linesman Cliff Thompson. Detroit didn't win another Stanley Cup for 41 years.

    With Richard back, the Canadiens won the following year in five games with the Rocket getting the game-winning goal in the clincher. That was the first of a record five straight titles for the Canadiens.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    KD was once Warriors' 2nd choice
    May 26, 2017


    Truth be told, Golden State's former coach wasn't sure the Warriors needed Kevin Durant.

    The Warriors were already small-ball sensations, capable of piling up the points with their daring drives and sizzling shooting. So rather than add another scorer, Don Nelson figured Golden State might be better off getting a dominant man in the middle to shore up the defense in the 2007 NBA draft.

    Nelson thought the Warriors needed Greg Oden.

    That was 10 years ago, leading up to the heavily hyped draft in which the Oden-Durant debate raged throughout basketball. And now, as Durant leads the league's most potent team into the NBA Finals while Oden is long gone from the NBA spotlight, it's easy to forget that a lot of people agreed with Nelson.

    ''I think everyone felt that there were two players there that were going to be prominent players, but one thing you can't count on is injuries,'' Warriors executive Jerry West said. ''So Greg really never had a chance to have a career, where Kevin's obviously been more than advertised.''

    The Warriors were looking like a lottery team in March 2007 when Nelson was asked what he thought they should do if they got the No. 1 pick. He's one of the innovators of small ball, a coach who seemed more comfortable with a point forward than a power forward, so it wouldn't have been surprising if he leaned Durant.

    But he favored Oden, a 7-footer who in his lone season at Ohio State was drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Nelson's teammate in Boston.

    ''I think it'd be pretty simple for us,'' Nelson said. ''We would probably have to go with the bigger guy at this point.''

    Nelson said he might reconsider if he thought Durant was going to be a superstar, and the forward looked like one as he tore through the Big 12 as a freshman at Texas. But with the Warriors already having Baron Davis, Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson, Nelson saw other needs.

    ''With this team, the center position is one that we're looking for,'' he said. ''But I'd say anybody up front. Our backcourt's pretty solid.''

    The Warriors were fined by the NBA for Nelson's comments about players who weren't yet draft eligible. Boston, San Antonio and New Orleans also would be penalized that spring when normally button-lipped coaches couldn't help themselves when thinking about the promise of the two freshmen.

    ''I don't think there could have been any more hype than there was,'' Memphis guard Mike Conley said. ''It was an amazing time to see two great players who have Hall of Fame potential from the beginning. You just know that they could come in and win multiple championships and be All-Stars every year and you don't have that in every draft.''

    The No. 1 pick became a moot point when the Warriors finished the regular season with a 16-5 kick to secure the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, then pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in NBA playoff history when they ousted the 67-win Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

    Later that postseason, the Portland Trail Blazers won the draft lottery and the Seattle SuperSonics were second. The Grizzlies had the league's worst record and the best odds at the No. 1 pick but fell to fourth as West, then the Grizzlies' president of basketball operations, was left livid with the process.

    Had he been given the chance, West said he would have taken the best player available, which is always his strategy. He said he considered Durant that player. Many mock drafts had it the other way, given Oden's potential - he likely would've been the top pick a year earlier out of high school, but the 2006 draft was the first with the NBA's age requirement.

    ''Everyone is always looking for someone big in the draft because everyone thinks it's a game-changer. Well, the game has changed,'' West said. ''Now, they're not naming big guys unless you're really versatile. There are very few back-to-the basket centers in the league that are not versatile enough to go out and play on the court. And so when you look at it, I think A, it would have been really interesting to see if another team, except Portland, who they would have taken if they needed a center.''

    Oden's knee injuries ended his NBA career after 105 games, long before he would've had to worry about playing away from the basket, the way traditional centers such as Marc Gasol now do. But Conley, Oden's high school and college teammate who went to the Grizzlies with their No. 4 pick, believes his friend could have handled the transition.

    ''I think he's that kind of a talent. He would have reminded me of like a Joel Embiid, how he's able to stretch it out there and shoot the ball like he is,'' Conley said, referring to Philadelphia's rookie center. ''So I think they have similar bodies and similar way they move, so I think he could have done it.''

    Instead, Oden himself acknowledged he goes down as a bust, which nobody could have predicted when coaches were tantalized by him.

    ''Same thing was true with the Bowie-Olajuwon-Jordan draft, and that was years before that,'' said former NBA Commissioner David Stern, recalling more of Portland's painful past, when the Blazers took oft-injured center Sam Bowie at No. 2 in between Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan in 1984.

    ''You never know. That's the beauty of it. That's why people watch,'' he said.

    Next week they'll be watching Durant, who will play for his first title in his first season with the Warriors, a chance to finally be No. 1 on a team that once viewed him as their No. 2.

    ''I'm really proud where I am right now as a player and being as consistent every year as I've been,'' Durant said. ''Since my first year I've grown so much and I'm proud of myself in that area as well, but I've got a long ways to go. Hopefully there's another 10 more years.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Draymond Green not bored by another Cavs-Dubs Finals matchup
    May 26, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Draymond Green just doesn't see the logic: How could three straight NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland possibly be boring?

    Even if the NBA's top two teams have steamrolled their way right to the place everybody figured they'd be when the season started all those months ago.

    Green said people should appreciate the talent and the level of these teams, before it's no longer.

    ''I think it's a great thing for the league, contrary to popular belief where everyone says it's boring,'' Green said Friday. ''I think maybe people just fail to realize that you just have two great teams and don't appreciate that. Everyone wants to say, `Ah, man, this is boring' and this that and the other, but you usually don't appreciate something until you don't have it anymore. And so, I think maybe there's just a lack of appreciation for greatness. But then when you look at a situation, most people have never reached greatness. So maybe there's just not an understanding of what you're watching. I think you've found two great teams. We've played that way, and maybe people don't appreciate it because of a blowout or because of a sweep.

    ''But people may want to be careful, because I think right now you're witnessing greatness.''

    LeBron James called the Warriors a ''juggernaut,'' and Green said ''there's always a mutual respect.''

    It was Green who was suspended for Game 5 of last year's Finals for a swipe at James' groin - and Golden State wound up squandering a 3-1 series lead and chance at a repeat title.

    Warriors owner Joe Lacob said publicly he wanted another chance at the Cavs because of unfinished business from 2016.

    ''It was taken, they took it,'' Green said. ''We want to go take back a championship, that's just the nature of a competitor and I think that's the mindset of everyone in this organization to go take back what they took from us.''

    Now, the Warriors are 12-0 this postseason, well-rested and riding the momentum of three straight sweeps, against Portland, Utah and San Antonio. The story lines are plenty, including a few fresh ones, such as acting Golden State coach Mike Brown going against the team he coached not once but twice.

    ''It's one of those things I have no control over, it is what it is,'' said Brown, filling in for the ailing Steve Kerr. ''Just kind of take it in stride.''

    Golden State already is the first team to begin a postseason 12-0, and the Warriors would love to go unbeaten the entire way - as daunting of a challenge as it would be to do so against King James and Co.

    ''I hope it's four. We'd love it if we could win in four games, that would be great,'' Green said with a smile. ''We don't go into any series saying we're only going to play four games, we can't approach a series like that, like, `Yeah, we're going to play four.' You approach it with a mindset of, `Of course we'd love to sweep them but you have to take that game by game.'''

    Green, for one, will appreciate all the hype around this series.

    ''This will be talked about long after us,'' Green said. ''Just to be a part of this is amazing, so really just embracing that.''

    Notes: Center Zaza Pachulia, who missed Games 3 and 4 at San Antonio in the Western Conference finals with a bruised right heel, is back going through full practices in preparation to play in his first career Finals. ... Golden State will practice again Saturday then take Sunday as its last off day ahead of Thursday's Game 1 at Oracle Arena.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Steve Kerr not yet ready to return
    May 25, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Steve Kerr is involved in just about everything but the actual game-day coaching for the Golden State Warriors - film session, coaches meetings, game-planning and practice.

    He's just not yet ready from a health standpoint to be back on the bench with the start of the NBA Finals a week away.

    General manager Bob Myers made the announcement Thursday , though he didn't rule out Kerr returning at some point if he somehow is healthy enough to do so - though that doesn't appear promising at this stage.

    ''If he feels better and we have to make those decisions, we will, but right now we're not putting any deadlines on should he feel better what will we do,'' Myers said. ''It'll be based on what day it is, how exactly he feels, how long he's felt well. I should be saying this with more emotion because it's hard for me. I'm kind of in this basketball mode but he's a person and he's not feeling well and that's what makes it hard - more than how it affects our team is how he's feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that's hugely responsible for us being in the Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can't do it.

    ''It's painful, and I know it's painful for him more than anybody.''

    Kerr was there as his team returned to practice following a two-day break after completing a four-game sweep of the Spurs on Monday night to improve to 12-0 this postseason. Myers noted that ''just having him in the building and around is very powerful.''

    The 51-year-old Kerr underwent a procedure May 5 to repair a spinal fluid leak stemming from complications after two back surgeries in 2015, after the Warriors won their first championship in 40 years during his first season as coach.

    While people have asked Kerr whether he should step away, Myers knows that's not the immediate answer.

    ''This is his sanctuary. Even though he's suffering, being at home or being removed is actually harder if we can understand that, because this is his joy,'' the GM said. ''Even though it's a muted joy right now, this is the best thing that he feels. This is his fulfillment.''

    Kerr returned to practice May 13 after more than three weeks off the court, and he hasn't coached the Warriors on the bench since Game 2 of the first round against Portland. He then traveled for the Western Conference finals to San Antonio and has been watching games from behind the scenes, speaking to the team beforehand and during halftime. Acting coach Mike Brown has been leading Golden State during Kerr's absence.

    It's unclear how well the latest procedure worked for Kerr, who missed the initial 43 games last season dealing with debilitating symptoms such as headaches and nausea that have returned throughout this season.

    ''Unfortunately this has been a two-year odyssey,'' Myers said. ''He's never tried to sugarcoat how he feels. Sadly, we've been dealing with this. So I can tell, and you guys are around, you see the ups and downs. ... He's not going to put himself or the team at risk and say that he can do it if he doesn't feel like he can.''

    Brown said he will continue to lead the way with reigning NBA Coach of the Year Kerr's guidance until told otherwise. Myers doesn't ask Kerr every day how he is feeling, rather allowing the coach to reach out with any updates.

    ''This is unusual, right?'' Myers said. ''It's a lot of gray area even though Mike has won all these games. There's no right or wrong way to handle this, short of looking in his eyes: `How you feeling? How do you feel about doing it?'''

    Even Myers, a close friend of Kerr along with being a colleague, is struggling to appreciate the accomplishment by the Warriors given the coach's heart-wrenching ordeal.

    ''Somebody asked me, `Is going to the Finals three times muted because of what's going on?' Of course it is,'' Myers said. ''This should be great. This should be unbelievable. And we are excited, and we are proud, but our head coach can't coach. It's not an excuse, it's just a fact, and that sucks. But we deal with it, and everybody has been dealing with it and have met that challenge and have embraced it and will continue to do it.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA Finals Predictions
    May 27, 2017


    The 2017 NBA Finals begins on Thursday June 1st from Oracle Arena as Golden State will be looking to avenge a loss to Cleveland in last year's finals. This will also be the third consecutive year that the pair will be meeting in the finals, which makes this series the first trilogy in league history.

    Throughout the 2017 playoffs our trio of NBA experts listed below have offered up their fearless predictions on every series and their records aren’t too shabby through 14 series (Exact Games).

    Kevin Rogers: 12-2 (1)
    Chris David: 13-1 (6)
    Tony Mejia: 13-1 (3)

    Below are each of their predictions for the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers, which includes their analysis as well.

    Make a note that the trio all selected the Warriors in each of the last two seasons - 2016 | 2015

    2017 NBA FINALS

    W1 Golden State vs. E2 Cleveland

    Matchup

    Kevin Rogers - Cleveland 4 - 2

    Chris David - G. State 4 - 0

    Tony Mejia - G. St. 4 - 2


    Analysis - Kevin Rogers

    Most people believe Golden State will roll through Cleveland to avenge last year’s NBA Finals meltdown. The Warriors led the Cavaliers, 3-1 before Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 and things went downhill for Golden State. Two seasons ago, the Cavaliers played without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as the Warriors won in six games over LeBron James and a bunch of role players.

    This time around, Irving and Love are healthy, while the role players around James have improved with veterans Deron Williams, Kyle Korver, and Channing Frye being key pieces off the bench along with J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. Golden State obviously has four stars on the court with Green, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the offseason addition of Kevin Durant.

    What worries me about Golden State is the supporting pieces around that Big 4. Andre Iguodala won the NBA Finals MVP two seasons ago, while Shaun Livingston can contribute double-figures off the bench anytime. But there aren’t any other role players that be significant options if the shots aren’t going down for Curry, Durant, and Thompson.

    The two teams combined for only one loss in the postseason, as the Cavaliers threw away a 21-point lead in a Game 3 setback to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Both opponents for Golden State and Cleveland lost their best player early in the series, while neither was significantly tested in the first three rounds.

    The Warriors and Cavaliers have been preparing for this rematch since Cleveland stunned Golden State in Game 7 of the Finals last June. The pressure is squarely on Golden State to prove last year’s meltdown was a fluke, but with Steve Kerr’s availability to coach in-game in question, that has to be another concern for the Warriors.

    Analysis - Chris David

    This isn’t an easy handicap because both clubs enter this matchup with incredible form and that’s a large part of my handicapping. However, it’s hard to ignore the defensive numbers that Golden State brings to the table and I believe that will be the decisive edge in this series.

    The Warriors led the NBA in defensive efficiency while the Cavaliers were ranked 21st. During the playoffs, they’ve held opponents to 41.6 field goal percentage and just 102 PPG and I’m well aware that Cleveland will be a much stiffer test. What the Cavaliers have done offensively in the playoffs is remarkable and if they continue to shoot that well from distance (43.5%), you can make an argument that Cleveland could easily sweep Golden State. While it’s certainly possible and the Cavaliers have a ton of gunners, I don’t see them winning any games by outshooting the Warriors. In its one loss during the postseason to Boston, we saw Cleveland take 70 shots and 39 of them came from 3-point land. They tried to play keep-up with the Celtics and that backfired.

    You often hear that the NBA is a “make-or-miss” league and that was evident in last year’s finals, especially for the Warriors. Golden State shot 49 and 54 percent in the first two games, which resulted in a pair of double-digit wins. In the next five, they never surpassed 42 percent and the only game they won occurred when they hit 17 bombs from 3-point land. The biggest difference with this year’s version of the Warriors is Kevin Durant, which is obvious. He’s the 2nd best player in the NBA and one underrated factor of his game is getting to the free throw line, something Golden State hasn’t done well in previous seasons. KD is a matchup nightmare for anybody and those freebies are huge, especially when the team isn’t connecting from the field. He made 27-of-31 in the conference semifinals against the Spurs and if he produces a similar stat line in this series, then expect a MVP award to go with his first finals trophy.

    When it comes to my exact game prediction, I’m hoping for a combination of the worst and best decisions – I think. As fans we’ve been treated to some great sporting events over the last 18 months and this year’s NBA postseason has been unwatchable at times unless you’ve got action. I do believe we’ll see competitive games but that doesn’t mean we’ll get to watch five, six or even seven of them. When LeBron lost in his previous final appearances, those series ended in 6, 6, 5 and 4 games. I’ve been riding Golden State in sweeps in each of their first three series and I hope we get treated to history and watch the Warriors produce a perfect 16-0 record in this spot.

    Analysis - Tony Mejia

    Although the Cavs were impressive in closing out the Celtics in Boston, never giving them a chance to even hang around, Tyronn Lue now has to deal with a team that's truly difficult to stop. Understanding that he didn't mean to slight the Western Conference champs by saying that Brad Stevens' team was harder to prepare for due to their unpredictable sets and creativity minus injured leading scorer Isaiah Thomas, but it was a silly comment given what lies ahead.

    No, the Warriors certainly aren't a mystery, but they're not exactly predictable. JaVale McGee was the leading scorer at the half of one of the games against San Antonio simply because the team took what the Spurs defense gave them, often leading to size mismatches at the rim. Ball movement always creates advantages for a team that features three elite shooters in Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in addition to Draymond Green's high IQ and ability to make the right pass or set a perfect screen. There's a reason the Warriors haven't lost through 12 playoff games and are 27-1 SU since March 14, losing only the penultimate game of the regular season at home against Utah. Offensively, they've found a groove. Occasionally, Thompson may struggle to find his shooting rhythm, but if he's on, the Dubs are unbeatable.

    Defensively, there's no team in the league that is better, which is a problem since the Cavs have improved on that end since their late-season swoon but haven't seen an attack as prolific as the one they're about to face in months. Sure, LeBron James playing with great intensity at that end of the floor elevates the level of everyone else, but Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are poor defenders and Tristan Thompson is a true rim protector. With Golden State enjoying homecourt advantage and the better roster, it's hard to imagine the defending champs winning more than twice in this latest NBA Finals sequel, much less the four times required to win another ring. Barring injury or suspension, look for the Warriors to be too difficult to solve at both ends, which will undoubtedly leave Lue with a different opinion than the one he foolishly expressed before claiming the Eastern Conference.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Cavs insist they have plenty of bite left
    May 27, 2017


    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Vegas is betting against them and the bookies are hardly alone.

    Let's be honest, not many are giving the Cleveland Cavaliers much of a chance in the NBA Finals. They may be defending champions and they may have LeBron James, but against Golden State, they are definite underdogs.

    Just don't try to tell them that.

    ''The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title,'' Cavs forward Kevin Love said following Saturday's practice. ''We're trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel. We will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It's tough for me to say that is the case. I don't feel like we're underdogs.

    ''We match up well with them and I think they'd say the same about us.''

    Maybe, but as the teams gear up for Thursday night's series opener in Oakland, comments made by Warriors forward Draymond Green in October are reverberating around Cleveland.

    Still stinging after the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in last year's Finals against Cleveland, the vociferous Green, who was suspended from Game 5, said if given the chance again, he plans to ''destroy and annihilate'' the Cavs.

    Love complimented Green's competitiveness and aimed a verbal volley at Northern California.

    ''He's a guy who said he wanted us,'' Love said, ''and he has us - starting next Thursday.''

    Act III in this trilogy is overloaded with story lines, with the biggest being whether James and Co. have enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Warriors, who added superstar Kevin Durant to a team that won 73 games a year ago before its Finals flameout.

    Golden State has glowed in this postseason, becoming the first team to start 12-0 while winning by an average of 16.3 points per game - the highest margin league history. It's no wonder then that the wise guys have installed the Warriors as heavy favorites to beat the Cavs for the second time in three years and wrestle back the Larry O'Brien Trophy that slipped through their hands last June.

    James referred to the Warriors as only ''that juggernaut'' and ''a beast'' following Thursday's Game 5 in at Boston, a night in which he passed Michael Jordan as the career postseason scoring leader.

    James elected not to talk about the Warriors following the game, choosing instead to celebrate a third straight conference title in Cleveland and his seventh consecutive Finals trip. James didn't speak to reporters on Saturday either, leaving Love to serve as the team's unofficial spokesman as the sports world inched closer to a matchup that seemed destined from the moment last season's Finals ended.

    Love was asked if the Cavs wanted the Warriors.

    ''Want the Warriors?'' he said. ''They've been right at the top, best team in the league for three years straight now. They've been super-impressive. It's kind of in our minds that that's who we were going to see. They played great basketball this year. Obviously adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP makes them even more impressive. It's tough to say that we didn't expect it; we knew they'd be right there.''

    After the team returned from Boston in the wee hours Friday morning, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue didn't go to bed and immediately began working on a game plan to stifle Golden State's powerful, multi-faceted offense.

    Lue knows the Cavs are facing a difficult task, one made tougher with the addition of the versatile Durant, who can score down low, from the perimeter and free-throw line.

    The Warriors are using Durant the way he envisioned, but Lue has noticed changes in the All-Star.

    ''He's moving around a lot more,'' he said. ''Just watching him move without the basketball, getting easy baskets off of cuts and splits and when he passes the ball he's also relocating now. He's doing a lot more movement, which makes it even tougher to guard after being one of the tougher scorers I've ever seen.''

    Lue said didn't deliver any inspiring speech to his players before practice.

    Words don't mean much now - not his, not Green's - and neither do underdog labels.

    ''We're not going to use that as motivation,'' Lue said. ''We're in the NBA Finals. That's enough motivation alone. Not worry about what it says in Vegas or what people are saying about underdogs. We're not using that as an excuse. We've got to come out and play. Our goals were set at the beginning of the season, and that's to win a championship. So, that's what we're focused on.''

    And remember, the Cavs have overcome long odds before.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Durant, Warriors shrug off parity talk
    May 27, 2017


    The Golden State Warriors are tuning out talk that their star-studded teams in recent years are to blame for uncompetitive playoff basketball.

    Kevin Durant, who signed a two-year, $54.3 million free agent contract last offseason, said his move to join the Warriors has not negatively affected the NBA and ruined parity in the league.

    "Like I'm the reason why (expletive) Orlando couldn't make the playoffs for five, six years in a row?" Durant told USA Today Sports in a wide-ranging article published Friday. "Am I the reason that Brooklyn gave all their picks to Boston? Like, am I the reason that they're not that good?

    "I can't play for every team, so the truth of the matter is I left one team. It's one more team that you probably would've thought would've been a contender. One more team. I couldn't have made the (entire) East better. I couldn't have made everybody (else) in the West better."

    The 2015 champion Warriors will face the 2016 champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the third straight year. The Warriors are strong favorites, according to Las Vegas bookmakers.

    Both teams dominated throughout the playoffs -- the Warriors making history by going an unprecedented 12-0 through three rounds in the Western Conference with the Cavs losing a single game in the East.

    The league will showcase the two best teams again when the NBA Finals tip off on Thursday night (ABC, 9 p.m. ET).

    Durant told USA Today he is "at peace" with his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder after they lost to the Warriors in last season's Western Conference finals.

    "I'm just at peace with myself; I'm at peace with myself as a basketball player, most importantly," Durant said. "I think this move, and the criticism that comes with this move, has made me zero in on what's the most important thing, and that's just playing basketball, working out every day, getting better, enjoying every single day as a basketball player.

    "It made me really appreciate that. It made me go back to that. When you listen to the nonsense, then you start to really let it take control of your thoughts, that's (not good), you know what I'm saying? So I just got back to the game."

    One of Durant's star teammates, Stephen Curry, called it "disrespectful" to criticize the Finals matchup and the overall talent in the NBA.

    "Us and Cleveland worked our butts off all year to put ourselves in position to be playing for a championship, and the league is as strong talent-wise across the board as it's ever been," Curry told reporters.

    "And every night you get challenged. ... Every night was hard. Every night was challenging, and you can't just sleepwalk through a season, sleepwalk through the playoffs and expect to be here. You've got to do something. You got to come out every night and prove yourself."

    Another teammate, Draymond Green, believes the Warriors and Cavaliers easily advancing in the playoffs is a "great thing" for the NBA.

    "Everyone wants to say, 'Ah man, this is boring and this, that and the other,' but you usually don't appreciate something until you don't have it anymore," Green said, via ESPN. "And so, I think maybe there's just a lack of appreciation for greatness. But then when you look at a situation, most people have never reached greatness.

    "So maybe there's just not an understanding of what you're watching. I think you've found two great teams, and we've played that way, and maybe people don't appreciate it because of a blowout or because of a sweep. But people may want to be careful, because I think right now you're witnessing greatness. Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is."

    Durant, who missed 20 games toward the end of the regular season and two games in the first round of the playoffs due to injury, averaged 28.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in a four-game sweep of the San Antonio Spurs.

    While Cavaliers star LeBron James is going for his fourth ring, Durant will be trying to win his first.

    Durant's only other time in the Finals was in 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in a series that made James a champion for the first time.

    "I had to get used to the attention," Durant told USA Today of his move to Golden State. "I wasn't used to this much attention, no matter if it was good or bad. I had to get used to that.

    "And once I got used to it, it's like, 'All right, let's roll with it. It's part of the journey.' Let's just go and play the game. That's the only thing that matters."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Mike Brown still waiting on Tyronn Lue to pay up overdue bet
    May 27, 2017


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Mike Brown is ready for Tyronn Lue to pay up on a nearly two-decade-old bet. Yep, Lue owes him $100 and Brown plans to accept it at long last - perhaps even during the NBA Finals when they see each other.

    All this time Brown never wanted the money he earned by beating Lue in a shooting contest when the Cavaliers coach was an NBA newcomer, yet Golden State's acting coach - who spent two stints leading Cleveland - joked how Lue can surely afford it these days.

    ''I'm glad he finally admitted that he owes me money because for many years he wouldn't admit that he owed me money. He does owe me $100 and since he got his new deal hopefully he can afford to pay me now,'' Brown said Saturday post-practice. ''I asked him many time for it but he's denied it. He's denied that the game ever took place.''

    Lue insists he has tried to pay up - time and time again, to no avail.

    ''Mike, I owe him $100 from when I was a rookie. That's all I ever know about Mike,'' Lue said Saturday. ''I tried to pay him and he wouldn't take the money so he says I always owe him. He's always been a great guy.''

    The 40-year-old Lue was rewarded with a contract extension after the Cavs' championship run last June for the city's first major sports title in 52 years. Cleveland overcame a 3-1 Finals deficit to the Warriors, and now the teams are preparing to face off for a third straight year.

    ''I think what it has to do with, it has to do with the fact he's got a nice, long, fat contract with the Cavs and he realizes that he can finally afford to pay me the money that he owes me for the shooting game back in 2000 or whenever it was,'' Brown said with a grin.

    Brown acknowledged he cannot recall any other details such as how many shots each man made, saying: ''I don't even remember, that was back when I was in shape and a good shooter. He'd kill me now''

    ''Yeah, he was with the Spurs and I was with the Lakers and we had a little shooting contest and I lost,'' Lue said. ''He wouldn't take the money so from now on 19 years in a row always says, `You owe me $100.' He won't take the money. Always been close to Mike and I like Mike a lot, respect him a lot.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA

    Sunday, May 28


    Flip-Flop Finals trends: Faves 17-9 ATS in Gm 1 of NBA Finals since 1991 (65%). Underdogs 16-9-1 ATS in Gm 2 (64%) in that same 26-year span



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


    Favorites dominate Game 1 of the NBA Finals, betting underdogs bite back in Game 2

    Heading into Thursday’s championship series opener, the favorite is 17-9 ATS in Game 1 since 1991 (65 percent) – including red-hot runs of 14-4 ATS since 1999 (78 percent) and 11-1 ATS since 2005 (92 percent).

    The NBA Playoffs have been about as predictable as an episode of Scooby-Doo, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meeting in the finals for the third straight year. And it would seem betting the NBA Finals is just as easy to foresee, given the ATS results for Games 1 and 2 over the past 26 years of postseason basketball.

    Heading into Thursday’s championship series opener, the favorite is 17-9 ATS in Game 1 since 1991 (65 percent) – including red-hot runs of 14-4 ATS since 1999 (78 percent) and 11-1 ATS since 2005 (92 percent).

    The Warriors, who are 7-point home chalk for Game 1 Thursday, have covered in each of the last two Game 1 meetings with the Cavs in the NBA Finals: winning 108-100 as 6-point Game 1 favorites in 2015 and 104-89 as 6-point Game 1 favorites in 2016.

    NBA Finals Game 1 favorites have given their opponents an average of -6.25 points per game since 1991, which is pretty much on par with the Warriors’ Game 1 line. Those faves have edged their finals foes by an average score of 97-88.8 in that 26-year stretch, covering by 1.95 points per game.

    The predictability doesn’t stop with Game 1. The second installment of the NBA Finals series has seen that above Game 1 betting trend flipped on its ear, with underdogs bouncing back with a stronger performance in Game 2. That’s left Game 2 favorites to go just 9-16-1 ATS (36 percent) the previous 26 postseasons, including a 2-7 ATS mark since 2008.

    While spreads haven’t varied too much between Games 1 and 2 - -6 in Game 2 since 1991 – favorites are only winning by an average score of 98.11-92.92, an edge of just 5.19 points per game. Shrinking that down over the past nine postseasons, that final score tightens to 98.67-95.11 with an average spread of -5.39. Perhaps even more shocking is the fact the underdog has won Game 2 outright a dozen times in the past 26 seasons.

    Now, the Warriors did manage to cover the 6.5-point spread in Game 2 versus the Cavaliers last season, winning a 110-77 rout, but fell ATS in Game 2 of the 2015 finals, losing 95-93 to LeBron James & Co. as 7.5-point home chalk. Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals is scheduled for Sunday, June 4.

    As for Games 3 and 4, which we know will happen regardless of results, betting favorites are 10-14-1 ATS (with one pick’em in 2004 finals) and 12-12-1 ATS in Game 4 (with one pick’em in 2004 finals). As you can see, these trends start to balance out as the series goes on.

    Looking past the given four games, Game 5 chalk is 11-11 ATS since 1991 postseason, Game 6 faves are 6-10 ATS, and Game 7 favorites are 3-2 ATS in those deciding contests the past 26 seasons.

    The 2017 Warriors and Cavaliers have been cash cows for basketball bettors riding them through the postseason. Cleveland enters the finals with an 8-4-1 ATS mark while Golden State is 8-4 ATS – a combined 67 percent win rate against the spread during the NBA Playoffs.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Oddsmakers set a record-high total for Game 1 of Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals

    The Cavaliers and Warriors have produced a 4-7-2 Over/Under record in their previous two NBA Finals meetings. Can they top a record-high total in Game 1 Thursday?

    If “defense wins championships”, the world must also be flat and photographs steal your soul. That popular sports cliché is about as truthful as a dating profile, especially with oddsmakers setting a record-high betting total for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

    Sportsbooks opened the Game 1 Over/Under at 225.5 points, with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors possessing a surplus of offensive weaponry. That Over/Under number is the largest total in the Covers database (1990-91-2017) and easily eclipses the previous high of 214 points, which was set for Game 3 of the 1995 NBA Finals between the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.

    The Cavaliers are averaging 116.8 points per game this postseason while the Warriors are putting up 118.3 ppg, and the two conference champs have combined for an 18-7 Over/Under count in the playoffs. That’s a 72 percent winning clip if you blindly bet the Over in each of their postseason games.

    Looking back at the biggest totals in NBA Finals history, there have been just 21 championship series games with a number of 200 or more points since 1991. Those contests finished 8-12-1 Over/Under, staying below the total 60 percent of the time. There have been four finals games with totals of 211 or more points in that span, and those have split 2-2 O/U. Those previous 21 NBA Finals games, with totals of 200 or more points, saw an average of 200.9 points scored.

    With this being the third installment of the Cleveland-Golden State finals saga, basketball bettors do have some history to weigh these totals trend against. In 2015, the Cavs and Dubs combined for a 2-3-1 O/U record in the NBA Finals (194.16 ppg vs. 196.7 ave total), and last year they finished 2-4-1 O/U in the finals (200.28 ppg vs. 207.93 ave total).

    Overall, the NBA Finals is a breeding ground for low-scoring basketball. Going back to the 1990-91 season, NBA Finals games have a 54-80-5 Over/Under record (59.7 percent Unders) with an average combined score of 187.18 points versus an average closing total of 189.81. And since 2000, the NBA Finals has pumped out a 36-48-5 O/U count (57 percent Unders).
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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