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Thread: The Bum's 2018 NBA Trends/Stats/Best Bets Thru The Playoffs !

  1. #1696
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    Raptors and 76ers to meet in East semis
    April 23, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard hit a 37-footer at the buzzer and finished with career playoff-high 50 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers eliminate the Oklahoma City Thunder from the playoffs in five games with a 118-115 victory on Tuesday night.

    With the game tied, Lillard dribbled just inside of halfcourt near the Blazers logo and then pulled up and hit the game-winner.

    Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder bench after nailing the shot, then was promptly mobbed by his teammates. As the Thunder left the floor, Lillard circled the court, high-fiving fans.

    The crowd chanted ''MVP! MVP!''

    Lillard had 10 3-pointers, breaking the franchise record.

    Portland advances to the Western Conference semifinals to face the winner of the series between the Nuggets and San Antonio. Denver won 108-90 earlier in the night to take a 3-2 lead in that series.

    It was the 12th straight road playoff loss for the Thunder, who have been eliminated in the opening round for three straight seasons.

    Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for his 10th career playoff triple-double and his second of the series. Paul George added 36 points.

    RAPTORS 115, MAGIC 96

    TORONTO (AP) - Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Pascal Siakam added 24 and the Raptors used another stifling defensive effort to beat the Magic, winning their first-round playoff series in five games.

    Kyle Lowry scored 14 points as the Raptors finished off the Magic with ease, bouncing back from a Game 1 defeat to win by double-digits in three of the next four. Toronto led by as many as 37 in the clincher, their biggest-ever margin in a playoff game.

    It's the fourth straight year the Raptors have reached the second round.

    Leonard made 8 of 11 shots, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range, as the Raptors jumped on Orlando early and never trailed. Leonard also made all six of his free throws. He checked out to cheers of ''MVP, MVP'' with 8:05 to play and Toronto up 105-75.

    D.J. Augustin scored 15 points, Terrence Ross had 12 and Aaron Gordon 11 for the Magic, who won 104-101 on Augustin's late 3-pointer in Game 1 but never again topped 96 points against Toronto's dominant defense, and twice finished with 85 or fewer.

    76ERS 120, NETS 100

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Joel Embiid scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds and Ben Simmons added 13 points to help the 76ers rout the Nets and close out their Eastern Conference playoff series in five games.

    Up next, a second round series against the Toronto Raptors, who dropped their playoff opener before winning four straight against Orlando - the same thing the Sixers did to Brooklyn.

    Any late arrivals missed the defining moments of the game from a jovial Sixers team that enjoyed toying with the sickly Nets.

    The Sixers stunned the Nets with a 14-0 run in front of the loudest and rowdiest packed house of the season.

    Embiid again shook off a bad left knee and had six points and five rebounds in the first two minutes to chants of ''MVP!'' The Nets later trailed 20-2, and Simmons put an exclamation point on the stunning first quarter when he drove the paint and used a right-handed jam to make it 32-12 - with a thump of his chest for emphasis.

    No starter played more than 27 minutes in a game that could have been called off after the first quarter.

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 21 points for the Nets, who head into the offseason after their first playoff series since 2015.

    NUGGETS 108, SPURS 90

    DENVER (AP) - Jamal Murray's 23 points led six Nuggets in double figures and Denver routed the Spurs to move within one win of their first playoff series triumph in a decade.

    Up 3 games to 2, the Nuggets can wrap up the series Thursday night in San Antonio, where they won last weekend for the first time since 2012, regaining the home-court advantage.

    The Nuggets, who posted the best home record in the NBA and ended a six-year playoff drought by earning a surprising second seed in the Western Conference playoffs, finally looked like the team that rolled through the regular season led by All-Star Nikola Jokic and backed up by the best bench in the league.

    Jokic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Denver led by as many 30 points at 99-69, after which their starters took a seat.

    Paul Millsap chipped in 14 points as the Nuggets' most experienced player in the playoffs bounced back from a 4-point performance in Game 4 that ended his streak of 16 consecutive playoff games with double digit scoring.

    DeMar DeRozen and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 17 for San Antonio, but Denver dominated this one almost from the tip.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #1697
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    SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2019
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:00 PM Detroit Pistons Milwaukee Bucks Fiserv Forum
    7:00 PM Indiana Pacers Boston Celtics TD Garden
    8:00 PM Utah Jazz Houston Rockets Toyota Center
    10:30 PM Los Angeles Clippers Golden State Warriors ORACLE Arena


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


    NBA PLAYOFF RECORD OPINIONS AND BEST BETS !

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    04/23/2019 2-6-0 25.00% -23.00
    04/22/2019 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50
    04/21/2019 3-5-0 37.50% -12.50
    04/20/2019 4-4-0 50.00% -2.00
    04/19/2019 3-3-0 50.00% -1.50
    04/18/2019 2-4-0 33.33% -12.00
    04/17/2019 6-0-0 100.00% +30.00
    04/16/2019 3-3-0 50.00% -1.50
    04/15/2019 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    04/14/2019 4-4-0 50.00% -2.00
    04/13/2019 7-1-0 87.50% +29.50

    Totals..............35-35-0 50.00% -16.50


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


    BEST BETS:

    DATE........................ATS................... ..UNITS..................O/U..................UNITS.............TOTALS

    04/23/2019.............2 - 2.....................-1.00....................4 - 8.................-22.00.............-23.00
    04/22/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................0 - 2.................-11.00.............-11.50
    04/21/2019.............2 - 2 .....................-1.00...................1 - 3.................-11.50..............-12.50
    04/20/2019.............1 - 3.....................-11.50..................3 - 0................+15.00.............+3.50
    04/19/2019.............1 - 2.....................-6.00....................2 - 1................+4.50...............-1.50
    04/18/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................1 - 2................-6.00................-6.50
    04/17/2019.............3 - 0....................+15.00..................3 - 0................+15.00.............+30.00
    04/16/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................1 - 1.................-0.50...............-1.00
    04/15/2019.............0 - 1.....................-5.50....................0 - 1.................-5.50...............-11.00
    04/14/2019.............2 - 2.....................-1.00....................2 - 2.................-1.00...............-2.00
    04/13/2019.............3 - 0.....................+15.00.................3 - 0.................+15.00............+30.00

    Totals....................17 - 15..................+2.50.................20 - 20................-8.00................-5.50
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #1698
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    Wednesday’s 6-pack

    Odds to win next February’s Super Bowl (from Westgate SuperBook)

    6-1: Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots

    8-1: New Orleans Saints

    10-1: Los Angeles Rams

    12-1: Indianapolis Colts

    14-1: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns

    20-1: Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers

    Quote of the Day
    “If you get fired for cheating you can get rehired, but if you get fired for losing it’s like you have leprosy. Young coaches need to bear that in mind. Cheating and not graduating players won’t get you in trouble, but that damn losing will.”
    The late Royce Waltman, former coach at Indiana State

    Wednesday’s quiz
    Which college football program is only one in country that has had the #1 pick in NFL Draft two years in a row?

    Tuesday’s quiz
    In the movie Draft Day, Denis Leary played the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

    Monday’s quiz
    Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota were the top two picks in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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

    Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

    13) Never really thought about this much, but Ross Tucker wrote an article in The Athletic this week about how a lot of active pro football players despise watching the NFL Draft, because he might be watching his employer select a player who will then take his job this summer.

    Welcome to Case Keenum’s world; when he suits up for the Redskins this fall he’ll be on his fifth team in six years, at the most visible position in all of sports. No pressure there. But there are rumors that Washington will trade for Josh Rosen or draft a QB, which means that in 2020, it would likely be six teams in seven years.

    12) Thru Monday, there were 1.34 home runs hit per game in major league games, ahead of 2017’s pace of 1.26 HR’s/game, which is the all-time record.

    11) One member of Georgia’s football recruiting office has been fired and another suspended for 30 days without pay. No one is saying why, but it can’t be good.

    10) 49ers’ kicker Robbie Gould told the team that he will not negotiate or sign a long-term deal with them— he requested a trade. Gould is 36; he was the Bears’ kicker for 11 years.

    9) Seattle Seahawks traded DE Frank Clark to the Chiefs for a 1st-round pick this year and a 2nd-round pick next year. Teams also exchanged 3rd round picks this year.

    8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no games in Tampa between Sept. 22 and Nov. 10; they’re not happy about it.

    7) Angels’ Peter Bourjos had played in 1,454 professional games in 14 seasons before Monday’s game. In the 13th inning, he made his first-ever appearance in the infield, playing 2B, and made a great diving stop going to his left to rob a batter of a hit.

    Halos used P Felix Pena as a pinch-runner in that game; last time the Angels used a pitcher as a pinch-runner had been Steve Sparks vs Arizona on June 13, 1999.

    6) Arizona poached G Max Hazzard as a grad transfer from Cal-Irvine; Hazzard’s brother was a walk-on at Arizona from 2012-16. Funny thing, Cal-Irvine was better than Arizona last year, when Hazzard scored 12.5 ppg for the Anteaters- he is the grandson of former UCLA coach Walt Hazzard.

    Idaho State has two kids transferring out of the program, which is never a good sign; one is a 6-11 center who scored 10 points a game, the other a sub who played 19 minutes/game.

    5) North Carolina had a big recruiting day, signing two hoop prospects; Cole Anthony (Greg Anthony’s son) and Anthony Harris, a couple of talented guards.

    4) Blue Jays SS prospect Bo Bichette broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in Monday night’s game; Bichette plays for the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

    3) This will be the first time ever that the Texas Longhorns will go four years in a row without a first round pick in the NFL Draft.

    2) NBA said Tuesday that 233 players — 175 players from colleges/other schools and 58 international players — filed as early entry candidates for the 2019 NBA Draft.

    Seeing how only 60 players get taken in the draft, going to be some disappointed people.

    1) College football rules change starting this fall: If game reaches a 5th OT, teams will begin to run alternating 2-point plays rather than offensive possessions starting at 25-yard line. There were concerns about players being injured/getting exhausted with a couple games going six or seven OT’s in recent years.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #1699
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    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #1700
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    515La Clippers -516 Golden State
    GOLDEN STATE is 4-12 ATS (-9.2 Units) in home games when playing against a marginal winning team (Win Pct. 51% to 60%) in the current season.

    517Utah -518 Houston
    HOUSTON is 12-1 ATS (10.9 Units) in home games after 2 or more consecutive unders in the current season.




    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Wednesday, April 24


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

    LA CLIPPERS (49 - 37) at GOLDEN STATE (60 - 26) - 4/24/2019, 7:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    LA CLIPPERS are 231-292 ATS (-90.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 138-102 ATS (+25.8 Units) in April games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 70-46 ATS (+19.4 Units) in all playoff games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 29-12 ATS (+15.8 Units) in the first round of the playoffs since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 88-60 ATS (+22.0 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    LA CLIPPERS are 47-38 ATS (+5.2 Units) in all games this season.
    LA CLIPPERS are 48-34 ATS (+10.6 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 25-11 ATS (+12.9 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 23-11 ATS (+10.9 Units) after a division game over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 62-46 ATS (+11.4 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 30-18 ATS (+10.2 Units) in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 37-48 ATS (-15.8 Units) in all games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 33-45 ATS (-16.5 Units) as a favorite this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 38-54 ATS (-21.4 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 25-37 ATS (-15.7 Units) in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 47-61 ATS (-20.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 29-43 ATS (-18.3 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 9-7 against the spread versus LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 13-3 straight up against LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    11 of 16 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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

    UTAH (51 - 35) at HOUSTON (56 - 30) - 4/24/2019, 8:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    HOUSTON is 25-16 ATS (+7.4 Units) in home games this season.
    HOUSTON is 127-95 ATS (+22.5 Units) after 3 or more consecutive unders since 1996.
    HOUSTON is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in home games revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
    HOUSTON is 26-16 ATS (+8.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    HOUSTON is 38-25 ATS (+10.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    UTAH is 26-13 ATS (+11.7 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
    UTAH is 41-30 ATS (+8.0 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
    UTAH is 39-24 ATS (+12.6 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    UTAH is 40-25 ATS (+12.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    HOUSTON is 12-7 against the spread versus UTAH over the last 3 seasons
    HOUSTON is 14-6 straight up against UTAH over the last 3 seasons
    9 of 17 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Wednesday, April 24


    Golden State led first four games in this series by 13-23-21-8 points at halftime; they scored 121-131-132-113 points, and led by 31 in only series game they’ve lost. Warriors won nine of their last 11 games overall. Golden State won 11 of last 14 games with the Clippers, but LA covered six of last ten. Warriors shot 55% from floor in Game 3; they shot 27-66 on arc in Games 3-4 in LA. Thompson scored 27 in first half Sunday. Clippers lost six of last eight games overall; over is 12-4-1 in their last 17 games. Golden State turned ball over 43 times in Games 1-2, only 12 times in Game 3, 13 in Game 4.

    Houston won last seven home games, covered last six; Harden was 11-39 in last two games. In their last three games, Rockets took 133 3-pointers, 112 2-point shots. Jazz stayed alive with its win Monday; they lost Games 1-2 here by 32-20 points, after they had covered five of last seven regular season road games. Mitchell scored 31 for Utah Monday, which was +17 on boards. Houston won 11 of its last 14 games with the Jazz; under is 8-2-1 in last 11 series games (3-0-1 in this series). Rockets won/covered nine of their last 11 games overall.




    NBA

    Wednesday, April 24


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

    Utah Jazz
    Utah is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games
    Utah is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
    Utah is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games on the road
    Utah is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Utah is 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston
    Utah is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Houston
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Utah's last 8 games when playing Houston
    Utah is 5-10-1 ATS in its last 16 games when playing on the road against Houston
    Utah is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Houston
    Houston Rockets
    Houston is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games
    Houston is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games
    Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Utah
    Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Utah
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston's last 8 games when playing Utah
    Houston is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Utah
    Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah

    Los Angeles Clippers
    LA Clippers is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
    LA Clippers is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games
    LA Clippers is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games
    The total has gone OVER in 12 of LA Clippers's last 17 games
    LA Clippers is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Clippers's last 6 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 17 of LA Clippers's last 25 games on the road
    LA Clippers is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Golden State
    LA Clippers is 3-19 SU in its last 22 games when playing Golden State
    The total has gone OVER in 11 of LA Clippers's last 15 games when playing Golden State
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Clippers's last 6 games when playing Golden State
    LA Clippers is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    LA Clippers is 2-12 SU in its last 14 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of LA Clippers's last 8 games when playing on the road against Golden State
    Golden State Warriors
    Golden State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
    Golden State is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 18 of Golden State's last 25 games
    Golden State is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
    Golden State is 19-3 SU in its last 22 games when playing LA Clippers
    The total has gone OVER in 11 of Golden State's last 15 games when playing LA Clippers
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Golden State's last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
    Golden State is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
    Golden State is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Golden State's last 8 games when playing at home against LA Clippers


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


    NBA
    Dunkel

    Wednesday, April 24



    Utah @ Houston

    Game 517-518
    April 24, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Utah
    122.386
    Houston
    132.315
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Houston
    by 10
    205
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Houston
    by 8
    213
    Dunkel Pick:
    Houston
    (-8); Under

    LA Clippers @ Golden State


    Game 515-516
    April 24, 2019 @ 10:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    LA Clippers
    109.425
    Golden State
    130.529
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Golden State
    by 21
    238
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Golden State
    by 14
    234
    Dunkel Pick:
    Golden State
    (-14); Over
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #1701
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    Wednesday's Playoff Essentials
    Tony Mejia

    Western Conference First Round – Game 5

    No. 5 Utah at No. 4 Houston (ESPN, 8:05 p.m. ET) -- Rockets lead 3-1


    April 14 – Rockets (-6.5) 122 vs. Jazz 90 (Under 212.5)
    April 17 – Rockets (-6.5) 118 vs. Jazz 98 (Over 215.5)
    April 20 – Rockets (+2) 104 at Jazz 101 (Under 215.5)
    April 22 – Jazz (+2) 107 vs. Rockets 91 (Under 215)

    Donovan Mitchell wasn’t allowing the Rockets to sweep the Jazz out of the playoffs in Salt Lake City.

    The second-year guard scored 19 of his 31 points in the game-deciding fourth quarter and Utah’s defense held Houston to a playoff-low scoring output in a 107-91 win that allowed them to stave off elimination for at least a few more days, forcing them back on a long flight back to Texas’ largest city.

    While it remains to be seen whether the Jazz simply postponed the inevitable, their fourth-quarter dominance featured exactly what they need in order to stunningly win four straight and pull a second consecutive first-round upset. Utah defended extremely well at the rim, altering shots and controlling the boards, winning that battle by a 52-35 count while outscoring Houston 52-22 in the paint. For the Rockets, it marked their first game being held under 100 points since a loss in Milwaukee on March 26. It was the team’s lowest scoring output since Nov. 10 and only the fourth time in 2019 that they failed to reach the century mark.

    If he is, this series at least has a chance to be compelling.

    Mitchell played closer after a slow start and demonstrated a fabulous will to win that served as a driving force, but the Jazz probably would’ve won Game 4 if he hadn’t exploded. What will ultimately decide whether this first-round series can be extended again is whether their strong defense can travel. Houston averaged 120 points in convincingly winning the first two games of the series, winning by a combined margin of 52 points. Center Rudy Gobert and power forward Derrick Favors must again control the paint and Jae Crowder has to serve as an asset at both ends, which will be far more difficult to manage on the road. Counting the playoffs, the Jazz are now 21-22 outside Salt Lake City. Houston’s 33-10 mark at home is better than all teams except the Bucks, Nuggets, Raptors and Trail Blazers.

    The Rockets’ x-factor is the health of center Clint Capela, whose lack of activity was glaring and allowed Utah’s bigs to settle in and impose their will in the manner they did. Capela, who averaged 11.3 points and 12 rebounds over the first three wins, managed just four points and seven boards in Game 4, missing five of his six field goal attempts. He revealed he’s been diagnosed with a pair of viruses (adenovirus and kiebsiella for those medically-inclined) that has really sapped his energy and are guaranteed to keep him from being 100 percent over the next few games. I’m sure there’s no one who wants to get back on another flight to Utah less than Capela would be if he’s feeling ill, but he’s up against a difficult matchup and will need teammates to bail him out given that he’s operating at a diminished capacity. Expect Kenneth Faried to get more minutes if Capela remains as ineffective as he was in Game 4.

    NBA expert Kevin Rogers points out that while the Rockets have had a solid run in home series-clinchers, they haven’t been reliable against the number.

    “The Rockets have won three of the last four close-out games in the playoffs at home since 2017 with the lone defeat coming to the Warriors in last season’s conference finals. However, Houston owns a 1-3 ATS mark in these games, which includes a non-cover against Utah in last season’s Game 5 of the second round as 11 -point favorites in a 112-102 victory,” said Rogers. “Although it’s a small sample size, the Jazz have posted a perfect 2-0 ATS record when facing elimination on the road in the playoffs under Quin Snyder, and this is the biggest number Utah is receiving as an underdog in this series.”

    The Rockets finished off a 122-90 Game 1 win with a dominant fourth quarter and led by 28 points entering the final 12 minutes of Game 2, so the Jazz haven’t had many stretches of success at the Toyota Center in this postseason. Each team won on the other’s home court once during the regular season and got blown out there as well, but most of this Utah roster has had limited success in the Rockets’ building and found themselves eliminated there in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals last year (112-102).

    The low-side in 17-6-1 over the Rockets’ last 24 contests since the beginning of March and has gone 3-1 in the series. The Rockets must find a way to limit offensive boards after being outscored 17-3 on second-chance points in Game 4. Harden is averaging 28.8 points in the series after leading the NBA with a scoring clip of 36.1 during the regular season and is shooting just 37 percent from the field over the four games, so we’ll see if he can put together a big game to close things out. The Jazz covered in all three games where they were an underdog of 7.5 points or more this season.


    Western Conference First Round – Game 5

    No. 8 L.A. Clippers at No. 1 Golden State (TNT, 10:40 p.m. ET) -- Warriors lead 3-1


    Apr. 13 - Warriors (-13.5) 121 vs. Clippers 104 (Under 233)
    Apr. 15 - Clippers (+13.5) 135 at Warriors 131 (Over 234)
    Apr. 18 - Warriors (-9.5) 132 at Clippers 105 (Over 234)
    Apr. 21 - Warriors (-9.5) 113 at Clippers 105 (Under 236)

    It’s been an eventful first-round series for the Warriors, who have unexpectedly lost a game, lost their starting center and on occasion, lost their tempers in attempting to dispose of the pesky eighth-seeded Clippers. While many of the team’s players call Los Angeles home, no Golden State player or coach wants a return trip there for a Game 6. It’s time to start concentrating on the next round, especially with the Rockets on the brink of clinching against the Jazz.

    The Warriors have largely dominated the series against L.A. outside of a remarkable Game 2 second-collapse that saw them blow a 31-point lead, evening things up at a game apiece. They’ve since taken control of the series, but Klay Thompson indicated that the team is aggravated that it let anyone walk out of Oracle Arena with a victory, something they’re looking to ensure doesn’t become a common occurrence during this three-peat bid.

    For whatever reason, the Warriors didn’t look sharp to open the playoffs, following up a 21-turnover Game 1 by committing 22 in the Game 2 setback as Kevin Durant racked up nine. After fouling out of Game 2 following a Game 1 ejection, he found his game at Staples Center, dominating out-sized guard Patrick Beverley, who has been in a pest role against him all series. DeMarcus Cousins is likely done for the rest of the playoffs, Stephen Curry has struggled with his shot and Klay Thompson has been hit-or-miss, so the team’s most consistent All-Star thus far has actually been Draymond Green.

    It would be silly to write that the Warriors need to acquire confidence from a close-out game in this series given all that they’ve accomplished, but it would be nice to see multiple guys find a groove in the same game, especially if you’re up for laying the points here. As a favorite of 13.5 points or more this calendar year, Golden State is 8-3 SU but just 6-5 against the number. Each of their losses in that situation has occurred since March 10, including the Game 2 loss to the Clippers.

    Golden State opened the postseason as a 2-to-7 favorite (-350) at Westgate to win the West and 1-to-2 (-200) to win the NBA title and have had their odds adjusted to 1-to-3 to win the West (-300) and 5-to-8 (-160) to win it all, so we’re reaching the point where you’re unlikely to find better odds on the defending two-time champs unless they fall behind early in any of their upcoming series. They were made a heavy favorite (-360) in a potential series with the Rockets by Westgate, who have Houston at +280.

    Like many other pundits, Chris David of VegasInsider.com expects Golden State to advance but laying two touchdowns in Game 5 looks like a toss-up based what we’ve seen from this season’s Warriors squad.

    He explained, “Including the first two games of this series, Golden State has gone 21-4 at home this season as a double-digit home favorite. For our purposes, Steve Kerr’s team has gone 12-13 ATS while the ‘under’ has produced a 15-10 record. Since the Warriors started making noise in the playoffs in 2015, the team has been favored by 10-plus points 22 times in the postseason. Golden State has only lost two of those games and that includes the recent Game 2 stunner to the Clippers. While their regular season ATS numbers were basically a stalemate, Golden State is just 8-14 ATS as a double-digit favorite in the playoffs.”

    “In last year’s playoffs, the Warriors won their close-out games by an average of 12.3 PPG and that number was inflated a bit by their 23-point win over the Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. They only averaged 105.3 PPG and that lack of production helped the ‘under’ go 4-0. While that was the trend last season, two years prior was a much different story and their first run with Kevin Durant was explosive in 2017. In those four close-out games, the Warriors averaged 126.7 PPG and won by an average of 18.5 PPG.”

    Golden State has lost just three of the last 20 games it has played against the Clippers at Oracle since 2012 and is 28-12 overall against them in that span, which includes a 17-3 run since ’15.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    UTA at HOU 08:00 PM
    HOU -8.0
    O 212.5


    LAC at GS 10:30 PM
    LAC +14.5
    U 233.0
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Clippers cut Warriors' lead to 3-2; Rockets advance
    April 25, 2019
    By The Associated Press


    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Lou Williams hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:29 left and finished with 33 points and 10 assists, the Warriors uncharacteristically clanked shots much of the second half and couldn't make key stops, and the Los Angeles Clippers sent their first-round series back home with a 129-121 Game 5 win over Golden State on Wednesday night.

    No clinch celebration just yet for the two-time defending champions, who lead 3-2 but needed far more than Kevin Durant's playoff career-high 45 points.

    The Clippers stymied Golden State's comeback effort on the very court at Oracle Arena where Los Angeles rallied from 31 points down in Game 2 for the largest comeback in NBA postseason history.

    Game 6 is Friday back in Los Angeles.

    ROCKETS 100, JAZZ 93


    HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 26 points and Houston outlasted Utah to win their first-round playoff series 4-1.

    The Rockets advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the third straight season and will face the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers-Golden State Warriors series.

    The Rockets were helped by a solid game from Clint Capela, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. He acknowledged that he was having trouble breathing in the Game 4 loss because of an upper respiratory infection and was held to just four points.

    After scoring 31 points to lead Utah to the victory in Game 4, Donovan Mitchell managed just 12 points on a night he missed all nine of his 3-point attempts.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY APRIL 25, 2019
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:00 PM Philadelphia 76ers Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center
    7:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers Oklahoma City Thunder Chesapeake Energy Arena
    7:00 PM Toronto Raptors Orlando Magic Amway Center
    8:05 PM Denver Nuggets San Antonio Spurs AT&T Center


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


    NBA PLAYOFF RECORD OPINIONS AND BEST BETS !

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD


    04/24/2019 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50
    04/23/2019 2-6-0 25.00% -23.00
    04/22/2019 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50
    04/21/2019 3-5-0 37.50% -12.50
    04/20/2019 4-4-0 50.00% -2.00
    04/19/2019 3-3-0 50.00% -1.50
    04/18/2019 2-4-0 33.33% -12.00
    04/17/2019 6-0-0 100.00% +30.00
    04/16/2019 3-3-0 50.00% -1.50
    04/15/2019 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    04/14/2019 4-4-0 50.00% -2.00
    04/13/2019 7-1-0 87.50% +29.50

    Totals..............36-38-0 48.64% -28.00


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


    BEST BETS:

    DATE........................ATS................... ..UNITS..................O/U..................UNITS.............TOTALS


    04/24/2019.............0 - 2.....................-11.00...................1 - 1................-0.50...............-11.50
    04/23/2019.............2 - 2.....................-1.00....................4 - 8.................-22.00.............-23.00
    04/22/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................0 - 2.................-11.00.............-11.50
    04/21/2019.............2 - 2 .....................-1.00...................1 - 3.................-11.50..............-12.50
    04/20/2019.............1 - 3.....................-11.50..................3 - 0................+15.00.............+3.50
    04/19/2019.............1 - 2.....................-6.00....................2 - 1................+4.50...............-1.50
    04/18/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................1 - 2................-6.00................-6.50
    04/17/2019.............3 - 0....................+15.00..................3 - 0................+15.00.............+30.00
    04/16/2019.............1 - 1.....................-0.50....................1 - 1.................-0.50...............-1.00
    04/15/2019.............0 - 1.....................-5.50....................0 - 1.................-5.50...............-11.00
    04/14/2019.............2 - 2.....................-1.00....................2 - 2.................-1.00...............-2.00
    04/13/2019.............3 - 0.....................+15.00.................3 - 0.................+15.00............+30.00

    Totals....................17 - 17..................-8.50.................21 - 21................-8.50................-17.00
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Thursday’s 6-pack

    Odds to win the two Eastern Divisions in the NFL this year:

    NFC East:

    even: Philadelphia Eagles

    5-4: Dallas Cowboys

    8-1: Washington Redskins

    14-1: New Jersey Giants

    AFC East:
    1-6: New England Patriots

    5-1: New Jersey Jets

    12-1: Buffalo Bills

    50-1: Miami Dolphins

    Quote of the Day
    “Good coaches are trying to reinforce players in practice after every play. So, they’re telling them you did this well, or you need to do it this way or you made a mental error and need to get it corrected. You’re trying to reinforce guys on every play. Sometimes, players kind of depend on that reinforcement all the time in practice, but in the game, there’s no coach out there.”
    Nick Saban

    Thursday’s quiz
    When was the last time a QB from the Big 14 (Michigan, Ohio St, etc…) was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft?

    Wednesday’s quiz
    USC is the only college football program in country that has had the #1 pick in NFL Draft two years in a row; Ron Yary/OJ Simpson, back in the late 60’s.

    Tuesday’s quiz
    In the movie Draft Day, Denis Leary played the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

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

    Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

    13) RIP to Ole Miss basketball star Johnny Neumann, who passed away this week after a long illness at age 68. Neumann led the nation in scoring as a sophomore at 40.1 ppg; he left school early to play in the ABA, but got his degree from Ole Miss in 2016, at age 65.

    Neumann played for nine teams in seven seasons in the ABA/NBA, scoring 13.2 ppg.

    12) He also coached in the old CBA; I know this because we had a team here in Albany, and one night, Neumann got tossed out of a game here. A few minutes later, he showed up in the corner of the small arena, watching the game while sipping a beer.

    I went over and shook his hand and talked to him; we talked for 15-20 minutes about his playing career and basketball in general. Good guy. Hope he rests in peace.

    11) Interesting article on SI.com this week about how teams gather information for the NFL Draft; couple years ago, one GM sent a message to a second GM that he wasn’t interested in a certain player, but the second GM should take him.

    The second GM didn’t believe the first one’s message; he traded up ahead of him, then took the player in question. Paranoia runs rampant this week.

    10) Another interesting aspect of the days before he draft is how some teams utilize the media to gain knowledge. Late night text messages, asking a media person if anyone else had mentioned something about Player A being injured. Some of the national reporters are pretty well-informed and can be useful conduits for information.

    9) 20 years ago this week, Fernando Tatis Sr hit two grand slams in the same game at Dodger Stadium; odd thing is, he hit both of them off the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park).

    8) Coaching carousel:
    — Northern Kentucky hired former coach South Carolina/Western Kentucky coach Darrin Horn as its new coach.

    7) Temple’s new basketball coach Aaron McKie has already signed up three transfers, one each from Indiana, Wisconsin, Kennesaw State.

    6) Milwaukee Brewers signed P Gio Gonzalez; only once in their last 13 games has the Brewers’ starting pitcher finished the 6th inning.

    So far this season, Milwaukee has scored 71% of its runs via the home run, which would be a major league record if they did that all year.

    5) In case you were wondering, Merriam-Webster added 640 new words/terms to the dictionary in this year’s edition, including “peak”, “buzzy” and “garbage time”

    4) Not sure if I knew this or not: If an NFL player suffers a season-ending injury in a voluntary workout, he is paid for that season. In reality, “voluntary workouts” aren’t voluntary, unless you are one of the team’s stars.

    3) If they ever make the movie Draft Day 2, they could take notes on Kyler Murray’s winter and run the plot around that. More and more, this kid seems like kind of an odd duck.

    Murray was scheduled to be at a charity event Wednesday, but he ended up being a no-show, because “he had other places to be.” You want to be the #1 pick in the draft and you blow off a charity event the day before the draft? Oy.

    2) Prayers to Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, who had an operation to remove a brain tumor last week and is now trying to recover at home. Very painful thing; we wish her the best in her recovery.

    1) The NFL Draft starts tonight; finally, no more mock drafts and fake news with teams lying about who they’re interested or not interested in. They stretch this out over three days now, but it is fun to watch.

    Next year, it’ll be even more fun to watch; the 2020 NFL Draft is in Las Vegas, and I’ll be there to see it, which figures to be an interesting experience.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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

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    Nuggets (54-28) at Spurs (48-34)

    Denver strutted, shot and defended its way to a pivotal Game 5 win over San Antonio on Tuesday and is one win away from clinching a spot in the Western Conference semifinals.

    But the Nuggets don't expect the seventh-seeded Spurs to go quietly when they meet Thursday night in the Alamo City in Game 6 of the first-round series.

    The second-seeded Nuggets, who lost the series opener at home and nearly lost the second, head back to Texas after Tuesday's dominating 108-90 win in Denver. They are on the cusp of their first postseason series victory since 2009, when they reached the Western Conference finals.

    Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic said he expects Game 6 to be the "toughest game of our lives."

    Denver snapped a 14-game, seven-year losing streak in San Antonio with a 117-103 victory in Game 4 on Saturday.

    The Nuggets carried that momentum into Tuesday and dominated Game 5, leading by 11 at the half and by as many as 30 points in the final quarter to seize their first lead of the series. Jamal Murray paced Denver with 23 points, one of seven Nuggets in double figures.

    Jokic added 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and remained the hub of Denver's offense.

    "What's remarkable about Nikola is he has that consistency," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "You expect greatness from him every night."

    Denver's defense had a lot to say about the Game 5 win. In a 5:21 span of the first quarter, the Spurs managed only one field goal and missed seven consecutive shots. In the second quarter, San Antonio was held to another stretch of more than five minutes with just one made basket.

    After Denver began the third quarter on a 17-4 run, the Spurs were all but forced to concede.

    "They just outplayed us in every facet," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We missed a lot at the rim early, or it could have been a much more competitive first half. We've got to have more guys playing well for sure."

    Malone labeled the Nuggets' third-quarter performance, in which they scored 32 points and led by as many as 28, one of their best of the season.

    "We didn't even have to call any offensive sets," Malone said. "We were just playing the game, and obviously San Antonio's a team that started that many years ago, the beautiful game. But it's really fun to watch, as a coach, as a fan. And our guys thrive off that."

    LaMarcus Aldridge, a non-factor in the series despite leading San Antonio through the regular season, paced the Spurs in Game 5 with 17 points and 10 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, but made just 6 of 15 shots from the field.

    "There's always somebody that steps up in the playoffs," Popovich said. "You look for people to step up who aren't your major players. Every winning team, there's someone who seems to do that."

    It seems like a lifetime ago when San Antonio held a 2-1 lead and owned the home-court edge against the Nuggets. Now the Spurs have to fight for their playoff lives to force a deciding seventh game in Denver on Saturday.

    "We want to win two straight," Spurs guard Bryn Forbes said. "That's our goal, to play the best two games we can put together and try to win these next two."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    525Denver -526 San Antonio
    SAN ANTONIO is 10-1 ATS (8.9 Units) in home games revenging a loss vs opponent of 10 points or more in the current season.




    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Thursday, April 25


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

    DENVER (57 - 30) at SAN ANTONIO (50 - 37) - 4/25/2019, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    DENVER is 15-26 ATS (-13.6 Units) against Southwest division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    DENVER is 6-17 ATS (-12.7 Units) in road games after a win by 10 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
    SAN ANTONIO is 1092-959 ATS (+37.1 Units) in all games since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 861-736 ATS (+51.4 Units) as a favorite since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 52-33 ATS (+15.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    SAN ANTONIO is 16-4 ATS (+11.6 Units) in home games against Northwest division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    SAN ANTONIO is 83-57 ATS (+20.3 Units) in home games in all playoff games since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 28-9 ATS (+18.1 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
    SAN ANTONIO is 87-59 ATS (+22.1 Units) in home games after a loss by 10 points or more since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 14-5 ATS (+8.5 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    SAN ANTONIO is 197-146 ATS (+36.4 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 32-20 ATS (+10.0 Units) in home games versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    SAN ANTONIO is 9-7 against the spread versus DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    SAN ANTONIO is 9-7 straight up against DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    8 of 16 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Thursday, April 25


    Nuggets won last two of last three games, making 44-93 on arc, after going 16-52 on arc in Games 1-2; Denver is 1-5 vs spread in its last six road games. Nuggets’ starters were +183 in last couple games- their bench was -63. White was held to 20 points in last two games after scoring 36 in Game 3; San Antonio is 0-5 vs spread in its last five home games. Spurs took 32 FT’s in both Games 3-4; they took 20-25-20 FT’s in Games 1-2-5 in Denver. Six of last nine series games stayed under the total. Home side won 13 of last 15 series games.




    NBA

    Thursday, April 25


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

    Denver Nuggets
    Denver is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Denver's last 9 games
    Denver is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver's last 6 games on the road
    Denver is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing San Antonio
    Denver is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Antonio
    Denver is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games when playing San Antonio
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Denver's last 9 games when playing San Antonio
    Denver is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
    Denver is 1-14 SU in its last 15 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
    San Antonio Spurs
    San Antonio is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games
    San Antonio is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 17 of San Antonio's last 25 games
    San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Denver
    San Antonio is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games when playing Denver
    San Antonio is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Denver
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Antonio's last 9 games when playing Denver
    San Antonio is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Denver
    San Antonio is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Denver


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


    NBA
    Dunkel

    Thursday, April 25



    Denver @ San Antonio

    Game 525-526
    April 25, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Denver
    116.866
    San Antonio
    122.312
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    San Antonio
    by 5 1/2
    201
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    San Antonio
    by 3
    208 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    San Antonio
    (-3); Under
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #1709
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    Thursday's Playoff Essentials
    Tony Mejia

    Western Conference First Round – Game 6

    No. 2 Denver at No. 7 San Antonio (TNT, 8:10 p.m. ET) -- Seiries tied 1-1


    Apr. 13 - Spurs (+5.5) 101 at Nuggets 96 (Under 210.5)
    Apr. 16 - Nuggets (-7) 114 vs. Spurs 105 (Over 210.5)
    Apr. 18 – Spurs (-4.5) 118 vs. Nuggets 108 (Over 208)
    Apr. 20 – Nuggets (+3.5) 117 at Spurs 103 (Over 209)
    Apr. 23 – Nuggets (-5.5) 108 vs. Spurs 90 (Under 210.5)

    You could make a great argument that the Nuggets have picked up every must-win in this series thus far.

    After falling behind following a Game 1 home loss, Denver kept itself out of an 0-2 hole with a huge fourth-quarter comeback. It kept from falling behind 3-1 by snapping a 14-game losing streak in San Antonio at the most opportune time, pouring in 117 points, their second-largest output in over a month.

    It’s time to see if the veteran Spurs can follow suit and answer the call when it matters most.

    Although All-Star center Nikola Jokic is having a productive series, Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray has been the catalyst in all three victories, fueling the Game 2 surge by scoring 21 of his 24 points in the final 12 minutes. After scoring just six points on 2-for-6 shooting in Game 3, head coach Michael Malone called him out and demanded more aggressiveness and consistency. He scored 24 points in Game 4 and 23 in Tuesday’s big swing game. For the series, he’s shot 53 percent in the wins (25-for-47), scoring at a clip of 23.7 points per game, and is 10-for-29 (34.4 %) in the losses, averaging just 11.5 points and shooting 2-for-11 from beyond the arc.

    Does San Antonio have anyone who can similarly drive its team’s success? On paper, there are options. At home, the Spurs are rightfully favored by a 3-spot. It’s time to see how much fight they have.

    It appears the Spurs have no choice but to use Jakob Poeltl to counter the size and skill of Jokic, but they’ve got to find a more impactful way to disrupt Murray if they want to get back to Denver for a Game 7. Derrick White has been the x-factor for San Antonio, averaging 26 points in its wins on over 70 percent shooting while managing 13.3 points in the losses, which includes a really rough past two games. Malone’s tweak has involved utilizing Gary Harris on White more, and the defensive standout has made life extremely difficult.

    Since most playoff series ultimately swing on adjustments, my belief that Gregg Popovich would find ways to help the Spurs impose their will over a Nuggets team that lacks significant playoff experience outside of Paul Millsap hasn’t come to fruition. Although Pop had a 9-1 mark in Game 5s dating back to 2013, Malone posted his first victory this deep into a series in his first game. Denver made him look great, leading by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter. This will be his first close-out game in the head seat. Popovich has a pretty strong record in these too.

    The veteran coach quipped that Game 5 was his “best Bobby Fischer” in a nod to Malone saying that he feels like he’s matching wits with a chess grand master. It’s subtle, but Pop sees what’s happening here. The opposing coach has done more to help his team win than he has managed to.

    What we’ve found out over the past week is that Malone has more talented options and has been able to press the right buttons himself, earning full credit with tweaks like bringing Torrey Craig into the starting lineup as a better glue guy in this series than Will Barton, who has been liberated to be more of a scorer off the bench. We’ll see if Popovich has a wrinkle up his sleeve since his supporting cast has typically played well at home, increasing his options.

    NBA expert Kevin Rogers believes in San Antonio’s ability to pick itself up based on its recent body of work.

    “The Spurs have done a solid job of bouncing back recently off a mediocre offensive performance. San Antonio has won in six of its last seven instances after being held to less than 100 points, while topping the 120-point mark five times in this span,” said Rogers. “On the season, San Antonio has won three of four times at home off a road loss in which it was held to fewer than 100 points. On the flip side, Denver enters Game 6 with losses in eight of its last 11 games in the road underdog role, while trying to close their first playoff series away from the Mile-High City since the famous upset of the SuperSonics in Seattle back in 1994.”

    We’re about to found out how these Nuggets handle prosperity, not to mention getting an early glimpse at the type of killer instinct they’re packing. Denver has certainly proven resilient in this series and will be playing at home this weekend regardless of tonight’s outcome since it will be flying home to either prepare for a Game 7 against the Spurs or a Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal clash with the Trail Blazers.

    The Nuggets haven’t defeated the Spurs in a playoff series since 1985, dropping four straight matchups, and they haven’t won consecutive games at the AT&T Center since Dec. 2009-Jan. 2010. San Antonio managed to upset Golden State in last year’s Game 4 of the first round to avoid being eliminated at home and have only been beaten once on their home floor to end a series since ’10.

    Of course, a lot of that Spurs nostalgia has to be put to bed since Popovich is one of the few constant common denominators. Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli have been in a lot of the battles, but DeMar DeRozan’s presence and counting on kids like White, Bryn Forbes and Poeltl as much as they are gives this a much different feel.

    De Rozan had a brutal showing in Game 5, looking lethargic and a step slow. He’s got to impose his will to make life easier on teammates and should be the most dynamic scoring threat on the floor if he’s right. The standout guard acquired in the Kawhi Leonard trade was a major catalyst in San Antonio’s inability to be remotely competitive earlier this week, so you can imagine his last 24 hours watching game film and preparing to redeem himself haven’t been pleasant. The Spurs went scoreless for key stretches and he shot just 40 percent, finishing with a series-low 17 points after missing nine of 15 shots. His energy level must improve.

    After being significantly outclassed by the Nuggets’ bench in Denver, surrendering 38 points as Barton, Monte Morris and Malik Beasley all hit double-figures, Spurs’ reserves must answer the call at home. That starts with the vets, Mills and Belinelli, but must also feature an explosion from Rudy Gay and solid contributions from the likes of shooter Davis Bertans or rookie x-factor Lonnie Walker, the team’s most athletic scorer. The ‘over’ is up 3-2 in this series, but the ‘under’ had been on a 19-6 run in Denver games since the All-Star break. The ‘under’ was on a 16-5 run in San Antonio’s final 21 regular-season meetings, so there’s a chance both teams revert to their identities in an elimination game and this winds up the lowest-scoring game of a series that has produced at least 197 points in every contest. Game 7 would be played Saturday night in Denver.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    THURSDAY, APRIL 25
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    DEN at SA 08:00 PM

    SA -3.0

    U 208.0
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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