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NBA Journal -- May 7

   by Larry Ness - 05/07/2013


Home teams finished the first round 29-16 SU (.644) but under .500 ATS at 22-23! If you think that’s bad, after Monday night’s two games, home teams have opened the second round just 2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS! Miami and San Antonio are the two current betting favorites to advance to the NBA finals and both teams were on the court last night, for the first time since April 28, when the teams completed their respective four-game sweeps of the Bucks and Lakers, respectively. In situations like this, one never knows if the rest is good or it brings out some rust.


I’ll let you “make the call” on that after Miami lost outright to the the Bulls (Heat closed as 13-point favorites!) and the Spurs, who had won 29 consecutive home games against the Warriors (going 20-9 ATS), needed two OTs to edge Golden St 129-127, as nine-point favorites! Home teams now stand at 31-18 SU (.633) but have fallen to 22-27 ATS this postseason. The Chi/Mia game went under and obviously, the Gold St/SA game went over. Under bettors continue to hold a a slight edge this postseason with the totals, as there have been 23 overs, 25 unders and one push.


The Heat’s 12-game winning streak ended last night, as the Bulls ended regulation on a 10-0 run over the game’s final 1:59, earning a 93-86 win. Miami is 41-3 its last 44 games overall, with TWO of those defeats coming at the hands of the Bulls. Few will forget the Bulls beating the Heat back on March 27 in Chicago (101-97), a victory that ended Miami’s 27-game winning streak. Chicago earned this win despite Deng and Hinrich (plus of course, Rose), failing to suit up. Let me also point out that Boozer, the team's best player vs the Nets while averaging 17.4 PPG and 10.6 RPG on 54.5% shooting, contributed just six points and seven rebounds on 3-of-11 shooting.


Nate Robinson led the way for Chicago with 27 points, Butler added 21 & 14 (what game!) plus Noah, ever the warrior, had 13 & 11. LBJ had a modest line for him (24-8-7), while no other Heat players stood out. Bosh had just nine points and six rebounds while shooting 3-of-10 (after making 53.8% vs the Bucks), Allen had nine points on 2-7 shooting, including 1-of-4 on threes (he averaged 16.5 PPG vs Milwaukee, while connecting on 46.4% of his threes). Then “the birdman” never left his nest last night for Miami, as Andersen slept-walked through his 16 minutes with two points and one rebound. All in all, Miami will have a tough time ‘splainin’ this one!


Meanwhile, the Spurs never came close to covering but they sure showed the heart of a champion in their comeback. Golden St led right from the start and after a 22-point third quarter by Curry (his SECOND of TY’s postseason), the Warriors took a 92-80 lead into the fourth quarter. The Warriors led by 16 with only four minutes left in regulation but the Spurs ended on an 18-2 closing run, to send the game to OT. Down 127-126 with 3.9 seconds left in the second OT, Ginobili made the game-winning three-pointer (off a cross-court inbounds pass from Leonard), with 1.2 seconds to go.


Curry had 44 points (also 11 assists) for Golden St, leading the way for a team which shot 51.0 percent from the floor. Big men Barnes (19 & 12) and Bogut (10 & 15), also had solid games. Parker led the Spurs with 28-8-8, Green (who averaged just 7.0 PPG vs the Lakers) had 22, Duncan 19 & 11, Leonard 18 & 9 plus San Antonio hero Ginobili had 16-7-11.


TNT again carries tonight’s two games, Indiana at New York at 7:05 ET (Knicks are favored by six with a total of 183) and Memphis at OKC at 9:35 ET (OKC is favored by 2 1/2 points and the total is 186). Those following the Zig Zag theory went 16-21 ATS or minus-7.1 net games in the first round but note that while going 36-33 ATS last year, “Zig-Zaggers” did go 11-4 ATS in Game 2s. We need to keep an aye on this, as in the eight Game 2s in TY’s first round, they went 5-3 ATS. However, I will note that the “play on” teams in those eight Game 2s in this year’s first round were underdogs, while the “play on” teams here in the four Game 2s of the second round will feature two favorites, the Knicks tonight and the Heat on Wednesday. The two dogs are Memphis tonight and Golden St on Wednesday. Let me add that Memphis has covered six straight postseason games since losing 112-91 at LA in Game 1, while the Warriors are a PERFECT 7-0 ATS in TY’s postseason.


Good luck...Larry

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