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Playoff Journal - May 14

   by Larry Ness - 05/14/2013

The Heat totally dominated the short-handed Bulls last night, holding them to 42 points through three quarters. The final was 88-65, the lowest point-total in Chicago postseason history. The Bulls shot 25.7% (2-of-17 on threes), with Nate Robinson sticking out with his 0-12 (0-5 on threes) zero point performance in 32 minutes! There goes his “cult status.” LBJ had 27-7-7 and the Miami bench chipped in 29 points. Points of concern for Miami (in moving forward), are Wade’s health (he's vergaed just 11.3 PPG in this series) and Allen’s recent poor play. He had 21 points in game 2 but has shot 5-of-14 (2-of-11 on threes) in the other three games, scoring a total of just 18 points.

The Thunder played like it was a “must win” situation early (opened a 17-point lead) but Memphis closed the margin to eight by halftime. A 28-20 edge in the third quarter had the game tied heading into the fourth. That final period was tight all the way and the game went into OT at 94-all. Memphis outscored OKC 9-3 in the extra period and with the 103-97 win, owns a 3-1 lead in the series. Durant had 27 points but was 2-of-13 in the 4th quarter and OT (0-5 in OT, alone). That negated bounce-back efforts by Martin (18 points) and Ibaka, who played his best game of the series (17 & 14).

Right before our eyes, we’re seeing a new “Big 3” blossom in the NBA. Gasol had 23 & 11, Randolph 23 & 12 (arguably the NBA best inside duo) plus Conley added 24 points. The Grizzlies have now won 19 of their last 20 home games (5-0 this postseason) and have quite remarkably, covered NINE consecutive postseason games this year!

Home teams are now 8-7 SU and 6-9 ATS in the second round. In the playoffs to-date, home teams stand at 37-23 SU (.617) but just 28-32 ATS (46.7% or minus-7.2 net games). There have been six overs, eight unders and a push in the second round and 27 overs, 31 unders and two pushes for the 2013 postseason. Those following the Zig Zag theory went 0-2 Monday night, giving them a 7-4 mark in the second round but just a 23-25 overall record, or minus-4.5 net games.

Tonight’s TNT doubleheader begins with Game 4 of the Knicks/Pacers (Indiana leads 2-1) from Indiana at 7:00 ET. The Pacers are favored by 5 1/2 points and the total is 179 1/2. Game 5 of the Warriors/Spurs series follows (9:30 ET), tied at two-all. The Spurs are favored by seven points and the total is 195.

Good luck...Larry

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