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Playoff Journal - May 15

   by Larry Ness - 05/15/2013

Two more playoff games last night, with the Pacers beating the Knicks 93-82 and the Spurs easily dispatching the Warriors, 109-91. The Knicks’ shooting woes continued, as they made just 35.6 percent for the game last night, including 8-of-28 on three-pointers. Anthony may be averaging 26.0 PPG for the series, but he’s shooting just 40.9 percent from the floor, including 6-of-16 on threes. As for J.R. Smith, he’s averaging 13.3 PPG vs Indiana but connecting on only 28.1 percent of his FG attempts, including 6-of-26 threes (23.1%). Stoudemire has averaged 10 MPG in the last two but has contributed modest totals of 5.5 PPG and 3.5 RPG (anyone really think he’d help?).

The Pacers were led by Hill’s 26 points plus got another excellent effort from Paul George (18-14-7), who is now being talked about as one of the league's elite players. Like Memphis, Indiana is now 5-0 SU and ATS at home in the 2013 playoffs, winning by an average margin of 15.4 PPG. The Pacers are averaging 100.2 PPG at Bankers Life Fieldhouse but just 84.4 PPG in five road postseason games (2-3 SU and ATS). Will that be a problem the next round vs Miami? That said, I may be getting ahead of myself.

The Spurs shut down any thoughts the Warriors had of a late-game comeback last night, dominating the second half 55-40, pulling away for a 109-91 win. Parker led the way with 25 points and 10 assists, while the Spurs got excellent games from Leonard (17 & 7) and Green (16 points). Then there is “old man river,” Tim Duncan. He had 14 & 11, giving him 143 career double-doubles in the postseason. He moved past Shaq and into a tie with Wilt, for the second-most playoff double-doubles in history (Magic leads with 157).

The Spurs shot 51.9% as a team (made 10-of-21 three pointers) and the Warriors were really out-gunned. Jack continued his excellent postseason play with 20 points (is averaging 17.4 per in the playoffs) and Barnes had 25 & 7 (Barnes is averaging 16.7 & 6.6 in the playoffs, after averaging 9.2 & 4.1 in the regular season). As for the Golden St duo of Curry and Thompson, who Mark Jackson called “the best shooting backcourt in NBA history,” they combined to make 6-of-22 shots in game 5 (27.3%), for a total of 13 points (Curry had nine and Thompson, four). Curry is shooting just 40.6% this series, while Thompson, after making 13-of-26 in Game 1 (including EIGHT of nine three-pointers), has made just 14-of-41 (34.1%) the last three games, including 3-of-7 threes (he didn’t attempt a single one, last night).

Home teams went 2-0 SU and ATS last night and now sit at 39-23 SU (.629) this postseason but just 30-32 ATS (48.4%), or minus-5.2 net games (10-7 SU and 8-9 ATS in the 2nd round). There have been seven overs, nine unders and a push in the 2nd round (1-1 last night), making it 28 overs, 32 unders and two pushes this postseason. Those following the Zig Zag theory have gone 8-5 in the 2nd round (1-1 last night), leaving them 24-26 or minus-4.6 net games for the 2013 playoffs. TNT airs another doubleheader tonight with both Miami and Memphis (up 3-1) looking to close out the Bulls and Thunder, respectively. The Heat game starts at 7:00 ET and Miami is home, where it is favored by 14 points (total is 181). Memphis is at OKC (9:35 ET) and despite its NINE straight ATS wins, is a 4 1/2-point dog (total is 185).

Good luck...Larry

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