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Playoff Journal - May 24

   by Larry Ness - 05/24/2013

NBA Playoff Journal (Friday, May 24)

The first round (45 games in all) saw just two contests go into OT, while in the second round (22 in all), three games needed an extra session to decide the winner. However, in the two conference finals, after a 105-83 Game 1 blowout win by the Spurs (over the Grizzlies), we’ve seen back-to-back OT affairs. First, it was the Grizzlies using a 15-2 closing run to send Game 2 of the West finals into OT (Spurs would prevail 93-89, to take a 2-0 series lead) and then in Game 1 of the East finals, Paul George would nail about a 30-foot three-pointer to send that contest into OT, before LBJ gave the defending champs a dramatic 103-102 win with a layup just before the buzzer.

Home teams are a perfect 3-0 SU in this round (conference finals) but 1-2 ATS. All three games have gone over and those following the Zig Zag theory have opened this round 1-0. That gives home teams a 45-25 SU (.643) mark since the opening of the 2013 postseason but just a 33-37 ATS mark (47.1%), or minus-7.7 net games. There have been 33 overs, 35 unders and two pushes, while those following the Zig Zag theory have gone 28-28 or minus-2.8 net games.

Game 2 of the East finals is set for 8:35 ET tonight on TNT. The Heat are favored by 7 1/2 points and the total is 182. The Pacers proved they could play with the defending champs in Game 1 but missed a great opportunity to ‘steal’ a win at Miami in that contest. Losing a playoff game at the final buzzer on the road against the reigning NBA champs is NEVER a good thing and has the potential to demoralize a team. We’ll find out if that’s the case, tonight. The Pacers got good efforts from George (27), West (26), Hibbert (19 & 9) plus Hansbrough chipped in 10 & 6 in 12 minutes off the bench in Game 1. However, the starting backcourt of Hill and Stephenson combined to shoot 4-of-19 (21.0 percent) from the floor, including 0-of-7 on threes.

LBJ was his typical unstoppable self in Game 1 (30-10-10) for the Heat and some really good news for Miami fans was that Dwyane Wade played a postseason-high 41 minutes in Game 1 and scored 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Bosh had 17 points but only two rebounds, Chalmers was bothered by a bruised left shoulder and was ineffective plus the trio of Allen, Battier and Cole were a combined 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from the floor, including 1-of-9 on threes. Meanwhile, “the Birdman” was Miami’s second-best player, scoring 16 points (on 7-of-7 shooting) with five rebounds in 18 minutes.

My next journal will be available by 1:00 ET on Saturday.

Good luck...Larry

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