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Playoff Journal, May 7

   by Larry Ness - 05/07/2014

Home teams have "taken it on the chin" (at least ATS) so far in the 2014 playoffs. However, the two-time defending champs (Miami) and the team with the league's best regular season record (San Antonio), both delivered dominant Game 1 performances last night.

The Heat lost all four meetings with the Nets in the regular season but would have "none of that" Tuesday night. Miami led just 46-43 at the half but a 24-9 spurt over a seven-minute span in the third quarter, was the game's deciding moment. The Heat would go on to a 107-86 win, dropping the Nets to 1-9 all-time in playoff games vs the Heat.

LBJ had a modest 22 points, Bosh added 15 & 11 and Wade 14. The best news Miami got last night was Ray Allen finally contributing, as the future Hall-of-Famer averaged only 3.3 PPG during the series vs the Bobcats. Allen made 4 of 7 three-pointers on his way to scoring 19 points. Miami shot a league-best 50.1% during the year and last night opened by making 56.8%! Brooklyn's starting guards Johnson and Williams each had 17 points but KG (zero points / four rebounds in 16 minutes) and Pierce (3 of 8 on FGs for eight points) both looked VERY old.

The Spurs never trailed in their Game 1 win over the Blazers, opening with a 29-16 first quarter and taking a 65-37 lead at the half. Parker, off a 32-point Game 7 effort vs Dallas, led the way with 33 points plus nine assists. Duncan chipped in 12 & 11 but Ginobili (so good vs Dallas) had just two points in 18 minutes (he was 0 of 6 on FGs). Good news came San Antonio's way in that Belinelli, a 11.4 PPG scorer this past regular season (but averaged just 3.1 PPG in the series vs Dallas), made 7 of 9 FGs for 19 points.

Aldridge continued his superior play with 32 & 14 but Lillard was totally outplayed by Parker with 17 points. San Antonio owns a HUGE edge in the depth department and that was on full display in Game 1, as the Spurs' bench outscored the Blazers' by a count of 50-18!

With home teams going 2-0 SU and ATS, they got to 28-26 in the postseason to-date. However, they are a 'money-burning' 21-30-3 ATS (just 41.2% or a net of minus-12.0 games). Some people may have gotten a push on the closing total of Brooklyn/Miami but most won on the over, as did all on Por/SA over. Over bettors just keep cashing tickets, as after 54 games, it's 36 overs and just 18 unders (that's a 67% win rate).

Wednesday's schedule features are pair of Game 2s and in each case, the home team is down 1-0. The Wizards and Pacers are up first (7:05 ET on TNT), with Indiana favored by four points (total is 186). The Clippers/Thunder follow around 9:35 ET, with OKC favored by 5 1/2 points (215).

"Zig-Zaggers" get back in action, after going a 'sweet' 25-14-3 ATS record in the opening round (plus-9.6 net games). Will it hold?

Good luck...Larry

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