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NBA Playoff Journal, May 13

   by Larry Ness - 05/13/2016

Playoff Journal (May 13)

The Spurs looked fine in the opening quarter last night, taking a 16-10 lead. However, the Thunder ended the period on a 15-3 run and then blew the game wide open by taking the second quarter, 30-12. The score was 55-31 at the half (lowest first half scoring by the Spurs all season) and the final was never in doubt (OKC would win, 113-99). What a turnaround in this series from San Antonio’s 124-94 Game 1 rout. OKC won FOUR of the next five games, including the last three. Durant scored just 16 points in Game 1, then averaged 31.0 PPG on 51.4 percent shooting the last five. Westbrook averaged 27.4-7.4-10.8 the last five games plus the center combo of Adams (11.0-11.8) and Kanter (8.7-7.5) were terrific all series.

For all of Pop’s planning, his resting starters periodically throughout the season in a effort to stay fresh come the postseason, the Spurs looked ‘spent’ the final three games of this series. Duncan seemingly aged 10 years from the end of the regular season to this matchup with OKC, as his 19 point effort in Game 6, was FOUR more points than he totaled in the first five games of the series, combined (15). Ginobili averaged 5.5 PPG the last four games on 31.6 percent shooting, while Parker was a non-factor the last two. He made 7 of 18 shots (38.9 percent) and got to the free throw line just TWO times. He scored a total of just 15 points while handing out eight assisst. This just may be the end of the road for both Duncan and Ginobili.

Home teams are now 12-8 SU and 11-9 ATS in the semifinals and with last night’s game going over, made it 11 overs and nine unders in the second round. “Zig-Zaggers” lost with the Spurs and are 9-7 ATS in the second round. Checking in on the postseason numbers to-date, it’s 42-22 SU (.656) for home teams and 36-28 ATS (56.3%). There have been 40 unders in the 64 games (that’s 62.5%) and those following the Zig Zag theory are 26-26 (minus-2.6 net games). ESPN carries tonight’s Game 6 from Miami at 8:05 ET, as the Raptors look to eliminate the Heat.

Both starting centers are again expected to miss and one wonders if DeRozan and Lowry can possibly duplicate their Game 5 performances? The Raptors are 1-4 all-time in road “close-out” games, while the Heat are 7-1 in their last eight elimination games, including 2-0 this postseason. However, the Heat have yet to score more than 94 points in any contest so far in this series, during regulation. Miami is favored by four points.

If there is a Game 7 in the Miami/Toronto series, I’ll have a journal on Sunday. If not, my next journal will be Monday.

Good luck...Larry

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