NBA Playoffs Update
Published on Wednesday, 4/26/17, at 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
–Cleveland, Houston and Golden St. are in the clubhouse awaiting their next foes.
–Three teams are Gone Fishin’: Oklahoma City, Indiana and Portland.
–Atlanta is a six-point underdog tonight at Washington. The series is knotted at 2-2 after the Hawks won by double-digit margins in Games 3 and 4 at Philips Arena. Gamblers should take note of tonight’s super-early tip at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
–Houston eliminated Oklahoma City last night by capturing a 105-99 win in Game 5 at Honda Center. However, the Thunder covered the number as a 7.5-point underdog. OKC went into the fourth quarter with a five-point lead, but Billy Donovan gave Russell Westbrook a quick rest at that point. With Westbrook resting until the 9:15 mark, Lou Williams scored 10 consecutive points to give the Rockets the lead for good. (To be clear, Donovan had to give him a break at some point. I’m not calling him out by any means.) Williams finished with 22 points from off of the bench.
–Boston is favored by 7.5 for tonight’s Game 5 vs. Chicago back in Beantown. Rajon Rondo will not play for a third straight game. The ‘under’ is 6-2 in the eight head-to-head meetings between these teams this year.
–Updated Series Prices:
Washington -200, Atlanta +170
Boston -480, Chicago +380
Toronto -600, Milwaukee +425
San Antonio -2500, Memphis +1000
Utah -425, L.A. Clippers +315
–I’m not against a small taste of the Clippers for that +315 return. They can still win that series.
–I remember tweeting last summer about how much I loved the veteran acquisitions (on the cheap, too!) of George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw for Utah. Johnson is really coming through in these playoffs so far. In fact, I heard someone on some show a week or two ago suggest that Johnson might be a Hall of Famer. I nearly fell out of my chair. On second thought, however, he has produced a lot of numbers and made a lot of clutch shots throughout his career. I’m not saying he is a Hall of Famer, but it is worth a discussion.
–I remember running into a guy I know that lives in New Orleans at the Florida-BYU Sweet 16 game in N’awlins in 2011. (the game that Kenny Boynton beat up on Jimmer Fredette for 40 minutes) Reggie Miller and Len Elmore were the analysts alongside Gus Johnson. The guy I know was at the game early and seated down low next to the announcers. He asked Miller who he hated playing against the most. Miller didn’t say Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. He said, “Joe Johnson. Strongest dude I’ve ever played against.”
–According to multiple reports, Paul George has told former teammates that he wants to bolt Indiana for the L.A. Lakers. Quick React: I hate the fuckin’ Lakers!
–My Top 10 NBA players (based on drafting best available player for next season only, NOT based on filling out a team with different positions or stats from this year, etc.)
1-LeBron James (Cavs)
2-Kawhi Leonard (Spurs)
3-Kevin Durant (Warriors)
4-Steph Curry (Warriors)
5-Draymond Green (Warriors)
6-Paul George (Pacers)
7-Russell Westbrook (Thunder)
8-Klay Thompson (Warriors)
9-Chris Paul (Clippers)
10-DeAndre Jordan (Clippers)
–No, I didn’t forget James Harden. You have to play defense to be on my team.
–Josh Smith is out of The Association at the age of 31. Think about that for a minute. He has never been arrested and has as much size and athleticism as any player in the league. Is he officially the Jeff George of the NBA? Crazy! (But I get it, too.)
–Here’s a great read from ESPN.com’s Wright Thompson on Heat President Pat Riley’s endgame. My biggest takeaway? Riley listens to Jason Isbell. Love it!