Pacers, Spurs, Heat and Thunder roll as home teams dominate
If you don’t think home court in the NBA playoffs is a big deal ….. think again. In this weekend’s series openers, the home team went a perfect 8-0 straight up and a sweet 7-1 against-the-spread. Sunday, the hosts were a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS winning by 17, 12, 23 and 29. There is an old adage that says that a series doesn’t start until someone wins on the road. This year it could be short and sweet for the lower seeds unless they are able to hold serve at their houses. Based on this weekends results, that won’t be easy.
In Sunday’s opener, the Pacers easily dispatched the Hawks 107-90. Paul George led the way with a 23-11-12 triple-double. San Antonio led 24-15 after the first 12 minutes and was never threatened by the Lakers despite shooting just 37% from the field. The Spurs took advantage of 18 Laker turnovers. The Heat took Milwaukee behind the woodshed with a 110-87 beat down. Miami’s big three combined for 58-22-15 in the rout. In the nightcap, Oklahoma City welcomed back Jame Harden and the Rockets with a 120-91 spanking. The Thunder led 89-66 after three quarters allowing for plenty of garbage time.
Game Two for Bulls at Nets and Grizzlies at Clippers
The NBA playoffs returns tonight with a bi-coastal double header from the Barclay and Staples Centers respectively. In the 8:00 PM EST opener, the Nets are -4.5 over the Bulls with the total 183 1/2. Both numbers have not moved off the openers. In the nightcap, the Clippers are -5.5 over the Grizzlies …. the high/low is 181 1/2. As of this writing, there has been no movement on this line either.
Pirates win third straight over Braves
The Pittsburg Pirates beat Atlanta 4-2 to win the final three games of that series. Both teams have been playing well and show a very similar MO. The 10-7 Pirates opened the season 1-5 scoring just eight total runs in their first six games. The Bucs have produced 60 runs (better than five per game) in their current 9-2 run. The 13-5 Braves have scored a grand total of three runs in their five losses. You have to score some to win.
Revis to Tampa Bay for draft picks
The New York Jets have rid themselves of perennial headache Darelle Revis by sending him to Tampa Bay for the No.13 overall pick in Thursday’s draft and a conditional 2014 third-rounder. Revis promptly signed a six-year $96 million dollar deal with the Bucs with more than $50 said to be guaranteed. Though supremely talented, there are few athletes as money motivated as Revis. Contracts mean absolutely nothing to this guy and you can expect him holding out in Tampa looking for a new deal by as early as next year.
Remembering Pat Tillman: KIA April 22, 2004
Ten or so years ago, Arizona free safety Pat Tillman turned his back on a $3.6 million dollar contract with the Cardinals to serve his country. Nine years ago today, Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. Why not take a minute here to remember Pat and all the brave men and women who have fought for our country past, present and future.
Kenseth wins at Kansas
Matt Kenseth held off a late charge by Kasey Kahne to win the STP 400 at Kansas Motor Speedway. It was a dominating week for Kenseth who won the pole for just the ninth time in his 480 race career. He led 163 laps winning in frnt running style. Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five finishers. Johnson leads the point standings by 37 points over Kahne and 38 over defending champ Brad Keselowski.
McDowell beats Simpson in Heritage playoff
Graeme McDowell battled through gusting winds to come from four shots sown and beat Webb Simpson in a one-hole playoff to take the Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina. McDowell needed his 69 (one of just three rounds in the 60s all day) to force the extra hole and get the money. McDowell and Simpson both finished nine-under for the tournament, two shots better than Luke Donald and Kevin Streelman.
(NBA ) Clippers -5.5 over Memphis (Monday, April 22, 10:30 PM EST )