NBA Playoffs tip today, Harvey bests Strasburg, Calgary says goodbye to Kiprusoff + Friday Recap: Saturday, April 20, 2013

NBA Playoffs tip off today

The NBA playoff start today with four games. In the 3:00 PM EST opener, the Celtics invade Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks. New York is -7 with the high/low currently set at 189. At 5:30 PM EST, Golden State takes on the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Denver is -8 with the total a whopping 210 1/2. At 8:00 PM EST, the Barclay Center hosts it’s first playoff game with the Nets five-point favorites over the Bulls. The over/under has fallen from it’s 182 1/2 opener to 181. In the Saturday finale, the Clippers give up five to Memphis …. the total has leveled off at 179. The four other series tip off Sunday and we’ll have a recap of Saturday action plus the numbers for Sunday on tomorrows report.

Series Prices

The East

#8 Milwaukee (+$4,000) vs #1 Miami (-$6,000)
#7 Boston (+$250) vs #2 New York (-$300)
#6 Atlanta (+$400) vs #3 Indiana (-$600)
#5 Chicago (+145) vs #4 Brooklyn (-$165)

The West

#8 Houston (+$1,200) vs #1 Oklahoma City (-$2,000)
#7 LA Lakers (+$800) vs #2 San Antonio (-$1,250)
#6 Golden State (+$500) vs #3 Denver (-$700)
#5 Memphis (+$155) vs #4 LA Clippers (-$175)

Harvey over Strasburg in battle of phenoms

The pitching dual between two of the leagues best young arms didn’t quite materialize as the mets stopped an eight game home losing streak to the Nats with a 7-1 win at Citi Field. Matt Harvey was dominant for the Mets allowing just one run in seven innings to improve to 4-0. Harvey’s ERA actually went up from 0.82 to 0.93. Stephen Straburg didn’t pitch badly allowing just two runs over six innings but was the victim of no support. Strasburg has one of the Nats four total hits.

Flame fans thank Miika Kiprusoff

The Calgary Flames honored long time iron-man goalie Miika Kiprusoff with a standing ovation over the final minute of last night’s 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Kiprusoff came to the Flames from the Sn Jose Sharks in 2003 and started at least 70 games in seven straight seasons before this year’s lockout shortened season. It is unclear whether the 37 year old will retire or try to catch on with a contender but he has almost certainly played his last home game as a Calgary Flame. “Kipper” has 319 career wins and won the Vezina Trophy as best goaltender in the 2005-2006 season.

Big Ten football will rename and realign in 2014

Legends and Leaders will be gone in favor of East and West when Rutgers and Maryland enter the Big Ten in 2014. The realignment will be purely geographical with the teams in the Eastern time zone comprising the East and the teams in the Central time zone plus Purdue filling out the West. Each team in the 14 team league will play a nine-game conference schedule.

Harrison stays in division after agreeing to terms with the Bengals

Former Pittsburg Steelers linebacker James Harrison will stay in the AFC North after reaching an agreement with the Cincinnati Bengals. Harrison was cut by the Steelers in March in a cap move when he wouldn’t take a paycut from the $6 million he was due this year. Terms and length of the deal were not announced but the Bengals pick up a minimum of a solid situational player in Harrison who will be 35 next month.

Matt Kenseth wins the pole at Texas

Matt Kenseth won the pole for Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway with a a track-record lap at 191.864 mph (28.145 seconds). Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse, Sam Harnisch, Kyle Busch and Aric Amirola round out the top three rows.

Free Play

(NBA) Chicago +5 over New Jersey (Saturday, April 20, 8:00 PM EST )