Thunder/Heat Game IV, Clemens Innocent, Bountygate Evidence + Free Plays of Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oklahoma City/Miami Game IV preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat square off in Game IV of the NBA Finals tonight in Miami. The Heat lead the series 2-1 by virtue of their 91-86 win in Game III. Miami is a 3.5 point favorite with the total 192 1/2. Series notes: The Heat are 9-2 straight up at home in the playoffs, they are 6-2 ATS in their L8 same series wins. The over is now 6-2-1 in the Heat’s L9 games. Shane Battier is 11-15 from downtown, the rest of Miami 7-31. After going -37 combined over the first two games, the Heat bench was +15 in Game III. The Heat got to the foul line 35 times in Game III after getting their just 43 times in two games at Oklahoma City. The Thunder need to be ready to play off the git go after getting off to poor starts in the three prior games. The Thunder bench was +51 in two games at OKC but -30 Sunday in South Beach. Thunder scoring had dropped 105-96-85 in three games. While this is not an elimination game for Oklahoma City, it night as well be. Teams that fall behind 3-1 in the NBA Finals are 0-30 to go on and win the series.

Clemens innocent on all counts

Roger Clemens perjury trial is over and a jury of eight women and four men found him not-guilty on all charges. Clemens had been charged with perjury, making false statements, and obstructing Congress after denying use of performance-enhancing drugs in 2008 testimony before the House. Ultimately, the government’s case likely depended too much on the testimony of Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee, a man whose checkered past made him a highly dubious witness.

Clemens made a statement, “I’m very thankful, It’s been a hard five years” but did not take questions.

Bobcats hire Mike Dunlap as new head coach

In a surprise move to many, the Charlotte Bobcats have hired St John’s assistant coach Mike Dunlap as their new head coach. Dunlap was also an assistant at Arizona, Oregon, the Nuggets and won a national title in D-II college basketball at Metro State. While considered one hoops brighter minds and tacticians, the hiring appears to be out of the blue. The Bobacts are off a league worst 7-59 season and have the second pick in the June 28th NBA draft.

Met’s Dickey throws B2B one-hitters

The knuckleballer with the bionic elbow just keeps right on rolling along. The Met’s R.A. Dickey won his ninth straight decision and became the first pitcher since the Jay’s Dave Stieb in 1988 to throw back-to-back one-hitters shutting out the heavy hitting Orioles 5-0 at the new Shea. Dickey threw just 114 pitches while striking out 13 improving to an MLB best 11-1. Dickey has a 1.21 ERA and 88 Ks during his current nine-game run and has not allowed an earned run in his last 42 2/3 innings pitched.

Kent State eliminates Florida in college World Series action

Kent State scored four unearned runs and another on a wild pitch in eliminating the top-seeded Gators from the College World Series with a 5-4 victory Monday. The Gators (47-20), who reached the CWS finals last year, committed five errors in two games after coming to Omaha seventh in the nation in fielding. Florida had also lost to defending champion and hated rival South Carolina 7-3 over the weekend.

NHL plans takeover of the New Jersey Devils.

Just a week after losing 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL finals, the swimming in red ink Devils might be taken over by the league much like the Phoenix Coyotes were a couple of years ago. According to the New York Post …

“NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is preparing to take control of the money-losing hockey franchise in the event Vanderbeek fails to refinance the Devils’ debt before a looming Aug. 14 deadline, The Post has learned.

In recent days, the commissioner’s office has told potential suitors to be ready in case he moves on the team and pushes Vanderbeek aside, a source close to the situation said.

Vanderbeek is near a deal to sell a majority stake to a mystery investor, which would allow him to keep control of the Eastern Conference champions, one source said. The proceeds from a sale would be used to repay lenders much of the $77 million in past due debt.

But while Bettman has said publicly that he expects the Devils’ financial situation to be resolved soon, his behind-the-scenes moves suggest he’s far from confident that a deal will get done.”

The league denies the report. Stay tuned at SP3 for more on this one.

Does Jared Sullinger have medical red flag ???

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger’s worst nightmare has come true. He was red-flagged by several NBA medical staffs over concerns about his back. A projected lottery pick, his health issues could cost him millions in the upcoming NBA draft. Sullinger underwent a battery of tests at the draft combine and after reviewing the results ESPN reported …

“A number of NBA team doctors have reviewed the information from the NBA and have told their front office staff that Sullinger’s back issues could shorten his NBA career and some have advised their teams not to draft him in the first round.” reported the following response from David Falk, Sullinger’s agent.

“Jared has consulted with one of the foremost specialists of backs and spines, who has vast experience treating professional athletes. He has explained to us that Jared had extremely tight hamstrings that became tight because he had suffered an injury — that I don’t think he was aware of — to his hamstring. He needs to maintain a vigilance with his flexibility. And if he does that, and keeps his weight at an appropriate level, then he should have absolutely no problems over the next 15 years.”

We’ll see on June 28th.

Free Plays

(NBA) Oklahoma City +4 over the Miami Heat

(MLB) Braves (Hudson)/Yankees (Kuroda) Under 8.5 +105

(MLB) Detroit (Verlander) -145 over St Louis (Lynn)

(MLB) Dodgers (Harang)/Oakland (McCarthy) Under 7