NBA Conference Finals Weekend Report
In what's known in the business, the Houston Rockets are playing with "house money" in their Game 6 bash at Golden State on this Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend:
No point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) for the Rockets and thus the defending champion Warriors are heavy-duty 12-point betting favorites here and everyone expects there's gonna be a decisive Game 7 come Monday night in Houston ... right?
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
HOUSTON at GOLDEN STATE - Rockets lead series 3-2; Game 6 is Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, TNT
The above-mentioned injury to Paul (20 points in that 98-94 hang-on-for-dear-life win against Golden State back in Game 5) has become the cryin' shame story right here/right now in these Western Finals ... now whether or not the veteran leader can be A-OK come a likely Game 7 is a whole 'nother story but here Mike D'Antoni's Rockets will count on more ferocious defense - yes, we can't believe we're saying that either! - and monster games from lefty James Harden and super-sub Eric Gordon (24 big points in Game 5) while expect the yappy Warriors to share the ball better here (just one fourth-quarter assist the other night, remember) with Kevin Durant/Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson likely scoring in the combined 90-to-95-point range.
If Golden State does not get back the services of one-time NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, then things might be a little tougher than usual for the Bay Area bunch. Hey, se y'all Monday night!
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Warriors and the Rockets (all home teams in CAPS):
|5-14||Golden St||+ 1.5||HOUSTON||119-106|
|5-16||HOUSTON||- 2||Golden St||127-105|
|5-20||GOLDEN ST||- 7.5||Houston||126-85|
|5-22||Houston||+ 8||GOLDEN ST||95-92|
|5-24||HOUSTON||+ 1||Golden St||98-94|
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND 109, BOSTON 99 - Series tied 3-3; Game 7 is Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
There's no other way to describe it ... LeBron James was utterly brilliant in Cleveland's win/cover against Boston in Friday night's Game 6 bash in Ohio as the numbers alone were one thing - 46 points /11 rebounds / 9 assists - but how about playing a game-high 46 minutes and doing so late with a minor leg injury suffered when teammate Larry Nance, Jr. banged into him.
Now the $64,000 question is can James display an encore performance here in Sunday's do-or-die Game 7 in Boston? The fact of the matter is anything short of 40-plus points / 10-to-15 rebounds / 9 or 10 assists might not be good enough for a Cavs club that's keeping fingers crossed F Kevin Love (head) can play here after going just five minutes in Game 5.
No doubt the Celtics have turned into the most Jekyll-and-Hyde team in NBA Playoff memory as Brad Stevens' squad is 10-0 SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread) at home this post-season while going 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS on the road ... true, the rowdy TD Garden crowd has been a major factor throughout this "tournament" and the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have performed better at home but the reality is a bad shooting game from one of these three - F Al Horford is just way too consistent to fall on his face here though we admit his Game 6 showing (6 points in 37 minutes) was awful - could cause the Celtics to falter here in Game 7.
Right now the Las Vegas sharpies have host Boston a 2-point betting favorite. Let's get it on!
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Celtics (all home teams in CAPS):