NBA News and Notes May 2

NBA News and Notes May 2

NBA Today

Boston at Atlanta (8 p.m. EDT). The Celtics look to close out the best-of-seven series with a victory over the Hawks.

STAR

- Richard Hamilton, Pistons, scored 24 points, 13 in the first quarter to lead Detroit to a 100-77 win over Philadelphia.

MOVING ON

Detroit rolled into the second round of the playoffs by crushing the Philadelphia 76ers 100-77 on Thursday night to win the series 4-2. The Pistons will host the Orlando Magic, who eliminated Toronto in five games, on Saturday in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Detroit reached the second round for the seventh straight season.

SONIC BOOM

Kevin Durant became the first Seattle player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award - and perhaps the last. Durant, the youngest player in the league at 19, averaged 20.3 points for the SuperSonics. Durant received 90 first-place votes (545 points) from a panel of 125 writers and broadcasters. Atlanta's Al Horford finished second with 390 points, and Houston's Luis Scola was third with 146 points.

COMING BACK

Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo will return next season, the team said Thursday, ending speculation he would be fired after the team won just 20 games in his first year with the Sonics. General manager Sam Presti said at a news conference that Carlesimo would be back.

SPEAKING

``I was asleep. It was a LONG season. My mom woke me up when she got the call. She screamed. I was happy. Then I went back to sleep.'' - Kevin Durant on becoming the first Seattle player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award Thursday.

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NBA LONG SHEET

BOSTON (69 - 18) at ATLANTA (39 - 48)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
BOSTON is 8-7 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
BOSTON is 8-7 straight up against ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
8 of 15 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


CLEVELAND (48 - 39) at WASHINGTON (45 - 42)


There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 14-11 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
CLEVELAND is 16-10 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
14 of 26 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


HOUSTON (57 - 30) at UTAH (57 - 30)

Top Trends for this game.
UTAH is 47-39 ATS (+4.1 Units) in all games this season.
UTAH is 28-14 ATS (+12.6 Units) in home games this season.
UTAH is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
UTAH is 28-14 ATS (+12.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
UTAH is 19-6 ATS (+12.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
HOUSTON is 49-35 ATS (+10.5 Units) in all games this season.
HOUSTON is 15-7 ATS (+7.3 Units) as an underdog this season.
HOUSTON is 74-50 ATS (+19.0 Units) in road games over the last 3 seasons.
HOUSTON is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) on Friday nights this season.
HOUSTON is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
HOUSTON is 27-18 ATS (+7.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
UTAH is 12-9 against the spread versus HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
UTAH is 14-8 straight up against HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
12 of 21 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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NBA SHORT SHEET

Eastern Conference
Opening Round
Game Six
Boston Leads, 3-2
Boston at Atlanta, 8:05 ET

Boston:
23-6 ATS Away if total is between 180 and 189.5
23-5 ATS off DD home win

Atlanta:
30-14 Over as a home underdog of 6.5 to 12 points
18-6 Over at home revenging road loss


Eastern Conference
Opening Round
Game Six
Cleveland Leads, 3-2
Cleveland at Washington, 7:05 ET

Cleveland:
26-12 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less
17-7 ATS off ATS loss

Washington:
1-10 ATS at home after combined score of 175 or less
24-10 Over as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points


Western Conference
Opening Round
Game Six
Utah Leads, 3-2
Houston at Utah, 9:35 ET

Houston:
14-6 ATS as road underdog
21-9 ATS off BB ATS wins

Utah:
25-13 Under off ATS loss
19-10 Under off SU loss

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Home team is 5-0 in Boston-Atlanta series, with Celtics losing both games in Philips Arena, 102-93/97-92. This may be overly simplistic, but Hawks scored 77-81-85 points in their losses in this series, 102-97 in wins, so if Smith/Johnson get off again vs less-athletic foes, crowd could carry them to another upset. In Game 4, Atlanta was down 10 at home in 4th quarter, still won.

Cavaliers let Washington off hook when they lost to Wizards in Game 5 with Arenas not in lineup; Cavalier bench was 5-25 from floor in 98-97 loss Wednesday; Lebron can't win the game by himself, even though they ask him to. Butler had 32 leading Wizards to road win; Jamison had only 8, but Daniels did good job filling in for Arenas with 12 points.

Utah scored just 69 points in dismal loss at Houston Tuesday; series is 3-2 Utah, with Jazz splitting pair here. Jazz is 2-23 from arc in last two games, after going 8-17 in Game 3. Houston shot 44% or better in both their series wins, 41% or worse in losses. Utah won this series last year in 7 after falling behind 2-0; can Rockets return the favor, even with McGrady banged-up?

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NBA Trend Sheet

7:00 PM CLEVELAND vs. WASHINGTON
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Cleveland's last 11 games
Cleveland is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games on the road
Washington is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Cleveland
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Washington's last 10 games when playing at home against Cleveland


8:00 PM BOSTON vs. ATLANTA
Boston is 7-14 ATS in its last 21 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
Boston is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
Atlanta is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
Atlanta is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games


10:30 PM HOUSTON vs. UTAH
Houston is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 6 games
Utah is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Houston
Utah is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Houston

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Tips and Trends

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards


Cavs: Are Washington's tactics starting to work on LeBron James? The Wizards have baited him all series long, and they gave him the opportunity to beat them in Game 5. James missed the potential game-winning shot and could see the series tied heading back to Cleveland for Game 7 with another loss here.?People are trying to distract him, take him off his game,? Cavs head coach Mike Brown said. ?He?s just going about his business. He?s got to protect himself.?

Cavs are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Friday games.
The UNDER is 9-2 in Cleveland's last 11 games overall.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 92

Wizards (-4, O/U 187.5): Washington's Gilbert Arenas may have given his teammates the biggest assist of the series by bowing out with his knee injury. Insiders believe the Wizards were hurt by Arenas' presence on the court earlier in the series, as they struggled to work him back into the lineup. They now know what they have to work with and can rely on their more consistent scorers in Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. ?It?s my duty to let these guys go out there and just fight it - put out some healthy bodies and beat (the Cavaliers)," Arenas said. "I can?t go out there hobbling trying to help this team win, because at the end of the day, it?s hurting us.?

Wizards are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Friday games.
The OVER is 17-4 in Washington's last 21 games as a favorite.
The OVER is 14-3 in Washington's last 17 home games.
The OVER is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings at Washington.

Key Injuries - G Gilbert Arenas (19.4 ppg; knee) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 96


Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks

Celtics (-8, O/U 189): The home team has won every game in this series, and Boston head coach Doc Rivers has told his players not to rely solely on that factor throughout the playoffs. ?I told our guys this,? Rivers said, ?because I could hear them in the locker room, saying, ?Hey, guys, don?t worry. We go back home. Everything will be OK.? And I said, ?Listen, you?ve got to go make it OK. Don?t just rely on going home. You?ve got to go make it OK.? And I think we will, but I don?t just want to rely on that.? The Celtics can make their coach proud with a victory on the road in Game 6.

Celtics are 22-7 ATS in their last 29 games overall.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 98

Hawks: Atlanta will try hard to dictate the tempo in Game 6, and the players realize they need to push the pace and use their athleticism to do what they do best. ?The bottom line is we?re not going to beat the Boston Celtics playing half-court basketball,? Hawks forward Josh Smith said. ?We?re young and we?re athletic and we have to use that to our advantage. We have to push the ball and exploit transition points and then pull the ball back out if there?s nothing there and run (our) offense."

Hawks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Hawks are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 Friday games.
The OVER is 8-1 in Atlanta's last 9 home games.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 90


Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz

Rockets: Houston star Tracy McGrady is coming off his best shooting game since March 8th, as he made 13-of-26 shots to finish with a game-high 29 points. ?I was just making shots I was missing before, the same shots,? McGrady said. ?I was real fortunate to have fresh legs throughout the whole game. I was just mixing my game up, dribble pull-up, going to the basket, kept them off balance a little bit.? He is still shooting 41 percent in the series.

Rockets are 3-0 ATS in their last 3 games.
The UNDER is 13-3 in Houston's last 16 games vs. Northwest Division.
The UNDER is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings at Utah.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 86

Jazz (-7.5, O/U 180): What looked like it could be a sweep and some rest before facing the Lakers is now turning into a grueling series with LA sitting home and relaxing. Utah now must win Game 6 at home or else face the prospect of returning to Houston for Game 7. The Rockets blew out the Jazz in Game 5 for the most lopsided game of the series so far. ?Nobody expected them to win right now,? Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko said. ?They beat us by 20. Everybody already gave us a win. As I said, you need to earn it. We need to be way better.?

Jazz are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 94

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