RememberRed Sox!

May 31, 2005 5:19 AM

No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best of 7 series, but didn’t they say that about the Boston Red Sox last October?

Granted, it may happen once in our lifetime. Funeral arrangements are nearly complete for the Phoenix Suns, the NBA’s top scoring team and owner of the league’s best regular season record. But, at 50-1 odds in the latest Las Vegas Sports Consultants update, why not take a shot?

"When Boston (Red Sox) was down 0-3 to the Yanks, you could have taken 24-1," oddsmaking legend Jimmy Vaccaro said. "I would have put the Suns at 40-1 to win four straight."

Game 4 was played Monday in San Antonio after GT went to press. So, we may be just blowing smoke. However, allow the record to show that I threw a couple of bucks on the Suns in tribute to the Sox and their never surrender attitude.

Like Phoenix, Boston possessed great talent and was not just another in a long list of decided underdogs given little hope of surviving.

"I think the Spurs have been in absolute control of the series," Vaccaro said. "Monday’s game went down from 214 to 210. You would never have seen such a radical adjustment in totals during the regular season, but the oddsmakers are doing a good job in recognizing that the playoffs are not about just power ratings. Everything is situational."

The optimists, if any remain, would say that Phoenix did close a 20-point deficit to eight in the final minute and have several looks at possibly covering the 5½ points host San Antonio was spotting.

"The point spread is the great equalizer," Vaccaro said. "Nothing in gambling is absolute. "But, the Spurs have been in absolute control of the series."

Assuming San Antonio is in the NBA Finals, it would be hard to rate either Miami or Detroit as anything but an underdog.

"I think the Detroit-Miami series is right where it should be," Vaccaro said. "Detroit is an 8-5 favorite to win the series and I would have no fear booking —160. I favor Detroit, but each game should be taken on an individual basis. I liked the Heat a little bit last Sunday."

Vaccaro said that either Eastern Conference representative would be a live underdog against the Spurs.

"It would be a great series to book," he said. "With the emergence of Ginobili and Parker, it would be tough to make San Antonio an underdog. But there would be good public support for both the Heat and Pistons if the line was pushed too high. And, if the Spurs were too much of an underdog on the road, it would be easy to like them."