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May 30 NBA Journal
by Larry Ness - 05/30/2013
The Spurs are home resting, awaiting the start of the NBA Finals (Game 1 is June 6). San Antonio will meet the winner of the Indiana/Miami series, which resumes tonight at 8:30 ET in Miami, on TNT. The Pacers tied the series at two-all with a 99-92 win Tuesday night. Indiana got the home fans involved early by opening the game on an 11-0 run but the Heat never went away, despite not playing a very good game. In fact, the Heat took a 60-54 third quarter lead before the Pacers responded with a 10-0 run. Then in the 4th quarter, Miami again led 86-83 with about six minutes left, before the Pacers closed the game on a 16-6 run to win by seven points.
The Heat were just 1-of-9 from the floor in Game 4’s last five minutes. For the game, Indiana controlled the boards 49-30 and outscored Miami in the paint, 50-32. All five Indiana starters were in double digits with Hibbert leading the way (23 & 12). Stephenson, who had scored just 24 points in the first three games of the series (on 25% shooting), made 9-of-15 shots and scored 20 points. Hibbert, who averaged 11.9 & & 8.3 during the regular season (on 44.8% shooting), has averaged 22.8 & 12.0 on 54.1% shooting in this series. LBJ had 24-6-5 for the Heat (shot only 8-of-18), while Wade had 16 points on 5-of-25 shooting) and Bosh just seven points (1-of-6 from the floor).
It’s become a ‘broken record,’ but the Miami trio of Allen, Battier and Cole, continue to struggle badly. That group is a combined 16-of-62 (25.8%) from the floor this series, including 9-of-37 (24.3%) on threes. “Birdman” Andersen has been Miami’s ‘savior’ off the bench this postseason but in Game 4, after averaging 9.5 PPG (on 15-of-15 shooting!) with 4.5 RPG in 17 minutes of action over the previous four games, Andersen was scoreless in 19 minutes without attempting a shot (had two rebounds). Miami can count on LBJ but how about Wade (13.4 PPG the last 10 games) or Bosh?
Home teams have struggled in the conference finals, going 4-4 SU and a ‘money-burning’ 2-6 ATS. That may not bode well for Miami in this one, as the Heat are 5-2 SU but 2-5 ATS at home in the 2013 playoffs. Home teams are 46-29 (.613) this postseason but only 34-41 (45.3%) ATS, or minus-11.1 net games. Seven of the eight games in the conference finals have gone over and over bettors now lead 37-36-2, this postseason. Those following the Zig Zag theory are again doing no better than ‘treading water’ this postseason (nothing new there!), checking in at 31-30 or minus-2.0 net games. The Heat are favored tonight by 7 1/2 points and the total is 185 1/2.