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Monday Playoff Journal
by Larry Ness - 06/10/2013
NBA Playoff Journal (Monday, June 10)
Miami led Game 2 at the half, 50-45. It was about the same margin it had in Game 1, when the Heat held a 52-49 halftime lead over the Spurs. However, last night’s second half turned out much differently then the second half of Game 1. The Heat tired down the stretch in Game 1, particularly in the 4th quarter, when they were outscored 23-16 (San Antonio had zero TOs in the final period and Miami had five). Last night, the Heat broke open a tight game with a spectacular 33-5 run starting with 3:11 left in the third quarter and ending with 7:13 remaining in the 4th quarter.
During that ‘blitz,’ the Heat made 12-of-13 FGs (LBJ was 5-of-5 with 11 points) plus had just one TO, while they Spurs made just 2-of-10 shots with six TOs, Miami shot 49.4 percent for the game, including 10-of-19 on threes. LBJ had a modest 17 points (eight rebounds and seven assists), yet the Heat still won by 19. James has played in 94 games this season, including the playoffs. Only SEVEN times has he scored 18 points or less, including in both NBA Finals games. It may bode well for Miami that it won so handily, without a huge scoring output from James. Chalmers led the way with 19 points, his second-highest scoring game this postseason (he scored 20 in Game 4 of the Indiana series but the Heat lost that contest).
Bosh ‘woke up’ with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting (he had shot just 23.5% his last four games) and his 10 rebounds were just the third time this postseason in which he reached double digits. Allen made 5-of-8 shots (3-of-5 on threes), giving him three straight solid games. He’s now averaged 12.0 PPG the last three, converting 64.3% (9-of-14) threes. In the Chicago series (five games) and the first six games of the Indiana series, he had made only 11-of-41 (26.8%) threes. Andersen again continued his excellent play, scoring nine points and adding four rebounds in 14 minutes (he’s averaged 7.2 & 4.0 this postseason, shooting 81.5%).
As for the Spurs, after combining for 41 points in Game 1 on 46.4% shooting, Duncan and Parker had only 21 points last night, shooting a combined 29.6%. The Spurs made 10-of-20 three-pointers but shot only 41.0 percent from the floor for the game. One should take notice that even in San Antonio’s Game 1 win, the Spurs only converted 41.7 percent. It seems obvious that the Spurs will have to shoot better, in order to win this series.
Miami winning last night should have come as a shock, as it was well-reported that the Heat hadn’t lost back-to-back games since early January and that following its previous 10 losses, the Heat had gone 10-0 SU and ATS, winning by an average margin of 19.9 PPG. Make that 11-0 SU and ATS, as Miami won 103-84, a 19-point margin. Talk about being ‘right on target!’ Something less reported and well-known (although NOT to readers of this journal), was the fact that those following the Zig Zag theory won another Game 2, finishing the 2013 postseason at 12-3 ATS in all Game 2s in the 2013 playoffs (went 11-4 ATS in Game 2s of the 2012 playoffs).
The series now moves to San Antonio for the next three games and I’ll talk more about the 2-3-2 format in Tuesday’s journal. Home teams have opened the NBA Finals 1-1 SU and ATS with both games going under (“Zig-Zaggers” have opened 1-0). The postseason numbers to-date are as follows. Home teams are 50-30 SU (.625) and 38-42 (47.5%) ATS or minus-8.2 net games. There have been 37 overs, 41 unders and two pushes, while those following the Zig Zag theory are 35-30 (plus-2.0 net games).