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Playoff Journal - June 11

   by Larry Ness - 06/11/2013

Miami winning Sunday night should have not 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!’

The series now moves to San Antonio for the next three games. Most dislike the 2-3-2 format (I'm surely one), as the team with the three straight home games is at a disadvantage. Winning three straight over ANY team is difficult, but winning three in a row vs a team like Miami, is near-impossible. That means, the Spurs will almost assuredly have to win at least ONE more time in Miami, if they want to win the championship.

We know that in this format (began 1985), when the NBA Finals has been tied one-all, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to capture the series. Obviously, tonight's game is big but only time will tell if tonight's winner actually goes on to capture this series.

San Antonio had just four turnovers in Game 1, then had 17 in Game 2. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker combined for 10-for-33 from the floor in Game 2 (27 points), after combining for 54 points in Game 1.The Spurs made 10-of-20 three-pointers in Game 2 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.

Let's not forget that the trio of Duncan, Parker and Ginobil (plus 'Pop'), have been part of 99 previous playoff wins. Let's also note the Heat are a woeful 3-22 all-time in San Antonio, although a great part of that awful record came in the pre-James era. Speaking of LBJ, he had a modest 17 points (eight rebounds and seven assists) in Game 2, yet the Heat still won by 19. Does it bode well for Miami that it won so handily, without a huge scoring output from James?

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).

The Spurs are favored by two points in tonight's Game 3 (total is 187 1/2) and tip-off is set for 9:00 ET on ABC. My next journal will be available by 2:00 ET on Thursday.

Good luck...Larry

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