Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
NBA Playoff Journal, June 10
by Larry Ness - 06/10/2014
NBA Playoff Journal (June 10)
The AC was working just fine in San Antonio for Game 2 and after a quiet first quarter, so was LBJ. "King James" scored 11 points in the second quarter to help the Heat overcome n 11-point deficit, sending the game to the half tied at 43-all. The Spurs won a high scoring third quarter (35-34) and while the game was nip-and-tuck the entire fourth quarter, San Antonio played a lackluster final stanza.
San Antonio led 87-85 with about 6 1/2 minutes to go and a "tipping point" just may have occurred when Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each missed two free throws in a nine-second span! The Spurs held the lead just once the remainder of the contest. Chris Bosh hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:17 left and James finished 14-of-22 shooting in a strong bounce-back performance, scoring 35 points and adding 10 rebounds.
“Look, he’s the best player in the game,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters afterward. “He has an incredible way to put his fingerprints on a game.” The Heat shot 52.9 percent as a team and defensively, slowed the Spurs, who had connected on 58.8 percent in Game 1, including making 13 of 25 three-pointers.
The Spurs did make 12, three-pointers Sunday night (on 26 attempts) but made just 43.9 percent from the floor, as well as missing EIGHT of 22 FTs. The home court advantage now belongs to the Heat but no one in the Heat's locker room thinks it's going to get easy now.
"You never put them away," Wade said. "I think they always believe and it's the same with us. You can't, you won't, put us away because we're always going to believe. That's why this is a perfect, different animal, kind of series. They're the other team like us. They don't lose much and when they do they come back and be better in the next game. So we've got to come out and do the same thing."
Last year's Finals went a full seven games and many feel as if this year's is headed for a similar fate. If so, that means the Spurs will almost have to win tonight or Thursday for this series to have any chance of going the full seven games. Winning in South Beach will not come easily, as the Heat have won a franchise-record 11 straight postseason games.
Not winning either Game 3 or 4 would leave San Antonio down 3-1 and I doubt anyone thinks that the San antonio (or any team) is capable of beating the Heat three in a row, After all, with Miami's Game 2 win (after its Game 1 loss), the Heat have now won 13 straight (12-1 ATS) following a postseason loss. In that same vein, the Heat have played 46 consecutive playoff games since they last lost back-to-back contests.
Tip-off tonight is at 9:00 ET on ABC with Miami favored by 4 1/2 points (total is 197 1/2). Home teams have done well in the conference and NBA finals, going 11-3 SU and ATS. However, after going just 38-34 SU and 27-43-3 ATS in the first two rounds, home teams sit 49-37 SU (.570) for the entire 2014 postseason, as well as just 38-45-3 ATS (44.2% or minus-11.5 net games).
Over players have done very well this postseason, cashing 49 of 86 games or 57.0 percent. "Zig-Zaggers" seem to be on target to earn a profit this postseason, as they'll be on the Spurs tonight and sit 38-30-3 ATS so far (plus-5.0 net games).