Turn the Air on for Game 2
The Spurs will host the Heat in game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas with the opening tip slated for 8:05 PM ET. According to NBA betting odds the Spurs are a 4.5 point home favorite, and the posted total 199.0. All 4-games between these clubs played in San Antonio the last 2 years during the NBA Finals have gone over the total, with an averaged combined 203.8 points scored. The Spurs have gone 4-1 straight-up and against the spread in their last 5 home games versus the Heat. The opening game of the series was marred by an air conditioning system failure at the AT&T Center. The temperature inside the arena reached an approximately balmy 90 degrees.
Heat Overcome by the Heat
The Miami Heat seemed in very good shape with a 7-point lead early in the 4th quarter. It was at that point that Lebron James began to cramp up from dehydration, and had to remove himself from the game. James returned but for a brief moment, and had to leave the contest almost immediately upon his entrance, unable to recover from his physical ailment. The Heat finished the contest by being outscored 31-9 to fall behind in the series 1-0. Miami did do a good job of pressuring the Spurs into 22 turnovers. Unfortunately they also allowed the Spurs to shoot a whopping 59% from the field, and go 13-for-25 (52%) from beyond the 3-point line.
A Huge 4th Quarter Onslaught
I’m sure there were many in the home crowd last night that felt a bit on edge when the Spurs squandered a 5-point lead at the half, and were 4-points down entering the 4th quarter. After all, their team was uncharacteristically killing themselves with turnovers at that juncture, and wasting away a superb field goal shooting display. However, this is a veteran team with vast championship experience that continued to play their game, outscored the Heat 36-17 in the 4th quarter, and pulled away for 110-95 win.
They must guard against overconfidence heading into Game 2, especially since their torrid run down the stretch of the opener correlated with Lebron James being unable to physically continue for the majority of the final stanza.
San Antonio has now won 9 straight at home in the 2014 NBA Playoffs, including covering each of the last 8 at the AT&T Center. They’ve won each of those previous 8 home covers by 15-points or more, and outscored their opponents in the process by an average of 22.6 points per game.
The opening game of the series went over the total, but did so in a much more difficult than it should’ve been. The teams combined to make 25 three-point shots, and shoot a cumulative (53%) from the field. Despite those gaudy numbers, the game didn’t go over the total until the final minute of the 4th quarter. The Heat was able dictate the pace they wanted by limiting the Spurs to just 68 field goal attempts, and that being 15 tries below their season average. The Spurs did a very good job, as well, of holding the Heat to just 95-points.
I will go out on a limb here to say the Heat will once again be able to control the pace, neither team will come close to shooting as well from the three-point line as they did in the series opener, and Miami won’t allow the Spurs to shoot anywhere near the remarkable 59% from the field as they did on Thursday night. I’m sure to be going against public opinion in this one, and like this one to play on the low side.
Free Pick: Choose Heat/Spurs to go 'under' the total of 199.0 for your NBA pick.