NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Thursday, May. 8, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Thursday.

After Game 1 of this series snuck ‘over’ by the narrowest of margins, look for the ‘under’ to prevail rather safely Thursday night when the Brooklyn Nets (48-42, 17-28 away) again pay a visit to the Miami Heat (59-28, 35-9 home) for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series from American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN2.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 192 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The well rested Heat took advantage of a Nets team that was just one day removed from a Game 7 vs. Toronto in Game 1 of this series Tuesday in a 107-86 win where a “meaningless” layup by Miami’s Udonis Haslem with seven seconds remaining accounted for the 192nd and 193rd points of the game to put the contest ‘over’ the total of 192½.

That victory was further evidence of the Heat flipping on the switch once the playoffs start, as much of the talk leading up to this series was about how the Nets became the first team to sweep a four-game regular season series this year from any Miami team during the LeBron James era. Well, so much for that!

With that being said, if the Nets want to get back on this series, they will have to slow this game down to their pace and not allow Miami to get as many run-outs and easy looks as they did in Game 1, when the Heat shot 56.8 percent for the game and outscored Brooklyn badly in the paint by a 52-28 margin.

And the Nets are fully capable of slowing the game down as this veteran team played at one of the slowest tempos in the league during the regular season, ranking 25th in the NBA in pace rating. That was a key reason why Brooklyn ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 98.5 points per game while allowing 99.5 points per contest defensively as their games had far fewer possessions than most other teams.

Brooklyn even slowed the tempo in both regular season meetings vs. the Heat here in Miami, keying those two upsets with those games producing only 175 and 191 total points respectively.

Of course, part of that equation was also that the Heat can play shutdown defense when they feel like it, and welcome to the playoffs where the Miami defense has allowed 90.8 points per game so far, which is second best in this post-season just slightly behind Washington (90.3).

The Heat are notorious for just going through the motions during the regular season in anticipation of the playoffs, and yet their defense finished fifth in the league in points against during the season at 97.4 per game. Now, imagine how good that defense could have been if Miami gave a concerted effort every night!

Now that the “real” season has begun, the Heat have yet to allow a team to score 100 points through five playoff games, and we do not see that happening tonight vs. the plodding Nets either. At the same time, we look for Brooklyn to do a better job of using up the shot clock and not allowing as many points in transition, playing the same style that it played all year and that helped it post one of the best records in the NBA after the All-Star break.

When you add this all up, we see a lower scoring game than Game 1, and that contest needed a late bucket to sneak ‘over’. Thus, expect a rather handy ‘under’ in South Beach for Game 2 on Thursday.

[gameodds]5/286082/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Nets, Heat ‘under’ 192 (-105)

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