NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, June 5, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 5, 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.

The team with the best record in the NBA may have the edge in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night when the Miami Heat (66-31, 26-22 away) pay a visit to those San Antonio Spurs (74-26, 41-10 home) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 9:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ABC.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has San Antonio as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -4½ with odds of -108.

The biggest question coming into this series is the condition of San Antonio’s Tony Parker and he returned to practice Wednesday and was able to participate in full-court drills. That may have been what prompted a line shift here from what was an opening line of Spurs -3½ for Game 1 to its current -4½.

Parker has had plenty of time to heal with the Spurs finishing off the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games Saturday, setting up this NBA Finals rematch from last season when the Spurs took the Heat to seven games but Miami prevailed for its second straight championship. The Heat have had one more day of rest since knocking off the Indiana Pacers, also in six games, as that series concluded last Friday.

Remember the Spurs stole Game 1 in Miami last year, and we are looking for the Spurs to again draw first blood in 2014, this time opening up at home. You see, the Heat have had a maddening habit of not playing their best in Game 1s and then getting better as each series went on, and this has been especially true from the conference finals onward. This pattern held up when the Heat showed little resistance defensively while allowing 107 points to the Pacers in Game 1.

The Heat have a habit of using Game 1 to feel out the opponents before getting more serious in Game 2 of each series and going on from there, so it is no coincidence that they lost Game 1 vs. the Spurs, Pacers and Chicago Bulls last season alone before obviously going on to win all of those series, and that was after losing Game 1 to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals and to the Thunder in the NBA Finals en route to their first championship with LeBron in 2014.

This is the Heat’s fourth straight trip to the finals as they are looking for a three-peat, but they are underdogs in this series and the Spurs are certainly capable of taking advantage if Miami is as lax defensively here as it was in Game 1 vs. the normally offensively challenged Pacers in the last round.

After all, the Spurs finished sixth in the NBA in scoring during the regular season at 105.4 points per game and they have actually raised that average to 106.6 points while shooting a blistering 48.2 percent during this post-season.

San Antonio also has the humongous coaching advantage in this series with Gregg Popovich being one of the best coaches of all-time, and with six five full days to prepare for this series, you can bet that he constructed some innovative way to keep LeBron James in check for at least Game 1, which would go a long way toward the Spurs getting that crowd-pleasing win to begin this series.

Now the Heat could easily make the necessary adjustments for Game 2 like they usually do, but we look for Miami to continue its trend of starting out slow in each series and for San Antonio to win Game 1 safely at home Thursday.

[gameodds]5/295575/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spurs -4½ (-108)

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