Have Spurs' Cinderella Hopes Been Shattered?
Have Spurs' Cinderella Hopes Been Shattered?
By Wayne Root:
The San Antonio Spurs went from being in the driver's seat (up 2-1 in the NBA Finals with home court advantage) to being behind the eight-ball (tied 2-2 with only one home game left) very quickly Thursday Night in their battle with the Miami Heat.
Miami is now once again a prohibitive favorite to lift the trophy...while a longshot bet on San Antonio would carry better than a 2-1 return at local Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Have the Spurs' Cinderella hopes been shattered? Or, is this just going to continue as a zig-zag series that San Antonio can actually win because it will be their turn to finish on top in Game Seven?!
Here are the projected Vegas lines for the remaining action:
Game Five: Miami by 1 (in San Antonio)
Game Six: Miami by 6 (in Miami)
Game Seven: Miami by 7 (in Miami)
Of course, those Game Six and Seven lines will depend on what just happened. Miami might be as high as seven next Tuesday if they lost Game Five and have their backs to the wall once again. This team plays great with its backs to the wall...and the bulk of Vegas bets would be asking for that in a bounce-back scenario. Since Miami won Game Seven vs. Indiana so impressively, they would get a lot of market respect in a finale if the series does go the distance.
Here are the keys for San Antonio to come back and complete a Cinderella story (relatively speaking for a team that's been a mini-dynasty for more than a decade!)
Protect the ball! San Antonio was +4 in turnover differential in both of their victories, but -9 and -10 in both of their losses. They must play clean on offense because Miami is great about punishing you with fast break points if you turn the ball over. You hear Coach Gregg Popovich harping all of this all the time in his TV interviews. He understands the importance!
Be more aggressive inside! San Antonio is relying too much on three-pointers in this series. You longtime basketball fans know that this is a sign of weakness, whether you're talking about college or pro hoops. You can't expect to hit 50% of your treys in every game. Amazingly, San Antonio hit 50% of their treys in their losses! If you NEED to hit treys to win, you're in bad shape.
Find a way to get something out of Manu Ginobili! He's been a pretty big negative so far on both sides of the floor. His defense is slow and reactive. His shot isn't there on offense, and he's making too many high risk passes against a defense that knows how to jump passing lanes. It's silly that ESPN keeps listing him as part of a "big three."That's old news from years ago. Right now he's a spare part that's turned out to be a flat tire.
Frustrate Miami's offense! They've done this in their victories (just like Dallas did vs. the Heat two years ago), but not in their losses. Miami has a way of beating themselves when the offense isn't clicking. No team is talented enough to take Miami down on their own...you need the Heat's help to beat the Heat.
I'm known here in Las Vegas as THE KING OF UPSETS, because I have more documented upset calls than any other handicapper in the industry. I may just have another upset pick or two left in this series. But, maybe I've decided that the tone has finally been set...meaning that Miami will now take care of business and finish the job. You can purchase the final word in baskets on game days right here at the website (Sunday, Tuesday, and then Thursday if necessary). If you want to talk about combination packages for baseball or football that include the rest of NBA action, call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946.
I have a huge 6-game baseball weekend coming up, and that includes Sunday night's game five of the playoffs. I've won 8 of the last 9 playoff games so CLICK HERE and don't miss out.
Betting action has really picked up in the NBA Finals, just like the TV ratings. Game Five will be one of the biggest betting events of the summer because it's the last playoff game on a weekend. I'm the only man in the industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame"here in the gambling capital of the world. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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