NBA Finals Game 4 Stat Preview
GAME FOUR STAT PREVIEW: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AT MIAMI HEAT
As often happens in a competitive best of seven series, a very close matchup is just a few plays away from blowing up into a decided advantage for one team. Through three games, the composite score shows Oklahoma City leading by one measly point (an 11-point win followed by losses of 4 and 6). But, the Miami Heat are up two games to one and have the next two games at home. Plus, they may have solved the riddle of how to slow down the Thunder's once potent offense.
Look at these scoring totals for Oklahoma City.
Game One: 105 points
Game Two: 96 points
Game Three: 85 points
Now, let's do the same thing for shooting percentage.
Game One: 52%
Game Two: 43%
Game Three: 43%
Those are very disturbing trends if you're an Oklahoma City fan. Your offense that looked like it was unstoppable through the last four games of the San Antonio series and the first game vs. Miami has suddenly hit an iceberg. Some of you might be thinking that scoring reduced because tempo went down. That's not the case at all. In fact, Game One was slightly slower than the next two. Miami has made some very smart defensive adjustments...and Oklahoma City has failed to come up with solutions.
Miami has basically eliminated Oklahoma City's fast break. Shooters are getting back very well. And, the inspired offensive rebounding of Chris Bosh has prevented OKC from grabbing misses and racing out with them. A great way to reduce your opponent's shooting percentage is to stop giving them dunks and layups off the fast break!
Miami has done a much better job of clogging the middle in the halfcourt game, which has reduced the danger that guys like Russell Westbrook and James Harden usually provide. Westbrook has struggled at the rim, and Harden was horrible from everywhere in Game Three. Miami turned a "big three" into a big one (Kevin Durant) with smarter and more intense internal defense.
Miami is avoiding the potential foul trouble that can happen to any OKC opponent. The Thunder aren't marching to the free throw line by any means. In fact, there's a similar decrease here to what we saw above with shooting percentages and scoring volume. The Thunder's attempts have gone 27-26-24, while their makes have gone 20-19-15. Downward trends, and no explosions into the 30's that can happen when a game gets out of control and OKC is just running roughshod over an opponent.
So...Miami's making adjustments. And, Oklahoma City is disappointingly settling back into isolation offense and "hero ball." Assist totals are way down because nobody's trying to get assists. Everyone's just taking turns trying to beat their man one-on-one and make a shot. Hey...these guys are great at that in general. Versus Miami's highly regarded defense, particularly after smart adjustments were made...that's just not going to work. If Westbrook is driving and dishing, his teammates (particularly the role players) are going to get good looks. If nobody's driving and dishing, only tough shots get launched.
That's what we mean about a close series also being close to conclusion. If Oklahoma City doesn't play smarter on offense, this series may be over already. The Heat will take the next two home games and finish off a surprising 4-1 victory. The Thunder must get back to what worked so well against San Antonio and in Game One of this series if they want to even things up tonight, and give themselves a chance to win a title on their home floor.
OKLAHOMA CITY vs. MIAMI
Game Four Vegas Line: Miami by 3.5, total of 191.5
Miami leads 2-1
The line has dropped because of the natural tendency to bet the bounce back spot. Plus, Oklahoma City was initially the series favorite, which carries even more weight in a bounce back. Thunder backers in Game Two (which was also a bounce back) must feel like they were in position to cash their tickets in the last game. OKC had a 10-point lead in the third quarter. And, the final minutes of the fourth quarter were right on the number. Tough loss if you were rooting for OKC...but an earned win from the Miami perspective because of that great defense.
The total has dropped some more, after a drop in Game Three. You'll recall that the Under was hit pretty hard in Miami...and those bets cashed very easily. Oddsmakers chased down to 191.5 to follow the direction of the series. Will the Wise Guys be on the Under again? If you see Over bets come in, that would suggest faith in OKC's ability to make the right offensive adjustments.
GAME THREE SUMMARY - MIAMI 91 OKLAHOMA CITY 85
Field Goal Pct: Oklahoma City 43%, Miami 38%
Three-Pointers: Oklahoma City 4/18, Miami 4/13
Free Throws: Oklahoma City 15/24, Miami 31/35
Rebounds: Oklahoma City 38, Miami 45
Turnovers: Oklahoma City 11, Miami 12
Vegas Line: Miami by 4, total of 193
Note how Oklahoma City shot better than Miami, but lost because of a huge discrepancy from the free throw line. Miami was +11 in attempts, but +16 in makes because OKC kept missing from the charity stripe. We're not suggesting there was anything questionable about the officiating (beyond the standard number of borderline calls that are common to every game). Miami attacked the basket and was rewarded. Oklahoma City kept running into traffic in a way that wasn't drawing contact. And, when they did, they missed their free throws anyway!
Let's also note the big advantage in the rebounding category for the Heat. They were 45-38 in this game, after winning Game Two as well (40-36). We always tell you that defense and rebounding wins championships. Miami has really kicked it up in those two areas. In fact, you could argue that it was second chance points off offensive boards that ultimately put them over the top.
JIM HURLEY has been in constant contact with his whole TEAM of experts and sources since Game Three ended to make sure he'll have Tuesday's winner for you. The final call (at least a team side, and maybe both a team and a total) will be available on this website Thursday afternoon for credit card purchase. If you have any questions about basketball or baseball, call the office at 1-800-323-4453 for more details.
Note that baseball highlights tonight include:
Atlanta at NY Yankees
Cincinnati at Cleveland
St. Louis at Detroit
Tampa Bay at Washington
Baltimore at NY Mets
Miami at Boston
San Francisco at LA Angels
The American League has re-established dominance so far, but there's still time for the National League to save some face in high profile matchups like these. Interleague ends Sunday, so enjoy all the unique battles and rivalry wars while you can. We hope you're aiming for big money SEVEN DAYS A WEEK in the bases, the single most profitable wagering sport because a busy schedule lasts for so many months.
Back with you Wednesday for an important baseball article. The next hoops report will be Thursday when we preview Game Five of Oklahoma City-Miami. Will the Heat be trying to wrap things up? Or, will that be "game one" of a "best of three" that will ultimately determine the champ?
Hey, when championships are on the line, you need WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!
Today’s Hot Plays
Jim Hurley Saratoga Service
$20.00Purchase this nowSARATOGA. "Graveyard of Favorites" for losers..."Longshot Heaven" for winners. And the difference is INFORMATION. Jim Hurley’s Network Has The Information!
Network A.L. and N.L Shockers of the Week
IF YOU LIKE BETTING BASEBALL THEN WEDNESDAY NIGHT IS THE NIGHT FOR YOU! I’M RELEASING BOTH MAJOR UPSET MOVES... NATIONAL LEAGUE & AMERICAN LEAGUE SHOCKERS OF THE WEEK
Network American League Game of Week
$20.00Purchase this nowJim Hurley’s American League Game Of Week. Right now beating baseball is the name of the game at Jim Hurley’s Network.
Hurley Pick 3 Finishes With John’s Call Stakes
Jim Hurley Begins Travers Stakes Week With Pick 3 That Concludes With John’s Call Stakes Plus The Exotics
Network Thursday Afternoon Getaway Day Play
$10.00Purchase this nowThursday Afternoon’s Getaway Special Is one of the the Strongest plays yet! Win it early plus bonus underdog.
Network MLB Thursday Computer Cruncher
There is one angle that rates a team at the 80% win expectancy, and another stat that points to a certain pitcher having a 77% chance of him getting the win, and BOTH point to the SAME TEAM...which is the UNDERDOG.
Network Thursday NFL Preseason Action
DRESS REHEARSAL WEEK OF THE PRESEASON IS HERE! The Numbers Are Soft - So Jim Hurley Hits HARD. Thursday Doubleheader Action - Watch Your Money Grow!