NBA Finals Game 2 Preview
BEST BOUNCE BACK TEAM IN NBA, MIAMI TRIES TO EARN A SPLIT IN SAN ANTONIO
It was one of the weirdest endings sports fans had ever seen in a championship showdown. One of the greatest athletes EVER, in any sport, had to be carried off the court because of severe cramping. Cramps we’ve seen before (particularly in early season college football played in high humidity). But, never to a LEGEND, in his PRIME, within a CHAMPIONSHIP showdown, because the air conditioning went out!
Just when you think you’ve seen everything.
The air conditioning is supposedly fixed. The building hosted a music concert Friday Night with no reports of heat stroke for lead singers, or guitarists cramping. Handicappers can assume that conditions will be fine, which means they have to learn from what was happening in Game One before heat and humidity became such a big factor.
- Miami was actually the better team most of the night. You know that deeper San Antonio finished the game with a 31-9 flourish once Miami lost LeBron and otherwise ran out of gas. That means the Heat were seven points better before the fatigue collapse. Note also that LeBron’s plus/minus was dead even at zero. The Heat were -15 without him on the floor, net zero with him. That doesn’t mean a sure win. But, it might mean a high percentage pointspread scenario since the Spurs were favored by -5.5 in Game One, and are again laying points in Game Two.
- San Antonio was enduring a turnover disaster until Miami lost its defensive energy. The Spurs gave the ball away a stunning 22 times on the night. But, 19 of those were in the first three quarters when Miami could defend. The Spurs desperately need to fix that and value the ball with more passion if they plan on winning this series.
- San Antonio shot lights out from long range, nailing 13 of 25 tries on three-pointers. That’s 52% on three’s, which is like shooting 78% on two-pointers. The Spurs aren’t likely to do that more than once or twice again (if at all). And, you know Miami’s going to do a better job of covering the arc in this series…which they did in the Eastern Finals after Indiana had a good shooting game early.
- Miami was only 9 of 11 on free throws…which means they weren’t using their energy to attack the basket much. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will get calls when they start to attack. They generally pick their spots for the most important moments or games. The Heat are likely to see more equality in free throw differential moving forward (Spurs were 17 of 22).
So…while the Spurs have to be happy that they were given the fourth quarter in their first effort to “hold serve” in the 2014 Finals. There are some indicators that suggest Miami isn’t in deep trouble yet. Now, you factor in that the Heat have been fantastic in the LeBron era when bouncing back from a playoff loss…and you have the potential for a very exciting Game Two Sunday Night in the Alamo City.
Shouldn’t you just take Miami plus the points given everything we’ve just studied? NOT YET! If LeBron hasn’t fully recovered…which is very possible given the extent of his heat stroke…then a peak Heat performance may not be in the offing. And, don’t forget that other players were exhausted too! At 100%, Miami would grade out for value (at least). If they’re only 90%, then the Spurs depth would still likely rule the fourth quarter and determine the cover. If the Heat are at less than 90%, the Spurs could put the game away early…which we saw a few times last year when these same two teams met for the title.
That’s where JIM HURLEY comes in! His on-site sources will let him know the true state of the Heat’s health. His Wise Guy Connections will clue him in to how sharps with insider knowledge are betting. Then, NETWORK clients will make a big score! Early indicators suggest that the current Vegas line is off by at least FIVE points.
Las Vegas Line: San Antonio by 4.5, total of 198.5
That means Miami’s going to win outright to even up the series, or that San Antonio is going to win by double digits once again (a common occurrence on their home floor in recent action!).
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Back with you Monday to preview the important Oakland A’s/Los Angeles Angels series in the AL West. Basketball resumes Tuesday as the NBA Finals head to Miami for Game Three. Our Game Four preview will run on Thursday.
Already a memorable start to what may be a historic NBA Championship series. When championships are on the line, YOU NEED WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!
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