NBA Finals Game #2: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

2013 NBA Finals Game #2
#1 Miami Heat vs #2 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs Lead best of seven series 1-0
Sunday, June 9, 2013, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
American Airlines Arena – Miami, Florida
Opening Line: Miami -6
Current Line: Miami -6
Opening Total: 188
Current Total: 188
Opening Money Line: Heat -290 / Spurs +240
Current Money Line: Heat -305 / Spurs +255

Heat Spurs NBA Playoffs Game Preview
The Miami Heat look to rebound from a game one loss to the Spurs.

Going into game #1 of the NBA Finals Thursday, many thought the San Antonio Spurs might come out a little rusty having not played in 9 days after sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals on Memorial Day. On the other hand, the Miami Heat went the full seven games with the Indiana Pacers and that series didn’t end until Monday night. In the end Miami’s fatigue affected them more than any so called rust from the Spurs.

San Antonio would jump out to an early 9-2 run, but Tim Duncan got into some early foul trouble. Miami would take a 24-23 lead at the end of the first quarter. When Duncan returned in the second quarter, Miami was up 38-29. The Spurs would rally and only trail 52-49 at halftime.

After such a  grueling physical series against the Pacers, Miami found the game flowed better and there was more open space for their shooters. Miami made 18 of their first 30 shots. However, the Heat got more and more fatigued as the game wore on and the Spurs defense got better.. The Heat would maintain the lead into the fourth when the Spurs would take a 77-76 lead with just under 8 minutes to go. The Heat would score only 7 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the fourth and would trail by as many as 7 points. The Heat would pull to within 2 points but could never tie or take the lead.

The Spurs had the ball with less than 30 seconds left and Tony Parker made of the greatest plays in NBA Fianls history. As the shot clock ran down, Parker appeared to lose control of the bar on the defense of LeBron James. At the very least it looked like it would be a tie-up. However,  Parker regained possession and got the shot off even though LeBron appeared to partially block it. Replays would show, the ball left Parker’s fingertips an instant before the light came on for a shot clock violation. It would bounce on the rim several times before going in to give the Spurs a 92-88 lead with 5.2 seconds left. Dwyane Wade would miss a lay-up with 2 seconds to go, and the Spurs held on to steal game one and home court in the series.

The teams would combine for an NBA Finals low 12 turnovers. However, Miami had 5 in the fourth quarter. Both teams shot the ball well. Miami was 43.6% from the field and San Antonio was 41.7%. The Heat had 46 rebounds and the Spurs had 37. Both teams were near the bottom of the league in rebounding in the regular season.

Parker would finish with 21 points on 9 for 18 shooting. Parker also had 6 assists and 2 steals. Duncan missed his first 5 shots but would finish with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. Manu Ginobli scored 13 points off the bench. Danny Green added 12 points, 5 rebounds, a steal and a block. Kawhi Leonard added 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also guarded LeBron James for most of the game. He was about as effective as you can be on the greatest player in the league.

James recorded a triple double with 18 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was his second straight NBA Finals triple double as he also had one in the Heat’s close out win against the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s finals. James shot 7 for 16 from the field. Dwyane Wade would add 17 points, but would not score in the fourth. Chris Bosh would add 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. He only scored 2 points in the fourth quarter. Ray Allen would add 13 points off the bench but no other Heat player scored more than 8.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are 50-45-2 ATS and the total is 43-52-2 this season. San Antonio is outscoring teams 102-92 in the playoffs. The Spurs are shooting 46.9% from the field and 36.2% from 3 point range. The Spurs make 76.1% from the free throw line. San Antonio averages 42.9 rebounds and give up 45.6 per game. Spurs’ opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range.The Spurs average 23.6 assists, 8.3 steals, 5.4 blocks, and 12 turnovers. San Antonio forces 14.2 turnovers per game.

In the playoffs, Tony Parker is averaging 23 points, 7.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He is probable with an Achilles’ injury. It is just bruised. Duncan is averaging 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard is averaging 13 points, and 8 rebounds.  Manu Ginobli is averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Guard Danny Green is averaging 9.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Gary Neal, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, and Cory Joseph make up the rest of the rotation.

Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 54-44 ATS this season and the total is 48-47-2. Miami is outscoring teams 97-88 in the playoffs. Miami is shooting 47.2% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. Miami makes 76.4% of their free throws. The Heat average 37.4 rebounds per game and give up 39.6 Miami opponents are shooting 42.9% from the field and 32.5% from 3 point range. The Heat average  20.3 assists, 8.1 steals, 5.6 blocks, and 13.5 turnovers per game. Miami forces 16.6 turnovers per game.

In the playoffs, forward LeBron James is averaging 26.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He won his fourth MVP award. Guard Dwyane Wade is averaging a playoff career low 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He is battling a bruised knee that won’t heal until the offseason. Forward/center Chris Bosh averages 12.3 points, 6.6 rebounds,  1.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. He sprained his ankle  in the Indiana series but struggled badly with Indiana’s big men David West and Roy Hibbert. Guard Ray Allen averages 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1 steal per game.  The breakout star of the playoffs for Miami has been Norris Cole. The point guard is averaging 7.1 points a game. Forward Shane Battier didn’t play much in the Indiana series because the heat had to play bigger line-ups but he could be a key piece against the Spurs with his defense and timely shooting. Chris anderson is averaging 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Udonis Haslem averages 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds. Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis could also see some time in the rotation.

San Antonio is 4-0 ATS in road games and against teams with winning home records, 6-1 against teams with winning records and overall, 5-1 after a straight up win and in NBA Finals games, 4-1 after a cover, 16-5 on two days rest, 39-16-1 against Southeast teams, 34-15-2 against Eastern Conference teams, and 9-4 in Sunday games. The under is 21-5 in this series recently including 11-3 in Miami.

Miami is 9-2 ATS after failing to cover, 13-3 after a straight up loss, 4-1 in NBA Finals games, 8-2 on two days rest, 19-7 in Sunday games, 7-3 against Western Conference teams, and 2-5 against teams with winning road records.

Miami hasn’t lost two games in a row since January 10. The last 3 times Miami has lost the first game of a best of seven series, the Heat then won the next four games in the series. No one really expects that to happen against the Spurs. These two teams seem pretty evenly matched and this looks like it could be a classic seven game series. Miami wins tonight with three games in San Antonio coming up.

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