NBA Finals Game #4: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

2013 NBA Finals Game #4
#1 Miami Heat at #2 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: San Antonio -1 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -1
Opening Total: 187
Current Total: 187
Opening Money Line: Spurs -130 / Heat +110
Current Money Line: Spurs -115 / Heat -105

The San Antonio Spurs look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Miami Heat.
The San Antonio Spurs look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Miami Heat.

When the NBA Finals are tied at 1-1, the winner of game #3 has gone on to win the series 12 of 13 times. The San Antonio Spurs took that all-important 2-1 series lead by crushing the Miami Heat 113-77 Tuesday night in San Antonio. The Heat will look to rebound knowing they haven’t lost two games in a row since January 10. Also after every loss in the playoffs, so far Miami has won the next game by double digits.

The big story heading into game #4 is the status of Spur’s guard Tony Parker who strained his hamstring in the blowout win in game 3. He is listed as probable, but his effectiveness could be limited. Obviously, keep an eye on this situation as game time approaches.

In game 3, San Antonio had to make some adjustments after Miami routed the Spurs 103-84 in game 2. The game was pretty much even in the first half, despite Lebron James struggling from the field early for the second game in a row. He missed 11 of his first 13 shots from the field. Still San Antonio would only lead 50-44 at halftime.

In the second half, it was all Spurs. The Spurs would expand the lead to 21 points in the third quarter. Lebron James would score 9 straight points for the Heat to reduce the lead to 13. Spurs forward  Tiago Splitter would make a dunk at the buzzer to put the Spurs up 15.

In the fourth, San Antonio opened the quarter on a 13-0 run to put the game away. The rout allowed San Antonio to rest Parker’s achy hamstring, and also veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli. The Spurs would end up with the 36 point win.

San Antonio shot 48.9% from the field and made an NBA Finals record 16 3 pointers. The Spurs did struggle a little from the free throw line making just 11/19, but who cares if you are shooting the three like they did. Miami shot 40.8% from the field including 8/18 from 3 point range. The Heat had 16 turnovers and the Spurs had 12. San Antonio had 52 rebounds and Miami had 36.

Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli have struggled the last two games by their illustrious standards. Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds in game 4. Parker scored only 6 points but did have 8 assists. Ginobli had 7 points and 6 assists. Luckily, the Spurs didn’t really need them as they got huge performances from Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Kawhi Leonard. Green scored 27 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He made 7 of his 9 three point attempts. Reserve guard Gary Neal added 24 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He made 6 of 10 3 point attempts. Leonard had 14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. His defense also frustrated LeBron all night.

Dwyane Wade had 16 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals. James would finish with 15 points on 7/21 shooting. He also had 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Mike Miller had 15 points as he made all five of his three point attempts. Chris Bosh has 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal.

Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 55-45 ATS this season and the total is 49-48-2. 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 coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are 51-46-2 ATS and the total is 44-53-2 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 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 5-1 in Thursday games, 4-1 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 18-6 after a straight up loss, 20-7 in road games, 10-4 after allowing 100 points or more, 5-2 in NBA Finals games, and 14-6 against teams with winning home records. The under is 22-6 in this series recently, including 10-3 in San Antonio.

San Antonio is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, and on one day rest, 6-2 in NBA Finals, and after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 5-2 after a win, 40-17-1 against Southeast teams, 35-15-2 against Eastern Conference teams, 5-12 after the opponent allows 100 points or more, and 4-10 after scoring 100 points or more.

The Heat are 3-22 all-time in San Antonio. They probably need to win the next two games in San Antonio to have a realistic shot at defending their NBA title. LeBron James has said he needs to be more aggressive. That is true but the Heat need to play much better defense on the perimeter. Spoelstra was livid with his team’s effort in game 3. I expect Miami to play much better and even up the series. If they don’t then this series could be over quickly.

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