NBA Finals Game Five Betting Picks: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

2014 NBA Playoffs
NBA Finals – Game #5

#2 Miami Heat at #1 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Sunday, June 15, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: San Antonio -5 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -5 1/2
Opening Total: 196
Current Total: 196
Opening Money Line: Spurs -230 / Heat +190
Current Money Line: Spurs -240 / Heat +200

The Spurs are one win away from their fifth NBA title in the last 15 years.
The Spurs are one win away from their fifth NBA title in the last 15 years.

One week ago, the Miami Heat took game two of the NBA Finals 98-96 against the San Antonio to even up the series at 1-1. San Antonio took game one 110-95. After game two it looked the Heat had gained control of the series as games three and four were in Miami where the Heat hadn’t lost a game in 8 home playoff games this season. The Spurs had other ideas, as they completely and utterly dominated both games on both ends of the court in both games. San Antonio made the two time defending champions look like they were the Milwaukee Bucks. The Spurs took game three 111-92 and won game four 107-86 Thursday night.

Now, the Spurs are one win away from winning their fifth NBA title since 1999 and first since 2007. Game Five is Sunday night in San Antonio. The Heat will try to force a game six Tuesday night in Miami. No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to win the series, although it has happened eight times in the earlier rounds. Only two teams have even forced a game seven when down 3-1 in the Finals, the last in 1966 when the Boston Celtics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

After shooting an NBA Finals record 76% from the field in the first half of game three to take a huge lead, San Antonio also started off game four hot. The Spurs took a 26-19 lead at the end of the first, and blew the game open in the second taking a 55-36 lead into halftime. Miami shot 35% from the field in the first half. In the third quarter, Miami forward LeBron James scored 10 straight points to pull Miami within 13 points. He had to leave the game briefly in the first with stomach distress, after leaving the fourth quarter of game one with leg cramps. Miami would get no closer than 13 though and San Antonio led by 24 at the end of the third. The Spurs would cruise to the 21 point victory. Miami had won 13 straight post season games after a loss before Thursday

San Antonio shot 57.1% from the field in game four including 9/21 from 3 point range. Miami shot 45.1% from the field including 9/22 from three point range. Kawhi Leonard had his second huge game in a row for the Spurs with 20 points, 14 ┬árebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. Tony Parker scored 19 points. Patty Mills added 14 points off the bench. Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds. He set playoff records for career minutes and most double-doubles in Thursday’s game.

James finished with 28 points on 10/17 shooting, and added 8 rebounds. The problem was he got almost no help from anyone else. Chris Bosh had 12 points on 5/11 shooting and 4 rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 10 points on an awful 3/13 shooting night, and added 4 assists and 4 steals. James Jones hit all four of his shots, including three 3 pointers late in garbage time of the fourth when the game was well decided and ended up with 11 points.

Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 48-51-2 ATS and the total is 57-44 this season including playoffs.

Miami is outscoring teams 99-92 this post-season. The Heat are shooting 49.7% from the field and 39.5% from 3 point range. Miami makes 79.2% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 46.2% from the field and 38.1% from 3 point range. The Heat average 34.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 38.1 per game. Miami averages 19.3 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 18.3 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.

Miami forward LeBron James is averaging 27.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in the playoffs. James is listed as probable with an ankle injury. Wade averages 18.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Center Chris Bosh averages 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, a steal and 1.3 blocks per game. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 7.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Ray Allen averages 9.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, and Shane Battier will also get significant minutes.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award this season. San Antonio is 56-47 ATS and the total is 55-44-2 this season.

San Antonio is outscoring teams 107-99 in the playoffs. The Spurs are shooting 48.2% from the field and 39.2% from 3 point range. San Antonio makes 77.3% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range. San Antonio is averaging 43.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.4 per game. The Spurs average 21.3 assists, 12.2 turnovers, 8.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 18.3 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.

Point guard Tony Parker averages 17.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. Forward Tim Duncan averages 16.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 13.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobili averages 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.7 steal per game. Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.

Miami is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more and after a straight up loss by 10 points or more, 7-2 after a double digit home loss, 6-2 after failing to cover, 19-7 in Sunday games, 2-5 in NBA Finals games, 1-5 against Southwest Division teams, and 1-7 against Western Conference teams. The under is 26-12 in this series recently.

San Antonio is 8-1 ATS at home and against teams with winning road records, 5-1 against teams with winning records and overall, 9-3 after scoring 100 points or more, 19-7 after a cover, 8-3 after a straight up win, 5-2 in NBA Finals games, 15-6 after a win by 10 points or more, 42-18-1 against Southeast Division teams, 54-25-1 against Eastern Conference teams, and 0-4 on two days rest. The Spurs have covered 4 of the last 5 against the Heat.

After four straight years in the Finals, and playing 100 games or more in each season the Miami Heat appear to be out of gas. LeBron James is the best player in the world, but he can’t do it alone against a great team like the San Antonio Spurs. Even James is making some uncharacteristically sloppy plays. After game two, Popovich adjusted his starting line-up by inserting Boris Diaw in place of Tiago Splitter. Miami has had no answers in the two games since then. The biggest problem is Miami is playing terrible defense and can’t stop San Antonio’s excellent ball movement. I would love to see game six in Miami, but I think the Heat are cooked tonight.

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