2014 NBA Playoffs
NBA Finals – Game #2
#2 Miami Heat at #1 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Sunday, June 8, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: San Antonio -3 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -4
Opening Total: 200
Current Total: 198 1/2
Opening Money Line: Spurs -160 / Heat +140
Current Money Line: Spurs -180 / Heat +155
In game one of the NBA Finals Thursday night, two time defending champion Miami couldn’t handle the Spurs or the heat for that matter. After an electrical malfunction in the AT&T Center led to the building’s air conditioning not working, the game was played in 90 degree temperatures inside the arena. In fact, it was actually warmer inside the arena than outside which is saying a lot in San Antonio in June.
The Spurs used a late fourth quarter rally to win 110-95, despite trailing by 7 early in the quarter. A lot of the turnaround happened when Miami’s Lebron James had to leave the game with severe muscle cramps in his legs. He actually had to be carried to the bench as he couldn’t walk off the floor under his own power. The two teams meet for game two Sunday night in San Antonio. Miami looks to tie up the series before they go to Miami for games three and four starting Tuesday night. Officials say the AC has been repaired for game two and should function properly.
San Antonio took a 26-20 lead at the end of the first, and led 54-49 at halftime. Miami outscored San Antonio 29-20 in the third to take a 78-74 into the fourth. In the fourth, Miami took an 86-79 lead with 9:37 left on a Chris Bosh four point play when he was fouled on a three pointer. James left the game for the first time with 7:35 left when the Spurs had cut it to 86-84. He returned briefly three minutes later and made a lay-up to pull Miami within 94-92. However, James couldn’t even get down the court to get back on defense. He was removed again and would not return. San Antonio would outscore Miami 16-3 for the rest of the game to take game one in a 15 point rout.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. Tony Parker had 19 points and 8 assists. Parker had been battling a sore ankle and was questionable for game one, but later upgraded to probable. Manu Ginobili had 16 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals off the bench. Tiago Splitter had 14 points with 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. Danny Green struggled in the first three quarters but without Lebron in the game he flourished making several key shots and ended up with 13 points.
Despite missing most of the fourth, James still played 33 minutes for Miami. He had 25 points, rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Dwyane Wade had 19 points. Bosh finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Ray Allen added 16 points off the bench.
Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 47-49-2 ATS and the total is 56-42 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 the cramps. 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 54-46 ATS and the total is 54-42-2 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. Parker is probable with an ankle injury. He missed the second half of the clinching game six win against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. 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 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 5-1 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game and after failing to cover. 16-6 in Sunday games, 23-9 after a straight up loss, 2-5 against Southwest Division teams, and 0-5 against Western Conference teams. The over is 6-2 in this series recently, including 4-1 in San Antonio.
San Antonio is 13-3 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-1 after a straight up win, 8-2 after scoring 100 points or more, 10-3 against teams with winning records and overall, 16-5 at home, 2-6 after a straight up win by 10 points or more, 19-7 after a cover, 5-2 after the opponent allows 100 points or more, 40-17-1 against Southeast Division teams. 16-7 in NBA Finals games, 52-24-1 against Eastern Conference teams, and 3-7 on two days rest. The home team and favorite have covered the last 4 games in this series. The Spurs are 4-1 ATS in San Antonio against the Heat.
You can look at game one in two ways. One, Miami had a fourth quarter lead until Lebron James left the games with cramps. However, when James was on the bench Miami was outscored by 15 points, which ended up being the final margin of victory. On the other hand, San Antonio had 22 turnovers in game one, something they probably won’t do in game two. The oppressive heat in the arena led to sloppy play from both sides.
In the five previous times Miami has lost the first game of the series in the Big Three Era, the Heat have comeback to win each of those series. That includes in the Finals last year against these same Spurs, when the Heat would eventually win the series in seven games. Miami even lost game one of the last series against the Indiana Pacers before winning in six games. LeBron James has seen the memes and people on social media questioning his toughness for not playing through the cramps. He is excellent at finding motivation through criticism. I expect a huge game from LeBron as Miami evens the series 1-1 before game three in Miami.