NBA Finals: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

NBA Finals:  Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

The Miami Heat did what they had to do in Game 2 as they bludgeoned the San Antonio Spurs to even the best of seven NBA Finals series. The next three games will be in San Antonio under the NBA’s 2-3-2 scheduling format for the finals. This unorthodox scheduling system is a unique challenge for both teams. Since the NBA went to this format in 1985 the home team in the ‘middle three’ games has only swept them on two occasions. And Game 3 has proven to be the most crucial of the set–in a tied series the team that has won Game 3 has gone on to win the Championship 92.3% of the time (12-1)!

Miami–with the exception of MVP LeBron James– continues to sleepwalk through long stretches of games playing well beneath their ability. That cost them Game 1 of the series and plagued them during the first half of Game 2. They ‘flipped the switch’ in the second half, however, and thanks in large part to a feisty defensive effort, blew past the Spurs to win the second game in a rout easily covering the -6 point spread.

NBA playoff bettors have long been conditioned into playing the ‘zig zag’ theory. This long impotent theory simply refers to betting on a team that loses the previous game in a NBA playoff series and then reversing course–the ‘zig zag’–when the other team loses. That’s likely why Game 3 is priced as it is with the Spurs a -2 point home favorite. We’re not buying it, however, and will be backing the Heat to come out strong in Game 3. Despite the Heat’s tendency to ‘phone it in’ at times they have responded when they’ve needed to throughout the NBA playoffs. While they might not be aware of the significance of a Game 3 in the 2-3-2 format we noted above they are aware of the obvious–that they can’t afford to lose this game and put themselves in a position where the Spurs could potentially win the title on their home floor without a return trip to Miami.

The Heat may have also learned how to play the Spurs in Game 2–look for a similarly motivated defensive effort in this matchup as Miami takes control of the series with an outright victory.