NBA Finals Preview: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

NBA Finals Preview:  Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

The Miami Heat have responded to defeat throughout the 2013 NBA playoffs and they did it again in Game 4. On the heels of an embarrassing blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 the Heat got a strong offensive effort from LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to even the best of seven series at two games apiece. With the victory the Heat assured that the series would return to Miami–this is the final game in San Antonio under the 2-3-2 scheduling format and Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) will be played in South Florida.

In Game 4 it was the Spurs’ big guns that turned in some poor performances. Tony Parker looked good in the first half but disappeared completely in the second–perhaps slowed by an injured hamstring muscle. Worth noting that Parker isn’t even listed on the injury report for Game 5 indicating that he’ll definitely play but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to be 100%. Manu Ginobili turned in an awful performance in Game 4 and he doesn’t even have injury as an excuse. The line for Game 5 opened with the Spurs a -1.5 home favorite but as was the case in Game 4 money has shown for the Heat pushing the line to the current price of Miami -1.5. It could be a case of bettors making the classic mistake of overreacting to a short term performance–a good night for the Heat and a bad night for the Spurs in Game 4.

While the betting market may be convinced that the Heat has wrested control of the series from the Spurs we’re not so sure. We weren’t’ surprised that the Heat came strong in Game 4–they’ve now covered 12 straight games off a loss dating back to the regular season. Our concern is how they’ve played off a win–throughout the playoff campaign they’ve been plagued by a lack of focus and/or intensity and that combined with the Spurs’ coming off a substandard effort in Game 4 has us looking toward the home team.

San Antonio’s ‘big three’ is almost certain to rebound from their poor outing last time and it’s fatal to underestimate the class of this Spurs’ franchise–San Antonio has never trailed in a NBA Finals in their franchise history and we look for them to regain the advantage with a victory here.