Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Miami Heat squares off against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 on the NBA Finals on Thursday night from South Beach. The Heat are -5 point favorites over the Spurs with an over/under point total set at 187.5.
The Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NBA Championship games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest, but just 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. The Spurs on the other hand are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games and 33-16-2 ATS in their last 51 vs. Eastern Conference.
Even though Oklahoma City finished the regular season with the best record out West, we clearly have the two best teams in each conference going head-to-head in the NBA finals with the Lebron James led Miami Heat squaring off against the veteran savvy San Antonio Spurs. While the Heat breezed through the first two rounds of the playoffs, winning eight of nine games, they faced a much stiffer test in the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers, who took them to a deciding Game 7, which turned out to be a blowout in the end anyway. On the other hand, the Spurs got a scare from the up and coming Golden State Warriors in the Quarter Finals, however, they looked downright dominate in their other two series, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.
As far as the regular season goes, Miami won both meetings this season and have actually won the last four overall. However, you can’t look too much into those games, especially from this season. The first showdown in Miami was that infamous game where Gregg Popovich decided to rest his stars and funnily enough, the Spurs nearly ended up winning anyway, but went down in the end 105-100. In their most recent meeting back in late March, it was Miami who rested their stars as Lebron James and Dwayne Wade didn’t make the trip out West, however, the Heat still came away with an impressive 88-86 victory thanks to a late three by Chris Bosh.
While the Heat aren’t going to have a long layoff like they did in previous rounds, it will be interesting to see how Game 1 plays out considering they didn’t look great in their opening games against Chicago and Indiana. You could make the case that the long layoff will effect the Spurs, but I don’t see that happening with the coaching staff they have over there. I think the Spurs will be ready to go and I see this being a close series throughout. It’s also going to be interesting to see how San Antonio approaches defending Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, considering they struggled by their standards against the Pacers. If the Spurs were able to take Zack Randolph out of their series all together, I can’t wait to see what they can come up with against Miami.
It might sound simple, but taking the point always seems like the way to go in the opening game. Miami could continue their momentum from their Game 7 pounding of the Pacers, but I just don’t see it. Look for San Antonio to keep this one close enough.
San Antonio Spurs +5 Miami Heat