Yes, we are a perfect 3-0 ATS so far in the NBA Finals. But the reason I am still smiling is that I got to watch the first half of Game Three as a FAN. I like making winning wagers, but I also love basketball. The first half that the San Antonio Spurs played was one of the most beautiful executions of sports perfection I have ever seen.
I’m not alone in the gushing love affair. The media is swooning. Former coaches and players are fawning. The public is effusive in glowing praise. It’s easy to get swept up in the emotion and praise.
You know who ISN’T overly emotional? VEGAS. The line for tonight’s game? It’s the largest spread yet in this series, and it is in Miami’s favor.
Just a little perspective as we head into tonight’s free pick.
NBA Finals Game Four
San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat -5 (Total: 199)
If we’ve learned nothing over the course of this year’s NBA Playoffs it is that one game doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the next and that this is a MAKE AND MISS league. Shots go in and you look brilliant. Shots draw iron and bound away and things get problematic. I LOVED Game Three from a viewing standpoint, but Coach Pop knows the same thing Vegas does; San Antonio isn’t shooting 19 of 21 from the floor in a twenty minute span ever again. Probably not even in shootaround.
I expect Miami to do what they always do – roar back with a vengeance now that they are cornered. Tonight might not technically be a “must-win” game, but it’s pretty damn close. If Miami were to lose back-to back games at home to fall in a 3-1 hole with Game Five looming in San Antonio (and Game Seven if needed). Barring a major injury I can’t see the Spurs losing three games in a row with two home games to anyone, ever. Heck, even with an injury, this team is so deep and balanced it probably STILL wouldn’t matter.
So tonight is a BIG game and LeBron is a BIG star. He and Wade combined for a staggering 12 turnovers in Game Three. Couple that anomaly with the bigger anomaly of San Antonio’s can’t-miss shooting and you have a great recipe for a bounce-back game tonight. I expect both stats to regress closer to the norm. This doesn’t mean San Antonio isn’t a great shooting team; they are. I am simply saying that no team in the history of mankind is as good of a shooting team as they showed in Game Three.
Look for huge games from LeBron and at least two supporting players. My money is on Bosh to get 30+ touches tonight after being invisible and for Miami to do a much better job containing dribble drives and staying home on shooters. You can’t help against the Spurs the way you would traditionally. I imagine that the Heat and Coach Spo saw that same thing on film and will adjust accordingly.
Give me the Heat to bounce back big at home.