What better way to spend Father’s Day evening than with Game Five of the NBA Finals; the series knotted at two games apiece, and the title likely on the line tonight. If the Spurs win, we have ourselves one heck of a series finale coming. However, if the Heat should grab a second win (they are the slight Vegas favorite) than this series is all but over; it’s hard to see San Antonio winning a pair in a row in Miami.
So tonight’s game is basically the series.
Can Tony Parker get healthy enough to lead the Spurs to a crucial home win? Can Dwyane Wade once again make the Spurs his daddy on Father’s Day like it was the 2006 Finals instead of 2013?
Let’s take a look at tonight’s do-or-die Game Five.
Miami Heat -1.5 at San Antonio Spurs (Total: 187.5)
The Heat’s here today, gone tomorrow act has gotten difficult to handicap from a Vegas perspective. What do you do with the fact that they are a perfect 12-0 ATS following a loss, and that everyone one of those wins are by double-digits. How do you handicap that game or set a reasonable line? You can’t have the Heat favored by 12 AT San Antonio coming off a 36-point loss… but anything shy of that is giving away easy money.
Likewise, it is hard to ignore the fact that after each of the last scintillating five Heat wins, they have followed it up with a loss and an easy cover for their opponent.
The eye test screams loud and clear that the Heat were the better team in Game Four, but the Spurs were the better team in Game Three. Neither was close. Tonight’s result is going to hinge on several factors for the Spurs: Can they corral Wade tonight (I think, yes – he’s been corralled in 20 of his last 22 games – the odds are in their favor), will the role players produce (decent reason to count on Danny Green, Gary Neal and Kwahi Leonard at this point, they’ve proven their worth and poise), and IS TONY PARKER HEALTHY ENOUGH TO CONTROL THE GAME??
That one is in all-caps on purpose; it is the central question to the game and the series.
From everything I have heard, read and seen, Parker is going to go tonight. It seems there is reasonable confidence he will be able to play at a high level, but just as in Game Four, it remains to be seen if the pain will hold off long enough for the second half to allow him to remain in control of the tempo and offense.
I am going to bank on a big game from Parker and company tonight (perhaps even a Manu sighting??) at home. It’s hard to rationalize the Spurs winning after watching Game Four, but if we have learned nothing else about this series, and about this Heat team, it is that every game is its own unique entity. The Heat have traded wins and losses; covers and losses, for their last eleven games. I’m going to buck the popular money movement for tonight’s game and take the Spurs.
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs +1.5