Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’
The Miami Heat head home to try and force a Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. The Heat are -7 point favorites over the Spurs with an over/under point total set at 190.
The Heat are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a S.U. loss and 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a ATS loss. The Spurs on the other hand are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 NBA Championship game, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
This series is destined to go to a Game 7, but can Miami cover the seven point spread? Recent history would suggest yes as 11 of their 14 postseason victories thus far have been by double digits, telling us that when the Heat win, they win big.
I’m trying to look for reasons as to why I should take the Spurs in Game 6, but I just can’t. Everything is pointing towards Miami and I could just see another one of these games stay close for the first half, then the home team goes on a run (Miami), which then turns into a blowout. I dunno, this might be the close battle we all expect, but I doubt it.
Miami Heat -7 San Antonio Spurs
The series shifts to San Antonio as the Spurs look to slow down Lebron James and the Miami Heat in Game 3 on Wednesday night. The Spurs are -2 point favorites over the Heat with an over/under point total set at 187.5.
The Spurs are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 NBA Championship games, but just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The Heat on the other hand are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 20-6 ATS in their last 26 road games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 NBA Championship games.
If I’m a Spurs fan, I’m not that worried about what transpired in Game 2 because you still achieved what you set out to do which was taking one of the first two games of this series on the road. Miami raced away with a 103-84 victory on Sunday night and even though the stats look alarming, I think it was more a case of the Heat playing with their backs to the wall and getting good contributions from the guys like Mike Miller, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers, who combined to score 41 points on 8-12 from beyond the arc. Once the Heat caught fire in that third quarter, it was all downhill from there for the visitors.
While the Spurs looked ordinary in Game 2, let’s not forget this was a team that had just won seven straight games, which included going 6-1 against the spread in that time period. On the other hand, Miami looked awesome in their first game in Indiana against the Pacers, running away with a 114-96 win in Game 3, yet that was a contest in which there were coming off a Game 2 loss at home. When you look at the Heat’s other two road games in that series, they resulted in seven and 14 point defeats.
Simply put, I think the San Antonio Spurs bounce back in Game 2. I think we get much better games from Duncan and Parker this time around and while I could see Ray Allen being a factor again, I doubt we see the same input from Chalmers and Miller. I think Game 4 is anybody’s game, but this one will belong to the home team.
San Antonio Spurs -2 Miami Heat
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
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers collide in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night from South Beach. The Heat are -7.5 point favorites over the Pacers with an over/under point total set at 181.
The Heat are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a S.U. loss, but just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Pacers on the other hand are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Conference Finals games, 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
For all intense purposes, this series deserved to go to a Game 7. Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead his Indiana Pacers to a 91-77 victory at home on Saturday night to even the series at three games apiece to book a trip back to Miami for a Game 7. Paul George finished proceedings with 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Pacers held the Heat to 36.1% shooting for the game. Lebron James led the way for Miami with 29 points, but he didn’t get any help from his teammates as they went just 16-51 from the field (31.4%)
I can’t really say I was surprised with the way Game 6 played out. It was pretty much a reverse of Game 5 when Lebron James outscored the entire Indiana team in the third quarter 16-13. Yet, this time, it was the Pacers who pulled away after the major break, outscoring the visitors 29-15 to build a commanding lead. The Heat would make it close again in the fourth, but the Pacers pulled away one last time to run away with a 14 point victory.
If the trend continues, then the Miami Heat should run out comfortable winners tonight. After the first two games of this series were decided by a total of five points, we have seen the last four meetings get decided by an average winning margin of 12.5 points. As far as totals go, the first four games all went over, however, Games 5 & 6 both went under the total.
While I’m aware that Lebron James could go off again like he did in Game 5 in Miami, I just think that Indiana has shown enough in this series and they have played well enough not to put up a good showing tonight. It might sound basic, but this series feels like it’s going to get decided in the final minutes, so I’m comfortable taking the points in this one.
Indiana Pacers +7.5 Miami Heat
The Miami Heat looks to bounce back in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The Heat are -12 point favorites over the Bulls with an over/under point total set at 187.5.
The Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss, 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 Conference Semifinals games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Central and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Bulls on the other hand are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
When was the last time you saw over 70% of the action against the Miami Heat, let alone in a playoff game? Well, that’s what happening in the early action for Game 2 after the Chicago Bulls performance in opening game of the series on Monday night. Make no mistake about it, the Bulls stunned the Heat in Game 1, running away with a 93-86 victory thanks to a big fourth quarter which saw them score the last 10 points of the game. Nate Robinson once again led the way by scoring a game-high 27 points and dishing out nine assists while Jimmy Butler added 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Miami, who clearly looked rusty after such a long lay-off, shot just 39% from the floor and only had two players finish the game in double-digits in Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.
The Game 1 win for Chicago was probably the most impressive win of the playoffs thus far considering that Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich didn’t even play in the game. The Heat didn’t look like themselves, but all the credit has to go to the Bulls here.
I’m going to surprise a lot of people here and take the Heat in Game 2. Yes, the Bulls looked good in Game 1 and they were the team that stopped Miami’s 27-game winning streak, but here me out. Chicago was blown out in a lot of games this season and even two of their losses in their series against the Nets were by 19 points or greater. Also, don’t forget that the Heat’s last three wins over the Bulls have come at an average of 14 points per game.
I could be completely wrong here, but I just think Miami responds in a big way in Game 2. I also don’t like that fact that most of the public are with Chicago here and too be honest, taking the +12 seems just a little bit too easy.
Miami Heat -12 Chicago Bulls
Lebron James and the Miami Heat seek their 21st straight victory tonight as they head to Milwaukee to face the Bucks. The Heat are -6.5 point favorites over the Bucks with an over/under point total set at 203.
Head to head, the Heat are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings while the underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Bucks are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 18-37 ATS in their last 55 home games and 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games overall. The Heat on the other hand are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
For whatever reason, the Milwaukee Bucks are one of the rare teams in the NBA that have given the Miami Heat trouble over the last couple of seasons. Not only did they defeat Miami 104-85 in their last meeting in Milwaukee earlier this season, but the Bucks have also won four of the last six meetings straight up, which is surprising given Milwaukee has been a non-playoff team in what seems like forever now. In their first showdown of the season in Miami, the Heat needed overtime to dispatch the visitors as they came away with a 113-106 win. Milwaukee has also covered in both meetings this season and six of the last seven overall.
As far as individual form goes, the Bucks are coming off disappointing losses to Dallas and Washington and when it comes to coving the spread, Milwaukee has been one of the worst teams in the league over the last couple of months. The Heat on the other hand don’t really need any introduction as they have won 20 on the trot, but they are coming off a hard fought 98-94 win in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
It’s always tough going against the Miami Heat, especially when they are riding such a massive winning streak, but I just can’t ignore the fact that they have struggled against Milwaukee for the last two seasons. I’m going to take my chances with the home team in this one.
Milwaukee Bucks +6.5 Miami Heat
Lebron James and the Miami Heat welcome James Harden and the Houston Rockets to town on Wednesday night. The Heat are -8 point favorites over the Rockets with an over/under point total set at 206.
The Heat are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference, but just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The Rockets on the other hand are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
How can you not love the over in this game? In case you missed it, the Rockets tied an NBA record and set a franchise mark with 23 3-pointers en route to a 140-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors last night. While you can’t base taking the over off one game, consider that Houston is averaging 120 points per game over their last five starts and are only second in the NBA in scoring to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not only that, but they are the third worst defensive team in the league as well, meaning they only care about one thing and that’s scoring the ball.
While Miami are generally regarded as a defensive first team, that’s not really the case this season as they are averaging 102.3 points per game, which is the sixth best mark in the league. They do own the league’s 12th best defense, but that’s nothing to ride home about. Like most teams, the Heat score more points when playing in-front of their home crowd and are averaging 106.5 points when playing in South Beach.
If you wanted more evidence to take the over here, consider that these teams combined to score 223 points in their first meeting of the season back in the middle of November. Not only that, but three of the last four meetings have gone over that 223 point mark. Unless both teams just come out and stink it up, I just don’t see how this game goes under.
The Miami Heat returns home to face cellar dwellers the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. The Heat are -13 point favorites over the Bobcats with an over/under point total set 200.
Head to head, the Bobcats are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings and 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Miami, while the favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, but just 6-14 ATS in their last 20 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. The Bobcats are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points and 19-39-1 ATS in their last 59 games overall.
Doesn’t it feel like the Miami Heat has been on the road forever? Granted, the Heat has just played 10 of their last 12 games away from home and 14 of their 19 overall. While we generally assume Miami is just a dominate team wherever they play, that’s not entirely the case this season as they are only one game above .500 on the road. At home however, it’s different story as Lebron James and company have been as good as one in the league playing in-front of their own fans, winning 18 of a possible 21 games in South Beach.
While I’m not crazy about laying this many points to a team having been on the road for seven days and having just flown back from Toronto early today, I just can’t bring myself to take Charlotte here. The Bobcats will surprise us all from time-to-time, but for the most part they play like they are the worst team in the league, and it’s not even close. Charlotte is coming off three straight road losses by an average of 15.3 points, which is even more evidence not to take them tonight.
Miami will crush Charlotte tonight, as I am willing to lay the 13 points.
Miami Heat -13 Charlotte Bobcats
The Miami Heat return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Heat are -4 point favorites over the Thunder with an over/under point total set at 194.
Head to head, the Thunder are 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Miami, while the road team is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings. The Heat are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 playoff games as a favorite and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games, but just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games. The Thunder on the other hand are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog, 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games playing on 2 days rest and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
For the second straight game, the Miami Heat raced out of the blocks to take an double digit lead, however the difference this time was they were able to maintain their lead and thus, achieve what they came here to do by winning one of the first two games. First and foremost, this was a huge win for Miami, who would have been in a hole if they had lost the first two games. Not for the fact that they would have been down 0-2, but the Thunder would only have had to win one of the three games in Miami, then one of the either Game 6 or 7 to take out the championship.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I really did want to take the Heat in Game 2. However, I was scared off by the low line and the fact that I didn’t know what we were going to get from Dwayne Wade after a couple of shaky performances in the Boston series and Game 1. Even though we saw good games from both Wade and Bosh in Game 2, I like the Thunder in this one. I have a hard time seeing them get off to another slow start, and let’s not act like the Heat are unbeatable at home as the Celtics took them too overtime and beat them in their next game in South Beach. Look for a much better performance from Kevin Durant and company here.
Oklahoma City Thunder +4 Miami Heat
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Miami Heat in Game 1 from Oklahoma City. The Thunder are -4.5 point favorites over the Heat with an over/under point total set at 192.5.
Head to head, the Heat are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Oklahoma City, while the Underdog is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings and the road team is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings. The Thunder are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Heat on the other hand are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, but just 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games.
I was rooting for the Boston Celtics in Game 7 on Saturday night, however now we get to see the series everyone was hoping for, including the league itself. With LeBron James and Kevin Durant headlining a star studded finals series, ratings should be at an all-time high in what should be one hell of a battle.
With James Harden’s emergence this season, the Thunder formed their own big three to create a new too dog out West, one that breezed through the last two NBA champions in Los Angeles and Dallas in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Led by scoring champion Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City then rattled off four straight victories in their conference finals matchup against the favoured San Antonio Spurs after falling in a 2-0 hole early on in the series. The often critisized Miami Heat on the other hand had a much tougher time advancing to the finals for a second straight season, needing seven games to dispatch the aging Boston Celtics after a competative series against the up and coming Indiana Pacers.
I was pretty certain that the Spurs were going to win it all after the way they had been playing in the months leading up to their showdown with the Thunder. However, OKC just outplayed them for the most part of that series and have to be the clear favorite to take out the whole thing now. While it won’t be easy, the Heat struggled against a Boston team that is no where near the level that the Thunder are at the moment. Kevin Durant and company are just the better team and they are red hot right now.
Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5 Miami Heat