Heat look to stay alive
June 18, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO SPURS at MIAMI HEAT
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Miami -7 & 190.5
The Spurs try to wrap up their fifth NBA Championship since 1999 when they visit the Heat in Tuesday's Game 6.
After a quiet postseason, San Antonio veteran SG Manu Ginobili finally showed up on Sunday, pouring in 24 points and 10 assists with a game-best +19 rating to help lead his team to the 114-104 victory. The Spurs now lead the series 3-2 with the final two games taking place in Miami. San Antonio shot a blistering 60% from the floor and 41% from three-point range (9-of-22), with SG Danny Green knocking down six threes, giving him an NBA Finals record 25 made three-pointers in the series. The Heat actually shot better from behind the arc (48%, 11-of-23) than they did on their two-point shots (41%, 26-for-63) during Game 5. The Spurs held a 50-40 advantage for points in the paint, but rebounding was nearly even (36-34 San Antonio). These teams have now alternated wins and losses in all five games of the series, and the Heat have alternated wins and losses now for 12 straight contests. But they have not lost two in a row since Jan. 10, and are 19-3 SU (16-6 ATS, 73%) following an SU loss this season. Miami is 45-7 SU at home (87%), but just 27-25 ATS, while San Antonio is 30-20 SU and 27-23 ATS (54%) on the road this season, including 7-2 (SU and ATS) in playoff away games. The Heat have been the much better wager with just one day of rest though at 36-28 ATS (56%), while the Spurs are just 29-31 ATS (48%) with one off-day in between games.
The Spurs are now 15-4 SU and 13-6 ATS (68%) in the postseason, outscoring opponents by 8.3 PPG, and outshooting them 47% FG to 43% FG over these 19 contests. But after committing just four turnovers in the Game 1 win, the club has been much more sloppy with the basketball, producing 68 miscues (17.0 TOPG). But the high number of assists (103) to made field goals (183) in the series shows that this is still an unselfish basketball team willing to pass for the best possible shot. Defensively, San Antonio has allowed 92.7 PPG on 43% FG (36% threes) in the postseason, but has not been able to stop Miami at times during the NBA Finals, allowing just 96.2 PPG, but on an efficient 46% FG and 42.3% threes. The Spurs have produced just 5.8 SPG in the NBA Finals, but also have a respectable 5.0 BPG. Rebounding hasn't been a huge factor in this series, as San Antonio has 205 boards (50 offensive) over the five games, while the Heat have 193 rebounds (46 offensive). But the best big man in the series has clearly been PF Tim Duncan (15.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG in series) who has recovered from a horrible Game 2 (nine points on 3-of-13 FG) with 16.3 PPG on 58% FG and 10.3 RPG in the past three games. In his NBA Finals career, Duncan has a 19-8 record with 21.4 PPG on 47% FG, 13.8 RPG, 3.0 APG and 2.8 BPG. PG Tony Parker (16.2 PPG, 6.6 APG in series) had his best offensive game of the series in Game 5 with 26 points on 10-of-14 FG and 6-of-8 threes. And since committing five turnovers in the Game 2 loss, Parker has dished out 22 assists with just eight turnovers (2.8 Ast/TO ratio) in the past three contests. SG Manu Ginobili (10.8 PPG, 4.4 APG in series) had a paltry 7.5 PPG on 34.5% FG in the first four games of the series, but he erupted on Sunday with 24 points on 8-of-14 FG, while adding a game-high 10 assists. The 24 points were the most he's scored since last year's Western Conference Finals when he poured in 34 points in a loss to Oklahoma City, also in Game 5.
Speaking of hot shooting, SG Danny Green (18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG in series) continues to sizzle during the NBA Finals, knocking down 25-of-38 threes (66%), including 6-of-10 from behind the arc on Sunday. His 25 made three-pointers this series shattered the previous NBA Finals record of 22, and he still has at least one more game to play. In the two contests in Miami, Green made 9-of-14 threes. SF Kawhi Leonard (12.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG in series) has been consistently good on both ends of the floor in the NBA Finals, finishing with a series-high 16 points while also grabbing eight boards in Game 5. Although he's made a hefty 17-of-28 FG (61%) at home during the NBA Finals, Leonard connected on only 7-of-21 FG (33%) in the two games in Miami. SG Gary Neal (11.2 PPG in series) had also been on fire in the first two AT&T Center games in this series with 18.5 PPG on 13-of-24 FG (54%), but was a non-factor on Sunday with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 21 minutes. But he did help the team by playing strong enough defense to post a +17 rating.
Miami is 14-7 SU and 11-10 ATS (52%) this postseason, and the offense is finally starting to gel. After failing to reach 100 points in five straight games, the Heat have surpassed the century mark in three of the past four contests, averaging 98.3 PPG on 47% FG and 46% threes during these four games. They continue to protect the basketball with great care, piling up 22.2 APG and just 11.0 TOPG (2.02 Ast/TO ratio) in the NBA Finals. After getting lit up for 114 points in Game 5, Miami has now allowed 99.2 PPG on 47% FG (44% threes) to San Antonio this series. That's a big drop-off from the first three playoff series when Heat opponents scored just 87.6 PPG on 43% FG (33% threes). The three-point shot is really burning Miami, as San Antonio has made an insane 43-of-90 threes (48%) over the past four games. SF LeBron James (21.6 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 6.8 APG in series) continues to be the team's best, and most consistent player in the postseason. In Game 5, he scored 25 points (8-of-22 FG) with eight assists and six boards. And in his past six home games, James is averaging a hefty 27.2 PPG (51% FG), 10.0 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.7 SPG and 1.5 BPG.
SG Dwyane Wade (20.0 PPG, 5.4 APG in series) has posted back-to-back outstanding games, averaging 28.5 PPG on 51% FG with 7.0 APG, 5.0 RPG and 3.5 SPG. In his brilliant NBA Finals career spanning 22 games, Wade is averaging a lofty 26.4 PPG (48% FG), 6.0 RPG and 4.9 APG. PF Chris Bosh (14.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.0 SPG in series) has been pretty consistent in the NBA Finals with three double-doubles in the five games. And after his pedestrian 12.7 PPG on 44% FG in the first three contests, Bosh has averaged 18.0 PPG on 52% FG over the past two games. Although he pulled down just six rebounds on Sunday, five of those came on the offensive glass. PG Mario Chalmers (8.0 PPG in series) has scored a woeful 4.3 PPG on 21% FG (4-of-19) in the three San Antonio games, but he's happy to return home where he began the series with 13.5 PPG on 41% FG in Games 1 and 2. SG Ray Allen (13.0 PPG in series) has made up for Chalmers' poor shooting, as he's been on fire in the NBA Finals, making 22-of-34 shots (65%) and 11-of-17 threes (65%). He netted a series-high 21 points (7-of-10 FG, 4-of-4 threes) in Game 5. Although SG Mike Miller (5.8 PPG in series) has missed only three shots the entire series (10-of-13 FG, 9-of-12 threes), he's failed to get open recently. In the past two games -- both starts -- Miller is 0-for-1 in each contest.