Saturday's Tip Sheet
May 9, 2014
By Brian Edwards
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**Miami at Brooklyn**
-- As of late Friday afternoon, most betting shops had Miami (60-28 straight up, 42-4-2 against the spread) installed as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 189.
-- Miami took a 2-0 advantage in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series by capturing a 94-82 win in Thursday's Game 2. The Heat covered the number as a seven-point home favorite, while the 176 combined points dipped 'under' the 191.5-point total. LeBron James led the way with a game-high 22 points, while Chris Bosh finished with 18. Dwyane Wade produced 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Ray Allen scored 13 points off the bench behind 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Mario Chalmers was also in double figures with 11 points and he handed out five helpers.
-- Brooklyn (48-43 SU, 46-44-1 ATS) trailed by only two points with 6:54 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 2, but a 10-2 run by the Heat created separation and got them ahead of the number to stay. Mirza Teletovic buried six treys and had a team-best 20 points in the losing effort. Shaun Livingston had 15 points, while Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce finished with 13 points apiece. The Nets might have won if they had received anything out of veteran point guard Deron Williams, who tasted a bagel in a scoreless night. Williams missed all nine of his shots from the field and didn't get to the charity stripe. He had a team-worst -18 plus/minus rating.
-- Brooklyn won the rebounding battle in Game 2 with a 43-36 edge. Kevin Garnett pulled down a team-high 12 boards in just 20 minutes of playing time.
-- Miami led by just three at intermission of Game 1 following a buzzer-beating 3-ball by Williams. However, Miami outscored Brooklyn by 18 in the second half en route to a 107-86 win as an eight-point home favorite. The 193 combined points slipped 'over' the 192.5-point total. James scored a game-high 20 points thanks to 10-of-15 shooting from the floor. James didn't settle for any attempts from downtown, relentlessly attacking the rim all night long. Bosh added 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Ray Allen scored 19 points.
-- In the Game 1 setback, Williams and Johnson shared team-high scoring honors with 17 points apiece. Williams made 7-of-10 shot from the field, while Johnson drained 7-of-11 attempts. Marcus Thornton was also in double figures with 11 points from off the bench.
-- VegasInsider.com's Chris David came away from the first two games of this series with these opinions: "After watching the first two games, I wouldn’t invest any money on the Nets or Heat in Game 3. As silly as it sounds, outside of a couple of halves the Heat haven’t looked great in the postseason, yet they’re still 6-0 in the playoffs. This Miami team isn’t nearly as good as the past two championship clubs but fortunately for them, the rest of the East has regressed as well."
-- David is passing on the side but is bullish on the total. He explained, "While I’m not high on either side in Game 3, I feel the total should be given a second-look on Saturday. Oddsmakers often adjust too much in the playoffs and they did so here. The total in Games 1 and 2 closed near 192 and now we’re staring at a number close to 189. Even though the tempo hasn’t been fast so far, I’m still surprised that we’ve only seen a combined 33 free-throw attempts in Game 1 and just 32 on Thursday. I expect those numbers to increase on Saturday and the freebies should help this game go ‘over’ the number."
-- Bosh is averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in this series so far. He also had three blocked shots in Game 2.
-- Sportsbook.ag has Miami at -3500 for the updated series price, with Brooklyn at +1500 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $1,500).
-- The 'over' is 48-40 overall for Miami, 23-20 in its road assignments.
-- The 'over' is 46-41-4 overall for the Nets, 23-19-2 in their home games.
-- ABC will provide television coverage at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
**San Antonio at Portland**
-- As of late Friday afternoon, most spots had San Antonio (68-23 SU, 48-43 ATS) listed as a 1.5-point 'chalk' with a total of 209.
-- San Antonio has dealt out woodshed treatment twice to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over Portland in the West semifinals. The Spurs cruised to a 114-97 win in Thursday's Game 2 at AT&T Center. They easily cashed tickets as seven-point home 'chalk.' San Antonio outscored the Trail Blazers 41-25 in the second quarter to take a 19-point halftime lead. Seven Spurs scored in double figures led by Kawhi Leonard's 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. The San Diego St. product drained all four of his 3-point attempts. Tony Parker finished with 16 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, while Tiago Splitter added 10 points and 10 boards.
-- Gregg Popovich's squad won Game 1 by a 116-92 count as a 6.5-point home favorite. The 208 combined points slithered 'over' the 206.5-point total. Parker scored a game-high 33 points and dished out nine assists. Marco Belinelli came off the bench to contribute 19 points, while Leonard produced 16 points and nine rebounds. Tim Duncan had a double-double with 12 points, 11 boards and a pair of blocked shots.
-- In the Game 1 defeat, LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds. Damian Lillard finished with 17 points, but he committed six turnovers compared to three assists. He also had no answer for Parker at the defensive end.
-- In the Game 2 loss, Nicolas Batum scored a team-high 21 points for Portland. Batum knocked down 9-of-13 shots and pulled down nine rebounds. Lillard played much better with 19 points, five boards and five assists compared to only one turnover. However, Aldridge couldn't buy a bucket. He connected on just 6-of-23 shots and had 16 points and 10 boards.
-- Portland (58-32 SU, 46-44 ATS) got a game-winning trey at the buzzer from Lillard to eliminate Houston in last Friday's Game 6 at home. But Lillard has hit only 1-of-7 from deep in the first two games of this series.
-- Portland's bench is getting crushed by San Antonio's second unit. The Spurs reserves have scored 100 points compared to only 37 from the Trail Blazers' bench.
-- The Trail Blazers went 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS as home underdogs this season and the two losses came by a combined four points to the Warriors (113-112) and Thunder (98-95). One of the victories came against the Spurs, a 115-105 decision on Nov. 2.
-- VI's David leans to the Spurs in Saturday's Game 3. He said, "The Spurs have put forth back-to-back offensive clinics in this series and the bench play has been superb. The reserves scored 50 points in both Game 1 and 2 for San Antonio. If the Spurs produce efforts like this on a nightly basis, it’s hard to see anybody stopping them. I’m not strong on San Antonio for Game 3 but that would be my lean because it’s hard for me to back a Portland club that is 0-6 ATS in its last six. I’d rather press the hot team that has been great on the road (31-13) all season than play the ‘due’ factor against a club that has taken back-to-back body blows."
-- The Spurs are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games at Portland.
-- The 'over' is 51-39-1 overall for the Spurs, hitting in their last five games and seven of the last eight.
-- The 'over' is 52-37-1 overall for the Trail Blazers.
-- The 'over' is 7-3 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these rivals.
-- Sportsbook's updated series price: San Antonio -1800, Portland +1050.
-- Tip-off on ESPN is scheduled for 10:35 p.m. Eastern.
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