A 35-3 run in the late stages of Game 2 guaranteed Miami Heat a blowout win to tie the series up at 1-1 after a disappointing Game 1 loss. Now both teams head to San Antonio for three games knowing that the winner of series will probably be the team that wins that three-game split.
There will be questions about momentum after the Spurs late game collapse and seeming surrender offered in the second half of the fourth quarter. However, this is undoubtedly a veteran team and there should be no concern that Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will surely bounce back tonight.
Turnovers were a big problem in Game 2 and San Antonio’s shooting – which had been red hot over the past three weeks – went cold at a bad time. Danny Green shot 6-6, but no other players really found their stroke. Parker should re-discover his game and should control the ball significantly better back on home court.
It’s clear that Popovich needs to find all the help he can get. Manu Ginobili continues to play ice cold basketball. Ginobili had an especially poor game in terms of ball handling and defensive play on Sunday. San Antonio will need his experience and his clutch shooting at some point if they are going to have any chance of winning this series. Maybe a return home in Game 3 will provide some sort of spark for Ginobili.
The Heat knew that Game 3 was a must-win. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh didn’t score a point during their fast scoring run, but the combination of Ray Allen and Mike Miller proved to be killer. For the second straight game, LeBron James didn’t score a huge amount (17 points), but facilitating picking up rebounds, assists and a couple of big time blocks.
It will be interesting to see how the match-ups pan out in this game. Popovich is keying on James and essentially asking other players to try and beat him. However, Allen, Miller, Mario Chalmers, Bosh, Wade and even the likes of Shane Battier can do some scoring and can win basketball games if they are left to do their business. Equally, it’s very possible that the game’s best player will have to consider being more aggressive and seriously taking the game on at this point.
Betting Preview: San Antonio (-2) vs. Miami
We’ve picked the Heat in just about every game so far. Miami will get better play from James, they will be able to take advantage of San Antonio and this game will be extremely close, which makes the spread an attractive option. Momentum is with Miami and they will know that it is absolutely vital that they win this game.
The Pick: Miami (+2) (5dimes.eu)
Writer’s Record Against The Spread: 20-12