Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs: The Proverbial “Swing Game”
Game 5 is usually the game that swings the momentum (and home court advantage) in an NBA Finals series. With the 2-3-2 format, it is incumbent upon the home team to be the aggressors, and that is what the San Antonio Spurs look to do, following a 16-point loss in Game 4. BetDSI Sportsbook current live lines display the Heat as a -1 favorite in this matchup.
The trends are the same as they were entering Games 3 and 4 in San Antonio, but the tone of the match up is different. The Spurs know that this is their final home game of the 2012-2013 season, and look to take a 3-2 lead as they will be facing at least Game 6 back in Miami. San Antonio is 17-4 in its last 21 home games. Additionally, the Spurs are 13-3 SU in its last 16 games when playing at home against Miami. The Heat have fared very well on the road, going 21-4 SU in their previous 25 on the road, as well as 6-2 in its last 8 games against San Antonio.
The Spurs must get better production from Manu Ginobili if they expect to win tonight (1-5, 5 points – nearly all when the game was decided), as he has played horribly all series long. The Heat were able to hold the Spurs’ role players in check, as Danny Green went 3-8, including 3-5 from 3 Point range, for 10 points. Gary Neal did manage 13 points, but was not a factor as Miami pulled away late in Game 4. Tony Parker vanished in the 2nd half of Game 4, after scoring all 15 of his points in the first half. Tim Duncan had his normal steady 20 point effort. The thinking is that the Spurs will look to feature Parker earlier in the game, while working in looks to Duncan, Neal and Green. Ginobili is due for a more level Game 5.
Miami was aggressive in all of Game 4 in a game they absolutely had to win. With the series square at 2 wins apiece, the desperation isn’t as palpable for Miami, who potentially has two home games awaiting them, regardless of the outcome in Game 5. LeBron James went 15-25 for 33 points, while Dwyane Wade tapped into the fountain of youth, with 32 points on 14-25 shooting, while Chris Bosh notched 20 points on 8-14 shooting. This was the kind of effort that Miami needed from their “Big 3”; totaling 85 points between them, as only Ray Allen (14 points) tabulated double figures for Miami, outside of the Big 3.
The Spurs are going to be buoyed by their home crowd in their final home game of the season. Additionally, while the Spurs are never a desperate team, they know the importance of winning two of the three home games that they were afforded in this Finals series, with Game 6 and a potential Game 7 both at Miami. Role players tend to play better at home, with the home crowd, and expect the Spurs’ role players to do just that and cover the +1, in what appears to be the right play in Game 5.
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