San Antonio is one of the most dangerous underdogs we’ve seen in the NBA Finals in a long time and they proved they weren’t going to be a pushover in Game 1. They topped Miami on the NBA odds by a score of 92-88. Game 2 goes on Sunday on South Beach and even though he racked up a triple-double in Game 1, LeBron James may need to score more to lift the Heat and even up the series.
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Odds: Heat -6
Tony Parker was the game’s top scorer with 21 points, while adding six assists and scoring the game-winner with 5.2 seconds remaining to give the Spurs the victory. Tim Duncan was next with 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs, who had just four turnovers in the game and really clamped down on the Heat defensively in the fourth quarter, holding the defending NBA champs to 16 points over the final 12 minutes. They turned James into a jump-shooter, just like they did in 2007 when the Spurs swept his Cavaliers, and even though he shot a respectable 7-of-16, San Antonio is going to be perfectly content to let the four-time MVP sit on the perimeter.
It’s not like James had a poor game; he had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists with just two turnovers. But he has to be more aggressive and go to the hoop more as he attempted just four free throws, hitting three. Dwyane Wade netted 17 points for the Heat, who shot 43.6 % from the field and wasted a 46-37 edge on the boards. The Heat even got 13 points off the bench from Ray Allen, but in the fourth quarter, Miami failed to make plays on both ends of the floor and the Spurs did; that was basically the difference in the Finals opener.
The Heat are still favored by 5.5 points going into Game 2, which was even higher than the 5-point advantage they held prior to Game 1 and the Spurs may have gotten a little motivation from that. The only way that the Heat are going to be able to beat this spread is if James goes to the hole more and gets to the foul line. The Heat also need more out of Chris Bosh, who has been struggling over the last couple series and had just 13 points on 6-of-16 shooting as he was badly outplayed by Duncan.
Miami can’t settle for three-pointers in Game 2 (they were 8-of-25 in Game 1) if they’re going to even up the series going back to San Antonio, but Heat fans shouldn’t panic over losing one at home to the Spurs. They lost at home to Chicago and Indiana so far in the playoffs and came out of it with victories. They’ll get back on the horse on Sunday and led by James, Miami will cover the basketball betting spread and knot the NBA Finals up at one game apiece and head to San Antonio for Game 3.