The 2013 NBA Finals began with an interesting turn when the underdog San Antonio Spurs won the first game in a close contest. But then the Miami Heat stormed back and won Game 2 by 19 points, despite just 27 combined points from LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Now, with the series tied at 1-1, the Heat and Spurs play a pivotal Game 3 tonight (June 11th) at 9:00pm ET.
San Antonio is a slight favorite on the Game 3 betting line because they’ve got home court advantage. Here’s a look at how GTBets.eu has the line:
San Antonio -2 (-110)
As you can see, the Spurs are favored by two points on the Game 3 spread. Since Miami was favored coming into this series, many Heat backers will like this line. However, Chris Bosh and Wade have been terribly inconsistent over the last several playoff games. Wade doesn’t appear to be playing at full strength, which should definitely benefit San Antonio over the remainder of this series.
The Spurs aren’t without their difficulties either since Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard all shot poorly last game. Parker was 5-for-14, Leonard was 4-for-12, Manu Ginobili shot 2-for-6, and Duncan shot just 3-for-13, as they all struggled with Miami’s athleticism in Game 2. Shooting guard Danny Green was pretty hot after making all six of his shots and scoring 17 points. But it wasn’t nearly enough to keep San Antonio in the contest.
So far, this has been a defensive series with both teams doing a good job of pressuring each other. These clubs will be looking to get more going on offense tonight, and below, you can see their keys to victory.
Keys to Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals
San Antonio Spurs – One thing that would greatly aid San Antonio is if Tim Duncan can get back on track. He’s got a size and strength advantage against both Bosh and Chris Anderson inside. And he should exploit this mismatch, rather than settle for mid-range jumpers. There have been open lanes for Duncan to get inside thanks to Miami’s efforts to trap Parker; he has to take advantage of these opportunities to free other players up.
Of course, Parker is going to need to shoot better as well. He creates the biggest mismatch problem for the Heat because of his quickness and ability to penetrate the lane. But if he can’t take advantage of Mario Chalmers and split Miami’s traps, the Spurs are in big trouble.
Ginobili has definitely been a disappointment throughout the playoffs. These problems surfaced big-time last game as he not only shot 2-of-6, but also committed three turnovers as well. He is San Antonio’s top bench player, and if he can’t get going, the team will rely too much on Duncan and Parker.
Overall, the Spurs have to control the ball better, which was a huge problem in Game 2. They committed 17 turnovers and executed poorly on offense. Execution is supposed to be a strength for San Antonio, and they have to get back to this.
Miami Heat – Coming off a big win last game, Miami will need to do more of the things that made them successful: getting to the basket, kicking the ball out to open shooters, creating lots of defensive pressure, and scoring points off of turnovers. Of course, this will be easier said than done against a motivated Spurs team on the road.
It can’t be stressed enough how the Heat need to get more from Wade and Bosh. With Wade, he may not be capable of stepping up his play due to a knee ailment. But he’s got to at least make sound decisions and hit open shots when the opportunity arises.
Bosh is a different story because he’s supposed to provide Miami with an inside presence. He finally got his first double-double in the last 10 playoff games; but this has to be the norm, instead of a bonus.
If there’s anything that Miami can improve on as a team from Game 2, it’s defensive rebounding and guarding Danny Green. They allowed 15 offensive rebounds last game and definitely need to block out the Spurs better. As for Green, he’s 9-of-14 from the three-point line – a sure sign that Miami has to get a hand in his face more often.
Remember that Game 3 starts tonight at 9:00pm ET and will be shown on ABC. So if you’re going to bet, make sure to do it before then.