Miami Heat 1.49 San Antonio Spurs 2.65 (Spurs lead 2-1)
Watching the video of Game 3 of the NBA Finals was painful for the Miami Heat. But they’ve pledged to make the necessary adjustments in time for a Game 4 on Thursday that could prove instrumental for their title hopes.
Coming off a 111-92 rout on Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs are just two games away from the championship but memories will be short of 12 months ago when they held the same 2-1 advantage, only to lose in seven games.
Miami have rebounded from their last 13 losses in the Playoffs with a win. But to repeat 2013’s surge from behind, all concerned admit they must get more out of point guard Mario Chalmers who has made just three shots in the series so far, including a big fat zero two days ago.
With even his own team-mates questioning whether he has lost confidence, an alternative pattern has emerged with LeBron James taking more of the initiative, a factor that should continue to give him more assists but might also hamper his scoring.
The other expected tweak is for Chris Bosh to become more of an offensive focus. The All Star, who is averaging 15.2 points per night in this post-season, scored just nine in Game 3 with James conceding he was criminally ignored.
“He only took four shots and we can't allow that to happen for us to be successful,” the four-time MVP said. “So I believe everybody was a little out of rhythm just because of the fact of how they jumped on us, and it was all scramble mode from that point. So we all have to do a better job.”
San Antonio, who are 4.50 to win the title 4-1, can take comfort that if they repeat their first half showing of Tuesday, they will be hard to stop. And there’s the tantalising prize that no side has ever coughed up a 3-1 lead in a NBA Finals.
But Miami are a resilient bunch. And with their defence usually the crutch on which they lean, expect a concerned effort to stop the Spurs in their tracks.
Best bet: Go under 194.5 total points in Spurs-Heat at 2.17