Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 7:00 PM
The last thing the TV networks wanted was for defending conference champions Miami and San Antonio to storm through the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs in quick sweeps. The Spurs are positioned to do that Monday Night with a 3-0 series lead over completely outmanned Portland. Miami will NOT thanks to a Saturday Night loss to Brooklyn.
There will at least be a FIFTH game in Brooklyn/Miami!
But, that could still be it based on the way the Nets won their home opener. They didn’t really “outplay” Miami, at least to the degree the TV announcers were suggesting. Making a ton of three-pointers is deodorant that hides other weaknesses. Brooklyn shot an incredible 15 of 25 from long range Saturday, exactly 60% from behind the arc. That’s the equivalent of shooting 90% on two-pointers!
Can they do that again? Can they do that THREE more times and steal the series? Very unlikely. You might recall that the Los Angeles Clippers had a similar three-point explosion in their series opener with Oklahoma City. They turned mortal very quickly right afterward:
LA CLIPPERS ON TREYS
Game One: 15 of 29 in a blowout win
Game Two: 9 of 27 in a blowout loss
Game Three: 7 of 26 in a crucial home loss
You can’t make half your treys “on purpose” in this league or any other. You can steal a game or two that way in a best-of-seven. To win the full series, you have to do a lot of other things well too.
BROOKLYN’S “OTHER” STRENGTHS VS. MIAMI
Lack of Fear
That’s about it. Brooklyn is up +18 in rebound differential through three games, though +16 of that was Saturday in their win. The veterans on this team hate Miami, and clearly aren’t afraid of them. They’re just not good enough to beat them. Still! The Nets basically HAVE to make a bunch of three’s to compete because of these other weaknesses.
BROOKLYN’S WEAKNESSES VS. MIAMI
Soft Inside Defense (allowing 65%, 53%, and 52% on two-point shots)
Can’t Force Turnovers (only 10, 8, and 10 takeaways thus far)
Turnover Prone Themselves (11, 14, and 14 giveaways thus far)
Can’t Get to Free Throw Line (only 17, 14, and 16 free throw attempts thus far)
If Brooklyn is going to lose two-pointers and one-pointers, that only leaves three-pointers. And, it’s not like Miami is helpless from long range. The Heat have nailed 9-10-8 this far. If you assume Miami is going to have a lot of advantages, and then will ALSO make about 9 treys per game…it takes huge numbers from the Nets to make up for it. We saw it once. History suggests very clearly we’re not going to see it three or four times. Maybe Brooklyn steals another. Maybe was a quick blip on the radar nobody’s going to remember in a couple of weeks.
Las Vegas Line: Miami by 2.5, total of 187.5
The market is assuming a bounce back for Miami, given the one-point rise from the Vegas line in Game Three. It’s also assuming more defense from the Heat, as we’re down from the 192 and 191.5 we saw back by South Beach. Note that Brooklyn scored 86 and 82 in the games where they DIDN’T make 15 treys. That’s why Miami and Under was shaded against by oddsmakers and early bettors.
What should YOU do at the game day prices? JIM HURLEY has a very special MONDAY NIGHT PARLAY planned for NBA bettors. He knows that Monday is the most important day of the betting week in Las Vegas. You can purchase the final word right here at the website with your credit card during the day in the hours before tipoff. Be sure to check on baseball as well.
If you have any questions, call us in the office Sunday morning at 1-888-777-4155. Don’t forget that THE PREAKNESS goes this Saturday. We have special combination offers for basketball and/or baseball that also include the rest of the Triple Crown horse racing.
Back with you Tuesday to get caught up in that Clippers/Thunder series just in time for that night’s fifth game. Wednesday will either be more from Brooklyn/Miami, or a review of how Portland stayed alive Monday vs. the Spurs. If the Blazers don’t stay alive Monday, Nets/Heat will be the only Wednesday game.
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