Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM
The last thing an NBA Playoff team can do on the heels of a road upset in Game Two of a series is to come home and blow Game Three. Not only does the service break disappear. But, then they have to bounce back to win Game Four just to avert disaster…and THEN win on the road again to have any chance of taking the series.
The same kind of thing is true in Game Four even if things work out in the home opener after the site switch. Breaking serve on the first road trip doesn’t get you anywhere if you don’t come home and SWEEP!
That puts pressure squarely on the shoulders of LeBron James and company as the Heat must prepare quickly with only one day off to get ready for Tuesday Night’s third game of the 2014 NBA Championships against the San Antonio Spurs. The betting markets may have Miami as the current favorite right now (around -140 or so to claim their third straight trophy). A false step Tuesday or Thursday, and the needle races back in San Antonio’s direction.
The keys for Miami:
*Find somebody besides LeBron to do some heavy lifting! James did way too much of the work in Sunday Night’s road upset. The team fell apart in the fourth quarter of Game One when he had to leave with cramps. It’s one thing to play heroically in a traditional bounce back spot. It’s quite another to do that in a Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday sequence with so little rest.
*Do a better job guarding the arc. San Antonio is an astonishing 25 of 51 on three-point shots so far because they’re getting so many open looks. That’s almost 50% from long range…which would be the equivalent of 75% on deuces. Miami’s done a good job defensively of forcing turnovers, and then guarding the basket in Game Two. They can’t just forfeit the arc.
The keys for San Antonio:
*Push the pace in a way that helps Miami wear down faster! If you have depth…particularly in what’s almost a depth mismatch…you have to find ways to exploit that advantage. This Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday sequence plays right into the Spurs’ hands. Pushing tempo should also help the two-point shooting percentage.
*Keep throwing new wrinkles at LeBron. He tends to figure things out given time. If you keep him worrying about what’s coming, he’s less able to take command in crunch time.
Here’s what the markets have for Tuesday’s quick renewal of this exciting series…
Las Vegas Line: Miami by 4, total of 198
San Antonio was only -4 at home in Game Two, so we’re looking at virtual neutral court equality. Assume the market is weighing home court at four points…and then you have a toss-up without home floor. That’s why Miami is now the series favorite. They have three home games in the next four meetings (Games 3-4-6). They control their own destiny. Lose either 3-4, and suddenly the Spurs are back in command because they would only have to win at home in Games 5 and 7 to close things out.
JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his sources around the clock since Game Two ended. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the course is set for the rest of the series. The zigs and zags may just be starting! We have expert chess players on the sidelines. We have the world’s greatest players on the floor. We have what might be two of the best teams EVER when you make all the adjustments needed for context. This battle of dynasties has more swerves ahead!
Does that mean a shocker is in store for fans and bettors Tuesday? JIM HURLEY is the man with the answers. You can purchase Tuesday’s major release (which might be an overlooked Over/Under possibility because the media is focused so much on star power) right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that get you the rest of basketball plus summer baseball. And, check out early-bird rates for football.
We’ll be alternating basketball and baseball the next few days here in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s our schedule for the week:
Wednesday: Red Sox at Orioles in ESPN’s Prime Time Game
Thursday: NBA Finals Game 4
Friday: MLB Series Preview: Washington at St. Louis
Saturday: MLB game preview to be determined
Sunday: NBA Finals Game 5
Football discussions will begin very soon, as the newsstands are already full of preview publications.
For now…the focus is on a handicapping dynasty…the LeBron James of sports betting is ready to help you cash more tickets! When championships are on the line, YOU NEED WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!