Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs Game Time: 9:00 pm EST
NBA Finals Game 1  TV Coverage: ABC
NBA Finals Game 1 Odds at JustBet: San Antonio -4.5 Total: 198.5

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2014 NBA Finals Game 1  Analysis: Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat in game 1 of the NBA Finals AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday night.

Miami and San Antonio both won their respective conference finals in 6 games, with Miami disposing of Indiana last Friday night, while San Antonio eliminated Oklahoma City last Saturday. Both teams are well rested and while Tony Parker had an ankle injury in game 6, he will be ready to go on Thursday night. During the playoffs, LeBron James leads the Heat in almost every statistic, points (27.1), rebounds (6.8), assists (5.0), and steals (1.8). The Heat are averaging 99.1 ppg while shooting 49.7% from the field and 39.5% from beyond the arc. They have also stepped it up on the defensive end, limiting opponents to 46% shooting from the field, and are averaging 7.1 steals per game. In the Eastern conference finals, Miami played a smothering defense that made Indiana look completely lost at times. Granted Indiana is somewhat offensively challenged, but they do have players that can score. San Antonio has 5 players averaging double figures in this year’s playoffs with Tony Parker leading the way averaging 17.1 ppg. Tim Duncan certainly isn’t showing his age, averaging 16.5 ppg while leading the team in rebounding grabbing 8.9 per game. The Spurs are averaging 106.6 ppg in the postseason, while shooting 28.2% from the field and 39% from 3-point land. Defensively the Spurs have been excellent in the playoffs, limiting opponents to 43.9% shooting and forcing 13.7 turnovers per game.

These two teams split the regular season series, with each team winning at home. Miami won back in late January by 12 however the Spurs had multiple injuries to key players in that game. In March they met in San Antonio with both teams at full strength and it wasn’t even close with San Antonio winning 111-87. I’m laying the points with San Antonio on Thursday night. The Spurs are playing with revenge and in my opinion are the better overall team. I think the Spurs have the advantage in the paint, and can give Miami major problems inside. Outside the perimeter, I believe both teams are somewhat even and are shooting just around 39%, but San Antonio’s 3-point defense is significantly better. I also believe that San Antonio will take care of the basketball, and if you do just that, you’re chances of beating Miami are significantly greater. Miami makes teams pay with turnovers, and a team that is as disciplined as San Antonio is, I don’t see that being an issue. Who will cover LeBron? Well, Kawhi Leonard matches up with James well, and while he won’t shut him down, he will give him problems. San Antonio’s versatility and disciplined play on both ends will be the difference in this game behind the electric crowd in the AT&T center. I am completely comfortable with laying the points tonight, as San Antonio is 7-0 in their last 7 home games in the playoffs. Miami is a talented team, but the Spurs are battle tested, and come from the much stronger conference. This is a big step up in competition for the Heat, and while they won the series against the Spurs last year, this version of San Antonio is better. San Antonio’s younger players have experience, and have taken a big step forward this season. Is this year’s version of the Miami Heat better than last year’s team? Time will tell, but the Spurs are much better, and we will see it on the court on Thursday night. San Antonio takes game 1 with a convincing win.

 

Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs Free Game 1 Pick: San Antonio -4.5 Over 198.5
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs Game 1 Prediction: San Antonio 115 Miami 101

 

 

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