Date and Time: Sunday, January 26, 2014 1:00 PM EST on ABC

Game Line: Miami -4 Total (Over/Under): 205 (from JustBet)

Sunday NBA analysis: The San Antonio Spurs travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals.

The Spurs come in to the matchup winners of two out of their last four. They have been hit with the injury bug as of late, as the latest injury was Kawhi Leonard going out in the 2nd quarter in their 111-105 home loss to Oklahoma City. It’s looking like Leonard could miss some significant time, and on top of that, they are missing Thiago Splitter and Danny Green as well. The Spurs are ranked 6th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 104.8 ppg. Defensively, they are giving up 96.5 ppg (5th in the NBA), yet recently against some of the NBA’s elite they’ve struggled. During their recent homestand, they lost to Oklahoma City and Portland while looking lackluster on the defensive end. They also gave up 105 points in a 4 point win over Utah. They won the first game of their 3 game road trip on Friday, defeating Atlanta 105-79, as they really seemed to clamp down on defense.

The Miami Heat are currently in the midst of a 4 game homestand and winners of 4 out of their last 5. They are certainly glad to be home as they went 2-4 in their recent 6 game road trip, which included 3 straight losses to New York, Brooklyn, and Washington. Dwayne Wade is probable for the game on Sunday, after missing 4 games with knee soreness. The Heat are 8th in the league in scoring averaging 104.1 ppg and are the top shooting team in the league hitting 50.8% of their field goal attempts.. On defense, they are allowing 98.5 ppg, and are allowing opponents to shoot 45.9% from the field.

We’ve seen on many occasions when the Spurs encounter an injury, one man always steps up to fill the void. In this case however, the Spurs are running out of bodies. The aging Spurs aren’t getting any younger, and now they have a lack of depth which is concerning. What was more concerning was their defense on their homestand and their recent performance against some of the elite teams. I’m going to lay the points with Miami on Sunday. Even with Wade not at 100%, LeBron James still has the ability to take over a game. In a game of this magnitude, the Heat put forth a maximum effort more often than not. With a depleted San Antonio roster, I fully expect the Heat to cover the number in this high profile matchup on Sunday.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat Free NBA Pick: Miami -4.5 Over 204

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat Game Prediction: Miami 107 San Antonio 98

 

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