cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/11/2013 05:29 PM

NBA

Tuesday, June 11

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Heat's 'Big Three' 8-3 ATS in Game 3 of playoff series
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Tuesday’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals could be the most important matchup between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, if history has any say.

Since the finals switched to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, when a series is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the NBA title in 12 of those 13 situations.

The lone exception, funny enough, is the 2011 Miami Heat, who split the first two games against the Dallas Mavericks and won Game 3 on the road before losing three in a row to the Mavs.

Miami has a solid record in Game 3 of a series since the formation of the “Big Three” – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Over the past three postseasons, the Heat boast an 8-3 SU and ATS mark in the third game of a playoff series, including a 2-0 SU and ATS count in Game 3 of the finals.

Oddsmakers have Miami set as a 2-point road underdog visiting San Antonio Tuesday night, coming off a 103-84 blowout win at home in Game 2 Sunday.

The Heat are 5-2 SU and ATS on the road this postseason and have gone 15-12 SU and 15-11-1 ATS as visitors during the playoffs since 2011. San Antonio is 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS at home this postseason and posted a 35-6 SU and 19-20-2 ATS mark as a host during the regular season

Despite being a 2-point underdog heading into a pivotal Game 3 and playing the next three games in San Antonio, books are still dealing Miami as the overall favorite to win the NBA title at -170 while the Spurs are +150.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/11/2013 05:30 PM

NBA
Short Sheet

Tuesday, June 11

NBA Finals, Game Three (Series Tied, 1-1)
Miami at San Antonio, 9:05 ET ABC
Miami: 12-4 ATS off 3+ home games
San Antonio: 9-18 ATS off BB Unders

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/11/2013 05:31 PM

NBA
Dunkel

Miami at San Antonio
The Heat look to build on their 20-6 ATS record in their last 26 road games. Miami is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the game Even. Dunkel Pick: Miami (+2 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

TUESDAY, JUNE 11

Game 705-706: Miami at San Antonio (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 128.530; San Antonio 128.939
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 190
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 2 1/2; 187
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+2 1/2); Over




NBA
Long Sheet

Tuesday, June 11

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MIAMI (79 - 21) at SAN ANTONIO (71 - 27) - 6/11/2013, 9:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN ANTONIO is 100-73 ATS (+19.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 80-58 ATS (+16.2 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 51-33 ATS (+14.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 123-86 ATS (+28.4 Units) on Tuesday nights since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) against Southeast division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 268-208 ATS (+39.2 Units) after a non-conference game since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in non-conference games this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 114-80 ATS (+26.0 Units) after a loss by 10 points or more since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 157-115 ATS (+30.5 Units) after scoring 85 points or less since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 58-42 ATS (+11.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 140-106 ATS (+23.4 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
MIAMI is 56-44 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all games this season.
MIAMI is 29-19 ATS (+8.1 Units) in road games this season.
MIAMI is 22-9 ATS (+12.1 Units) after a non-conference game this season.
MIAMI is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) after playing 3 consecutive home games this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 16-25 ATS (-11.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
MIAMI is 4-3 against the spread versus SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
MIAMI is 5-2 straight up against SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
4 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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NBA
Armadillo's Write-Up

Tuesday, June 11

Duncan is 3-16 from floor when Haslem is on floor, 8-16 when he is off; Haslem has played 33 of 96 minutes in series. Miami is 0-6 vs spread in game following its last six wins- their spread results in last eight games are LWLWLWLW, losing last two road games in Indiana series. James has taken only six foul shots in first two series games; he needs to go to basket more. Last five Miami games stayed under the total, but five of Spurs' last six home games went over. Heat won their visit here this year with James/Wade sitting out; they're 3-22 SU in 25 visits to Alamo. Spurs are 6-1 at home in playoffs, with pair of overtime wins. SA had 16 turnovers last game, after having only four in series opener.




NBA

Tuesday, June 11

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Trend Report
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9:00 PM
MIAMI vs. SAN ANTONIO
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Miami's last 12 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
Miami is 2-12 SU in its last 14 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of San Antonio's last 12 games when playing at home against Miami


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NBA

Tuesday, June 11

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Heat at Spurs: What bettors need to know
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Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (-2, 187)

Best-of-seven series tied 1-1.

A second-half Game 2 demolition by Miami has created some momentum for the Heat as they start a stretch of three straight games in San Antonio with Tuesday’s Game 3 matchup against the Spurs. Miami used a ferocious 33-5 run to turn a close contest into a lopsided affair en route to a 103-84 victory that evened the series at a game apiece. San Antonio hopes to get a better effort from their veterans who struggled in Game 2.

Miami forward LeBron James has been held to a 17.5 average in the first two games and didn’t even lead the Heat in scoring on Sunday when Mario Chalmers was the most pivotal figure with 19 points. The Spurs’ trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for only 35 points in Game 2 after compiling 54 in San Antonio’s Game 1 victory. The Spurs now need to quickly forget the thrashing. “If you look at the result – being 1-1, it’s not bad,” Ginobili said. “But you don’t want to play like this in an NBA Finals. You don’t want to give them that much confidence and you feeling bad about yourself.”

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE HEAT: The performance of Miami’s supporting cast drew criticism in the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers but there has been no shortage of players stepping up against the Spurs. Veteran guard Ray Allen has scored 13 points in each of the first two games while Mike Miller and Chris Andersen each contributed nine points off the bench while joining Chalmers as game-changers. James said he feels Miami’s supporting cast has the edge despite the perception that the Spurs have a deeper list of contributors. “They’ve been making an impact all year long and they feel like their supporting cast is better,” James said. “We feel like our supporting cast is better. It’s who goes out and does it each and every night to help seal wins.”

ABOUT THE SPURS: Duncan was just 3-of-13 shooting in Game 2 after being superb in the opening game with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Parker and Ginobili also played poorly as the trio was a combined 10-for-33 from the field. “Defense has something to do with it,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “Just missing shots has something to do with it. No matter how you slice it, it’s 10-for-33. Missing shots and not shooting it well and turning it over is a bad combination.” Spurs guard Danny Green had 17 points in Game 2 on 6-of-6 shooting – including hitting all five 3-point attempts – and is averaging 14.5 points in the series. Green is 9-for-14 from 3-point range in the two games.

TRENDS:

* Heat are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win.
* Under is 5-0 in Heat’s last five overall.
* Over is 5-1 in Spurs’ last six home games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. San Antonio committed just four turnovers in the opener before slipping to 17 in Game 2.

2. Miami is 3-22 all-time in San Antonio with one of the victories occurring in the regular season despite James and Dwyane Wade not suiting up.

3. Spurs F Kawhi Leonard is averaging 12 rebounds in the series and has six double-digit games on the boards in the postseason.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/11/2013 05:32 PM

Tuesday, June 11

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Miami - 9:00 PM ET Miami +2 500 POD # 1


San Antonio - Under 187.5 500 POD # 2

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 09:49 AM

NBA
Dunkel

Miami at San Antonio
The Heat look to bounce back from their Game 3 loss and build on their 6-1 ATS record in their last 7 games when trailing in a playoff series. Miami is the pick (+2) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Miami (+2). Here are all of today's picks.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13

Game 707-708: Miami at San Antonio (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 131.185; San Antonio 130.285
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 1; 191
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 2; 187
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+2); Over




NBA
Long Sheet

Thursday, June 13

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MIAMI (79 - 22) at SAN ANTONIO (72 - 27) - 6/13/2013, 9:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN ANTONIO is 101-73 ATS (+20.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 81-58 ATS (+17.2 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 52-33 ATS (+15.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) against Southeast division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 269-208 ATS (+40.2 Units) after a non-conference game since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 22-11 ATS (+9.9 Units) in non-conference games this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 44-31 ATS (+9.9 Units) after a win by 10 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 24-12 ATS (+10.8 Units) after scoring 105 points or more this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 59-42 ATS (+12.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 141-106 ATS (+24.4 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
MIAMI is 56-45 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all games this season.
MIAMI is 29-20 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games this season.
MIAMI is 22-10 ATS (+11.0 Units) after a non-conference game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN ANTONIO is 4-4 against the spread versus MIAMI over the last 3 seasons
MIAMI is 5-3 straight up against SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
4 of 8 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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NBA
Armadillo's Write-Up

Thursday, June 13

Parker strained a hamstring in Game 3, returned for 1:30 but left because the game wasn't close. Impossible for us to tell how hampered he is; it is possible they don't even know. Heat's spread results in last nine games are LWLWLWLWL; Miami won and covered game following its last 11 losses; last time they lost consecutive games was Jan 8-10, at Indiana, Portland. Heat is 3-23 in franchise history at this site. James took six foul shots in first three series games; he needs to go to basket more. Five of last six Miami games stayed under total; six of Spurs' last seven home games went over. Spurs are 7-1 at home in playoffs; Green is leading scorer in series thru first three games- go figure.




NBA

Thursday, June 13

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Trend Report
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9:00 PM
MIAMI vs. SAN ANTONIO
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Miami's last 13 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
Miami is 2-13 SU in its last 15 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of San Antonio's last 13 games when playing at home against Miami
San Antonio is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Miami


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NBA

Thursday, June 13

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Heat at Spurs: What bettors need to know
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Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (-1.5, 187)

Spurs lead best-of-seven series 2-1.

The status of San Antonio point guard Tony Parker is up in the air as the host Spurs attempt to take a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in Thursday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Parker underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday and the results displayed a mild strain of his right hamstring and he’s listed as day to day. Miami attempts to rebound from a 113-77 loss that stands as the third-largest margin of defeat in Finals history.

Heat forward LeBron James is blaming himself for the 36-point loss after he scored under 20 points for the third consecutive game. He promises a much better effort in Game 4. “I take full responsibility for our team’s performance (Tuesday) night,” James said. “Me as a leader, I can’t afford to perform like I did and expect us to win on the road. It’s that simple. So I’m putting all the pressure on my chest, on my shoulders, to come through for our team. That’s the way it is.” San Antonio made an NBA Finals record 16 3-pointers on Tuesday and guard Danny Green is 16-for-23 from behind the arc in the series after making seven in Game 3.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE HEAT: James is averaging a pedestrian 16.7 points and making just 38.9 percent of his field-goal attempts. The Heat were outscored by 32 points with him on the floor in Game 3, an embarrassing fact for the four-time NBA MVP. James isn’t receiving much help from center Chris Bosh, who hasn’t scored more than 13 points in the series and is averaging just 9.3 points over the past seven games. Guard Dwyane Wade also is having an underwhelming series, averaging 14.3 points. Veteran swingman Mike Miller scored 15 points on 5-of-5 3-point shooting in Game 3 and has made eight straight 3-pointers over the past two games. He is 10-for-11 shooting in the series, including 9-of-10 from 3-point range.

ABOUT THE SPURS: Parker’s ailing hamstring created more playing time for reserve Gary Neal, who made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points in Game 3. Neal and Green combined for 51 points and San Antonio also received a superb game from forward Kawhi Leonard, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Leonard is averaging 11 points and 12 rebounds in the series and has excelled on the defensive end against James, frustrating the Miami star with his tenacious defense and long arms. “I’m studying my team concepts and just buying into our game plan,” Leonard said. “That’s all I’m doing – playing hard.” Leonard and power forward Tim Duncan both have grabbed 10 or more rebounds in all three games. Duncan is averaging 13.7 points and 13 rebounds.

TRENDS:

* Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
* Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
* Under is 19-6 in Heat last 25 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
* Under is 22-6 in the last 28 meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. San Antonio’s 113 points marked only the second time Miami allowed 100 or more points in 19 postseason games.

2. Heat G Mario Chalmers was scoreless in Game 3 after leading Miami with 19 points in its Game 2 win.

3. The Spurs are 26-for-52 from 3-point range over the past two games.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 09:52 AM

Heat at Spurs, Game 4

June 12, 2013


If Miami made any sort of statement when it evened the NBA Finals with its Game 2 victory, that statement was matched – and raised – by San Antonio in its 113-77 clubbing of Miami in Tuesday’s Game 3 at AT&T Center.

The Spurs took a 2-1 series advantage by dominating at the defensive end and making a Finals-record 16 shots from 3-point land. They took the cash as two-point home favorites, while the 190 combined points slipped ‘over’ the 188-point total.

Danny Green and Gary Neal stole the show by combining to drain 13 treys. Green scored a game-high 27 points, while Neal finished with 24. Neither player committed a turnover.

Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, made four steals and completely stymied LeBron James with his defense. Tim Duncan added 12 points, 14 boards and a pair of blocked shots.

Tony Parker scored just six points but dished out eight assists compared to only two turnovers. Manu Ginobili finished with seven points and six assists.

James seemingly got beyond the mental hurdles in his game by winning his first ring last season. However, his critics certainly recall his failures in Cleveland, particularly that close-out game at Boston in his last game with the Cavs. They also remember his subpar play in the Finals against Dallas two years ago.

In Game 3, James was an abysmal 7-of-21 from the field. Sure, he does lots of other things (11 rebounds and five assists compared to only two turnovers), but the Best Player in the World has got to put the ball in the bucket when his team needs him in the NBA Finals.

For the series, James is now averaging 16.6 points per game, 10.2 PPG below his average for the regular season (26.8 PPG). James has only made 21-of-54 shots from the field for a 38.9 percentage. He shot at an incredible 56.5 percent clip during the regular season.

In the past, James might have deflected any criticism bound to come his way, but not so after Game 3.

Before the press even had the chance to ask about his shaky performance Tuesday night, James was his own worst critic, "If I'm better, we're better," James declared. "I'm putting everything on my chest and my shoulders. I've got to be better. I'm not doing my part.

"I can't have a performance like that and expect to win the game. I've got to do more, it's that's simple. I've got to do more.

"I've got to be able to put the ball into the basket."

Dwyane Wade had 16 points, five assists and four steals, while Chris Bosh finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.

Mike Miller made all five of his attempts from behind the line to chip in 15 points. If we go back to Game 5 of last year’s Finals against Oklahoma City, Miller has now buried 16-of-18 attempts (89%) from deep in his last four games played in the NBA Finals. Wow!

After scoring 19 points in Game 2, Mario Chalmers couldn’t buy a bucket and finished with a bagel in Game 3. Also, he committed four turnovers compared to only one assist.

If there’s a positive note for Miami going into Thursday’s Game 4, it’s that it has been downright nasty coming off a loss in these playoffs. The Heat owns a 5-0 record both SU and ATS in such spots, winning by a whopping margin of 21.6 points per game.

Most books are listing San Antonio (72-27 straight up, 51-46-2 against the spread) as a 1.5-point ‘chalk’ for Game 4. The total is 187.5.

Miami (79-22 SU, 56-45 ATS) will be in its ninth underdog situation of the year. In eight previous ‘dog spots, the Heat compiled a 6-2 record both SU and ATS.

Sportsbook.ag has updated its odds for whom will win NBA Finals MVP honors. James remains the ‘chalk’ but his number has been reduced to +110 (risk $100 to win $110). The next-shortest odds belong to Duncan (+300) and Parker (+300).

The rest of the numbers are as follows: Wade (25/1), Ginobili (40/1), Bosh (75/1) and Chalmers (100/1). The ‘field’ has +300 odds (risk $100 to win $300).

When I asked VI’s Chris David about the total from Game 3, he had a number of thoughts. David said, “Gamblers on the ‘over’ is Game 3 were very fortunate thanks to the late-game surge from the uber-excited Spurs bench.

“I’m guessing some folks were loving or hating DeJuan Blair (who scored nine points at garbage time). As far as the game went, the pace wasn’t extremely fast but the pair made shots, including a combined 24 bombs from 3-point land. I’d be surprised to see that type of production from distance again but I’m the same guy who’s been surprised by the lack of fouls and free throw attempts. Since combining for 35 attempts from the stripe in Game 1, the Heat and Spurs have taken a combined 28 and 29 the past two games, well below their averages.”

Those trips to the charity stripe, or a lack thereof, would’ve undoubtedly resulted in another ‘under’ in Game 3 if not for the wild 3-point shooting barrage.

Looking to Game 4, David said, “We should be well aware of Miami’s production off a loss (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) in the playoffs and the reason it has been successful is because of its offense. The Heat has scored 115, 114, 90, 99 and 103 points.

“Delving into the box scores further, Miami has averaged 24.2 free throw attempts in those wins. If you base your handicapping on current form and situations, the best play for Thursday would be ‘over’ Miami’s team total, which is hovering around 93 points.”

Tip-off for Thursday’s Game 4 is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Parker sustained a hamstring injury in the third quarter of Game 3. He had an MRI on Wednesday, but the results were not yet known. As of 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, he was considered 'probable' for Game 4.

--The ‘under’ is 2-1 in this series, 23-6 in the last 29 head-to-head meetings between the Spurs and Heat.

--On Popovich’s watch, San Antonio owns a 9-2 straight-up record in 11 home games in the NBA Finals.

-- VI’s Chris David gets a hat tip for this gem of a stat: LeBron James is now 2-6 (33%) in eight career road games in the NBA Finals. On the other hand, Michael Jordan finished his career with a 12-6 road record (67%) in six Finals appearances.

--Miami hasn’t lost back-to-back games since dropping a 92-90 decision at Portland on Jan. 10.

--Sportsbook.ag has released future odds for the 2014 campaign. Miami is the +250 ‘chalk,’ followed by the Thunder (6/1), Bulls (10/1), Spurs (10/1), Pacers (15/1), Rockets (20/1), Grizzlies (25/1), Knicks (25/1) and Clippers (25/1).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 09:54 AM

James: 'Something has to give' in Game 4

June 12, 2013


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Game 4 of the NBA Finals will tell more about the Miami Heat than a 66-win regular season ever could.

Any questions about LeBron James and the Heat were supposed to have been answered by now. He was too good to be taken out of games, his teammates too talented to go through long stretches where they weren't contributing.

But they didn't resemble the league's reigning powerhouse in Game 3, when the San Antonio Spurs handed them the third-worst beating in finals history in a 113-77 romp. They looked like the confused club from two years ago, when the finals last came to Texas.

Another loss Thursday night and they're on the verge of something much bigger than another finals failure.

Lose this series, and the whole Big Three era might be a failure.

``Something has to give tomorrow night,'' James said Wednesday. ``They have a championship pedigree. They have four (titles). We have two. So something has to give. We'll see what happens. We've been able to bounce back throughout adverse times throughout the season throughout the years that we've been together, these three years. We'll see.''

``We'll see'' is the approach the Spurs are taking with Tony Parker, who has a mild hamstring strain. The team is calling the All-Star point guard day to day after he was hurt during Game 3 and had an MRI exam Wednesday.

``I want to wait until tomorrow before I make a decision whether he should play or not,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ``And obviously a lot of it will have to do with Tony, and what happens to him during the day, and how I think his play will affect our team, whether good or bad.''

The Spurs didn't need much from him Tuesday, when Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 13 of the Spurs' NBA Finals-record 16 3-pointers and Kawhi Leonard had 14 points and 12 rebounds, essentially playing James even.

James had his practice jersey hanging over his back like a cape Wednesday, and he knows the Heat need him to be Super on Thursday.

And he insists that what he's going to be.

``As dark as it was last night, can't get no darker than that, especially for me,'' he said. ``So, I guarantee I'll be better tomorrow for sure.''

He should, given that his 7-for-21 effort with no free throws was about as bad as the four-time MVP can play. But he came to Miami so he didn't have to do it all, where a partnership with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh meant his days of having to carry teams were supposed to be over.

But with Wade battling right knee pain for a while and Bosh mired in a slump, there has rarely been the vaunted three-man attack that was expected when they joined up in July 2010.

``If us three don't lead the charge, we're not going to be NBA champions,'' Wade said. ``Our teammates count on us, so we have to step up.''

Some of the problem could be fatigue for a team that was forced into some playoff-atmosphere games in the regular season while trying to extend what became a 27-game winning streak, the second-longest in league history. With a huge lead in the standings in March, the Heat could have instead opted to give their veterans some extra rest.

That's what Popovich has always done, essentially sacrificing a couple of lengthy winning streaks in recent years by resting key players when they were still intact.

``There are no right and wrong answers to the way people do things, because it's pretty hard to assess and evaluate,'' Popovich said. ``Suffice to say, everybody has a different approach to playing time or when to sit or not sit players. And we do it one way, other teams do it differently. There's no one to say one way is right or the other way is right.''

But the Heat's way will be second-guessed - just like everything about them is - if they don't pull out this series. There will be calls to break up the Big Three, criticisms of James, and everything else that Tim Duncan and the Spurs never had to deal with in small-market San Antonio.

``I guess if you allow yourself to be affected by it and you allow yourself to look and read everything, then everyone is under a microscope,'' Duncan said. ``As I've said, I don't envy that kind of scrutiny and pressure in any way.''

It's what the Heat signed up when James arrived and guaranteed titles three summers ago, and the pressure became even greater after they flopped the first time with their loss to Dallas at the end of their first season together.

The Heat looked so vulnerable then, but seeing them as bewildered as they were Wednesday was stunning. James too often seemed to linger around the perimeter, an old habit reappearing when it seemed he'd put it aside for good and wouldn't allow himself to settle for jumpers anymore when he could go into the post instead.

Part of the reason is the Spurs, with a solid defensive game plan and a versatile defender in Leonard who can apply it. But the Heat also realized another problem was simply their own effort - or lack thereof - in going for rebounds and loose balls.

``We just collectively played a very bad basketball game last night. And that was everybody, including the staff. It was hard to really judge anything and evaluate anything from that game,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``That's why after the film session, all we're focused on is how we prepare the next 24 hours to have our best game of the series tomorrow night.''

Game 4 is where the Heat started to lose control of the series against Dallas two years ago, but they know it's where they have to regain it this time. They haven't lost two in a row in five months, and this isn't the time for that to end.

``We've been at our best when I guess our backs are up against the wall, and we're at it again,'' James said. ``We'll see how we respond tomorrow.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 09:55 AM

NBA Finals stuck in blowouts, no drama

June 12, 2013


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Spurs guard Tony Parker opened the NBA Finals with a memorable shot at the end of Game 1.

San Antonio's 92-88 victory gave hope that the series against the defending champion Miami Heat was going to be full of close games.

It hasn't quite worked out that way so far.

What followed Parker's sensational shot in Game 1 - a twisting, ducking, barely shot clock-beating jumper off the glass - was a 19-point Heat blowout in Game 2 and the Spurs coasting to a 113-77 win on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead.

The blowouts have sent the stars on both teams to the bench early and allowed guys such as DeJuan Blair and James Jones to run out the clock.

``We both answered the losses very well. We both have not answered the wins very well,'' Tim Duncan said. ``That's one thing Pop always points out - you have to be able to bring that same energy with wins and not be satisfied with yourself.''

Heat forward Chris Bosh on Wednesday described the series as ``bipolar basketball'' with wild swings about which team seems to be in total command.

``Can the Spurs bounce back? Aw, man, is Miami serious?'' Bosh said. ``You just have to deal with it.''

Swapping lopsided wins in the Finals is hardly unprecedented. When the Spurs won the championship in 2005 against Detroit, the average margin of victory for the home team the first four games was 21 points.

Game 5 then went to overtime, and the next two games were both decided in single digits.

``It's more normal than people think,'' Manu Ginobili said. ``I still remember 2005 Finals. The first four games were basically blowouts. We won both by 20 here, they won by 20 there. It happens. It's the past, we don't care. We just have to face the next game as if it's going to be a really close one, which we expect.''

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HEAT'S DEFENSIVE ISSUES: Before the blowout loss in Game 3, the Heat had only given up more than 100 points once in their previous 18 playoff games.

So while many Wednesday pointed the finger at LeBron James for his lack of scoring, Bosh bemoaned the Heat defense that surrendered a Finals-record 16 3-pointers and let the Spurs shoot 49 percent from the floor.

``It's not offense end that's really hurting us,'' Bosh said. ``It's everything that's happening on defense right now.''

Spurs guard Danny Green has hurt the Heat, hitting 16 3-pointers this series. Miami's Dwyane Wade, who has been chiefly matched up with Green, said the Heat must do a better job of defending pick-and-rolls.

The Heat arrived in San Antonio holding offenses to an average of 87.7 points, second in the playoffs behind New York.

``We've always really prided ourselves on being a defensive-first team,'' Bosh said. ``We have to get stops. All of those things go together. In order for everyone to play well - not only LeBron - we have to play better defense, team-wise.''

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SCORING A NEW DEAL?: Aside from propelling the Spurs to a Game 3 win, Gary Neal could get a new contract after this season.

Neal made about $850,000 this season in the final leg of a three-year contract.

He said he was ``comfortable with the financial situation'' in Italy, where he played before the Spurs invited him to a summer league tryout in 2010. The long-awaited opportunity for the undrafted Towson guard interrupted Neal's honeymoon.

``I think I wanted to get back to the states to start my family,'' Neal said.

Spurs owner Peter Holt said bargain role players such as Neal help his small-market franchise steer clear of paying the NBA's luxury tax, which Holt said ``we really can't afford.''

He declined to say whether Neal's big game in a blowout might translate into bigger contract.

``We got to play a game. This is Miami,'' Holt said after the 36-point victory. ``Thursday is not going to look like this.''

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T-MAC TIPS: Tracy McGrady's legacy as a two-time NBA scoring champion and All-Star is tempered by the fact that he never led a team out of the first round of the playoffs in seven tries.

Stephen Jackson was waived by the Spurs in April. That left San Antonio needing a spare swingman for the postseason, and gave McGrady a chance to get a ring after 15 seasons. He's played 14 minutes in the Finals because of the back-to-back blowouts.

But McGrady's biggest asset might be playing the role of LeBron James in practice. His advice to the MVP: he can't do it on his own.

``On this level? One guy is not going to be the team,'' McGrady said. ``Everybody needs their supporting cast. The greatest player ever, Michael Jordan, he needed a supporting cast. ... For LeBron, he's not having those 25, 30-point games. He's playing a pretty (darn) good San Antonio Spurs team.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 09:58 AM

5 things learned in Game 3 of NBA Finals

June 12, 2013


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Five things to take away from the San Antonio Spurs' 113-77 win over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night:

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NBA GM'S ARE BAD: OK, that's an overstatement. Sort of, anyway. Danny Green was the 46th pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Gary Neal wasn't drafted by anyone. And they were the absolute heroes for the Spurs in Game 3, combining for 13 3-pointers and 51 points in San Antonio's rout. Want to talk ``Big Three?'' Well, forget LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. And forget Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili as well. The Spurs' three leading scorers in Game 3 were Green (27), Neal (24) and Kawhi Leonard (14). How Green and Neal got away from so many teams will remain anyone's guess.

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LEBRON IS MAD: One has to wonder if it's time for LeBron James to go into video game mode. And one has to wonder if James even can go into his unstoppable phase against a team playing as well defensively as the Spurs. James has 50 points in three games of this series, with his shooting numbers getting progressively worse in each game - 7 for 16, then 7 for 17, then 7 for 21. ``I've got to be better,'' James said after the game. If he doesn't find a way to deliver, the Heat's reign as champions could be over in a few more days.

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PARKER'S STATUS: The three letters no one wanted to hear in Spursland came out after Game 3: MRI. San Antonio guard Tony Parker will be tested on Wednesday to determine the severity of a hamstring injury. Parker wasn't really sure how it happened and did not seem overly concerned about the injury. ``It was just weird,'' Parker said, noting that he was not in pain postgame - a good sign, perhaps, for San Antonio.

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MILLER TIME: Mike Miller's uncanny run of shooting in NBA Finals games continued. He took five shots in Game 3, all from 3-point range, and they all dropped perfectly through the net. In his last four finals games, he's 16 for 18 from 3-point range, an absolutely absurd percentage. Overall in this postseason, he's connected on 14 of 28 tries from 3-point land.

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COMING UP: Both teams will practice Wednesday, with most of the attention surely going to be on what the doctors say about Parker's leg, and what the Heat will do to try to get back on track.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25161 Followers:33
06/13/2013 10:00 AM

LeBron not backing down on Game 4 vow

June 12, 2013


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A day later, LeBron James didn't back down.

When the Miami Heat were embarrassed by 36 points in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, James took all the blame and even lauded his teammates for playing great. Shortly after that 113-77 debacle of a Spurs' victory ended Tuesday night, James insisted that he would do enough to change the way the Heat compete in Game 4.

And Wednesday, James' tune was the same.

``I'm putting all the pressure on my chest, on my shoulders to come through for our team,'' James said, virtually echoing what he had vowed the previous night. ``That's the way it is.''

That's not necessarily the same game plan that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would prefer, but by now, it's just become assumed that when the stakes are highest, it's all going to be on James anyway, whether that's the actual reality or not. If the Heat win Game 4, odds are James will be credited as the reason why. If they lose Game 4 and go one loss away from elimination, then it'll be widely considered as James' failure.

``Look, we have great confidence from our guys and their ability to bounce back and respond in a big way,'' Spoelstra said. ``And that's all our focus is the next 24 hours - how do we prepare ourselves to play our best game of the series tomorrow night. That's the only thing that matters. LJ has proven himself enough in this league and on the biggest stage. He is going to ... he'll be better.''

When the Heat arrived Wednesday for practice in San Antonio, after a particularly difficult-to-stomach film session to recap Game 3, James had his practice jersey slung over his head, letting the piece of mesh fabric sway down his back much in the way that a cape would.

Fitting. In Game 4, he might need a hero's effort to save the Heat.

``We're not worried about LeBron,'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. ``He's going to find his way. He's going to get in a groove. As teammates you try to figure out a way to get him an easy basket in a breakout, try to get it back to him, get a lay-up, so he can see the ball go in. As a scorer you need to see it go in. Besides that, we're not concerned about him at all.''

Strangely, some of the Spurs sound as if they're not concerned about James either.

Danny Green has had a phenomenal start to these finals, and James' former Cleveland teammate raised a couple eyebrows after Game 3 when he said that while the Spurs were executing their plan against him as they would hope, the reigning and overall four-time NBA MVP was hurting his own cause as well.

``I'm just saying, we all know what he's capable of doing,'' Green said. ``I don't know what's going on, but he's not playing his best basketball right now. It's not just us. We're doing a decent job of making it tough for him, but I don't know what's going on. He's not playing LeBron basketball. ... It could be a number of things. It could be stuff going on behind the scenes.''

When told of Green's comments, James smiled.

``I'll be better. I'll be much better tomorrow night,'' he said.

The 36-point loss matched the largest that James has endured in his career, and his minus-32 rating was the worst of his 899 previous games. He was 7 for 21 from the field - his shooting has been subpar in every game so far in this series - and did not get to the foul line, a byproduct of both the Spurs taking driving lanes away and James shooting the jumpers than San Antonio is daring him to try.

Spoelstra said the Heat would find ways on the film to clean up some of the many issues from Game 3. Wade had a far more succinct approach.

``As players I think we figured it out in the game,'' Wade said. ``We're playing terrible. So the film session just brings it to light a little more. It's not really much we can learn from that, from the standpoint of schemes, we just have to do what we do a lot better versus the team. So film session gives you an opportunity to ... in front of your teammates, in front of your coaches, to really own it up. Own up to it, and move on.''

And there was plenty for the Heat to own in that film session.

Starters Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers missed all seven of their shots and did not score. The Heat were outrebounded 52-36, 19-9 on the offensive end. They gave up a Finals-record 16 3-pointers on 32 attempts, and got blown out of a game where Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were really quite ordinary.

``There ain't no explanation,'' Haslem said. ``There ain't no excuses.''

The way James was talking on Wednesday, it's all-or-nothing time for the Heat.

``It's just something we've grown over the years, being able to bounce back in adverse situations,'' James said. ``And no matter the circumstances, this is going to be probably one of the toughest, because ... we're going against a team with championship DNA and championship pedigree on the floor and a must-win. We're going to be ready for it. We're going to accept the challenge and see what happens.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: