Heat put 13-game win trend on the line

Posted: June 8, 2013 in NBA
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Miami Heat have not lost back-to-back home games since the 2011 NBA Finals.

Something tells me the fact the Dallas Mavericks celebrated their NBA Championship on June 12 on the American Airlines Arena floor left a sour taste in the players’ mouths, and they’ve vowed not to let it happen again.

Miami lost four games at home during the regular season, add in two during these NBA Playoffs, and that’s half dozen. In all six of the Heat’s next games on their home court, they’ve won by a combined 141 points – an average of 23.5 points per win. All six have come by double digits.

Four of those six wins came in back-to-back home games – not necessarily nights, just games – as we’ll see Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, against the San Antonio Spurs.

So, note to the Spurs, be wary now that you’ve taken a 1-0 lead after your 92-88 win on Thursday in Game 1.

This domination the Heat display, looking to avenge a home loss against whomever is in their way, stretches back to last season, when they lost seven times at home, both in the regular season and playoffs combined. Five of those seven wins came via double digits, while the combined 142 points produced an average margin of 20.2 points per win.

Admittedly, this is the NBA Finals, and these are the veteran-laden Spurs who are in the championship round for the first time since 2007, and are in search of their fifth NBA title since 1999. And, lest we forget the Spurs are a perfect 4-0 in the NBA Finals – four trips, four championships.

So what does all this have to do with Sunday’s Game 2, in which the Heat are laying -6 points?

If we’re talking about the Heat making it 14 straight times they avoid losing back-to-back home games, I suppose nothing, and you have to apply all intangibles when looking at the point spread.

The Heat did win the regular-season series, but how much can we really take from those two games, as neither matchup featured both teams at full strength. The Spurs go and win Game 1 outright, but how much can we really take from it, as Miami was vividly winded by the fourth quarter, showing signs of fatigue from its seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers.

History says the winner of this game should cover it, as the straight-up victor in this series is on a 9-1 ATS run. And the Heat have won four of the last five meetings. They come into Game 2 on additional ATS win streaks of 9-2 after an ATS setback and 13-3 after losing on the wood. They’re also in on an 8-2 spread streak after two day’s rest, while they’ve covered seven of 10 against Western Conference teams.

The Spurs have their own ATS win streaks to brag about, though most have been short-term. For instance, they’re on bookie streaks of 5-1 after a straight-up win, 4-0 with a suitcase in hand and 6-1 overall.

Quite frankly, it comes down to this for Game 2, pick the winner of this game, and bet on it against the number! If you think the Spurs can win outright again, take the points. If you think the Heat are going to knot the series at a game apiece, lay the chalk.

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