The American Airlines Arena will be the site of tonight’s game four matchup of the NBA finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. Miami leads the best of seven series 2-1 and can put the Thunder on the brink of elimination with a win tonight. The Heat were in the same situation last year against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals, but lost the game and the series 4-2.
Lebron James and Dwayne Wade have been doing most of the offensive damage for the Heat against the Thunder. In the first three games, James has averaged 30 points per game. In game three, he had 29 points and pulled down a team high 14 rebounds. Wade scored 25 on the night and dished out 5 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds.
The Thunder has counted on the offense of Kevin Durant all season and in the playoffs. He has not disappointed them as he too is averaging over 30 points a game in the finals. However, he is not getting the offensive support from Russell Westbrook or James Harden. Both players are having subpar finals’ series thus far. Westbrook has had trouble shooting and even though he had 19 points in game three and 27 in game two, it is taking him many more shots to score those points. Harden scored only 9 points in game three and in game one had just five points.
The Heat would like to put the Thunder in a 3-1 hole after tonight’s game and end the series at home on Thursday night. If the Thunder can win one of the next two games in Miami, they know they will have the last two games of the series at home. This game is very pivotal to the outcome of the series and Miami knows that better than anyone, thanks to last season.
The line opened with the Heat as a favorite at home by 3 points and has since increased to 3 ½. The point total is at 192 ½. Take the Thunder plus the 3 ½ to cover as the road ‘dog. The total will make winners of those who take the OVER.
The NBA Finals heads to Miami for games 3, 4 and 5, with game three tonight. The Miami Heat won game two of the series 100-96 against the Oklahoma City Thunder to tie the series at one game apiece. With the finals series format set up with three straight home games for one of the teams, the Heat now has the opportunity to with three at home and win their first NBA title since 2006.
Miami built a large lead against OKC in game two and was able to hold on late to record the 100-96 victory. LeBron James once again led the Heat with 32 points and more importantly made all 12 of his free throws, including two late ones to seal the win.
OKC had three players who scored over twenty points in game two. Kevin Durant led the team with 32, while Russell Westbrook had 27 and James Harden 21. However, the team overall shot just 43% from the field and Westbrook shot just 38.5% on the night. The Thunder also could only make 9 of their 26 three point shots for a paltry 34%.
The Heat at home is 8-2 SU this post season, with seven of their eight wins having winning margins of nine or more points. The Heat during the regular season had a home record overall of 24-6 SU and against teams that were in the Western Conference the Heat was 8-1 SU at home.
The Thunder must get better shooting from Westbrook who has now struggled in both of the first two finals’ games. Durant needs to help more on the boards as he only grabbed three rebounds in game 2, while only having one assist the entire night.
The line for the game opened with Miami as the home favorite by 5 points. That spread has now backed down to just 4 points. The total is 193 ½. Take the Heat less the points to win tonight, while the total should cash out to those who choose the OVER. Bet this now at Wager Web
The Oklahoma City Thunder looks to take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven NBA finals tonight when they host the Miami Heat. The Thunder was led in game one by the NBA’s leading scorer Kevin Durant. Durant scored 36 points on the night and he and Russell Westbrook combined to score 63 of their team’s 105 points. Durant in his short career has already made a name for himself by winning three scoring titles and wants to now win a title.
The Heat were led in game one by LeBron James, the NBA MVP who scored 30 points, but no one else on the team was able to contribute an extra effort to offset the play of Westbrook and Durant. Chris Bosh and guard Dwayne Wade had a terrible shooting night as they combined for 30 points on just 11 for 30 shooting from the floor.
Wade hit only 7 of 19 shots and James said he needs Wade’s help in game two and knows he can turn around a bad game one into a better game two. Wade knows how to win, as he won an NBA title in Miami in 2006 at 24 years of age.
The Heat has the odds against them however, as the loser of game one in the finals is 3-5 SU and just 3-4-1 ATS over the last eight years. The OVER however, has fared much better over that span, as it is 5-2-1 compared to the UNDER.
The Heat need to contain the scoring of Durant and make sure Westbrook or James Harden do not take control offensively for the Thunder. Miami on offense needs to get more output from both Wade and Bosh to take some of the weight off James’ shoulders.
The current line on the game has the Thunder as 5 ½-point favorites after opening with Oklahoma City as a 4-point favorite. The total is resting comfortably at 196 ½. The Heat will win this game ATS and the total will pay out to the OVER.
Just two teams and seven games remain in the NBA season for 2011-12. The NBA lockout has been long forgotten and the shortened season is nearing its end. East meets West and superstar meets superstar in this edition of the NBA finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder will play host to the Miami Heat in the first game of the best of seven series tonight in Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs in their conference championship to earn a right to represent the West in the finals, while the Heat finally defeated the Boston Celtics in their conference finals to represent the East. Games 1 and 2 will be played in Oklahoma City, 3-5 will be played in Miami and 6 and 7 back in Oklahoma City.
The two teams met just twice during the regular season and both won on their home court to split the season matchup. Miami will look to league MVP LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for their offensive output and leadership at the defensive end. Oklahoma City has young superstar Kevin Durant who is just 23 but has already led the NBA in scoring on three occasions. The team’s court general Russell Westbrook and key sixth man James Harden will help Durant offensively.
Miami wants to make up for a poor showing in the finals last season when they lost to Dallas in six games. The Thunder is trying to make a name for itself in Oklahoma City and win its first franchise down south, after winning NBA titles as a franchise when the team was in Seattle.
The line opened with the Thunder as the favorite playing at home by 4 ½ points. That has been extended to 5 points and the total is sitting at 195 ½. In this first game of the series, smart money takes the Heat to win ATS and steal a game SU from the Thunder on the road. The total will pay out to smart money bettors who take the OVER.
Game seven is what every team hopes for. Two teams face that tonight in Miami when the Boston Celtics are hosted by the Miami Heat in the seventh and final game of the eastern conference finals. The Heat forced a game seven with an excellent performance in Boston in game six. Everything is on the line tonight. The victor wins the eastern conference title and plays in the NBA finals, while the loser looks to regroup over a long summer.
Boston has the experience of playing in game sevens and winning titles, as the nucleus of their team Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett won a title together in 2008 and will use that experience to their advantage. Miami’s LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade have not won a title together and do not want a repeat of last season when they lost in the championship series.
James will do all he can to help the Heat to a victory in this game. He scored 45 points in game six and has averaged over 30 for the series. Look for the same tonight from him with supporting roles from Wade and Bosh. Bosh has been hurt and only played sparingly in the two games since he returned from nine games on the sideline.
Boston will look to push the ball inside with Rajon Rondo directing the offense and trying to get the ball down low to Garnett. The Celtics’ Rondo will also look to penetrate to get his own shot and to dish off to teammates when he gets double-teamed.
The line opened with the Heat as the favorite on their home court by 8-points. Currently it sits with Miami as a 7 ½-point favorite with the total holding steady at 179 ½. Smart money takes Boston ATS and Miami SU while the total will make winners of the OVER bettors.
The Miami Heat is feeling the heat, but not the heat of Miami. Miami faces elimination tonight when they take on the Boston Celtics in the sixth game of their eastern conference best of seven finals series. The heat has been turned up on Miami as Boston has won three consecutive games to put Miami on the brink of elimination and a loss tonight could end another season in disappointment.
Boston used a key three-point basket and free throws down the stretch to beat Miami in Miami 94-90 in game five to take their current 3-2 series lead. As has been the case most of the series, Kevin Garnett was nearly unstoppable down low for the Celtics and finished with 26 points.
The Celtics also were helped by a strong game from Paul Pierce, who scored the late three-point shot over the out stretched hand of superstar LeBron James. Rajon Rondo had 13 assists to make up for a sub-par shooting night for the Celtic point guard.
The NBA’s MVP James and backcourt mate Dwayne Wade led Miami. Between the two, they scored 57 of Miami’s 90 points, but their shooting percentage was low as it took them 47 shots to accumulate their 57 combined points.
Miami will look to get Chris Bosh their center to get more involved at both ends of the court in game six. Bosh returned to play in game five after sitting out nine games injured. He scored 9 points in his return and grabbed 6 rebounds, but played just 14 minutes. His absence in the middle on defense has been noticed tremendously, as Garnett has had free reign in the paint without Bosh to defend him.
The early line had Miami as a 1 ½-point favorite visiting Boston and has not moved from that. The total opened at 179 and has stayed steady there as well. Smart money bettors take Miami to win SU and ATS tonight, with the total cashing out to the OVER.
A week ago, few would have imagined the western conference finals would be in its sixth game and even fewer would have imagined the team on the brink of elimination would be the San Antonio. However, that is the case as the Spurs travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six with the Thunder holding a 3-2 advantage in the series.
San Antonio started strong in the series taking the first two games to extend their playoff winning streak to 10 and their overall winning streak to 20. Nevertheless, the Thunder did not fold. Oklahoma City turned around and won three consecutive games, including game five on San Antonio’s home court to take control of the series.
The Thunder, to win tonight must continue to do what they do best, score points. Kevin Durant the league’s leading scorer will need to score close to 30 and teammate Russell Westbrook will need to score around 20 and have 8 to 10 assists. Defensively the Thunder needs a tough game inside from Serge Ibaka to try to slow down the inside game of San Antonio.
San Antonio has to go to the players who have gotten them to where they are today. Look for Tony Parker to take more control of the offensive, run more half-court set plays, penetrate and look to score or pass to the open man. Tim Duncan needs to go to his reserve tank and pull out a great game to help his team to victory. The 15-year veteran has had his back against the wall before and knows what need to be done to win.
The current line has the Thunder as a 4 ½-point favorite after opening with them as a 3-point favorite. The total is resting at 202. The Spurs will find it within themselves to win on the road to send the series back home to San Antonio for game seven. Take the Spurs plus the points and take the OVER to cash out.
The eastern conference finals are tied 2-2 heading into game five of the series tonight in Miami. The Miami Heat will take on the Boston Celtics to see which team takes a 3-2 series lead back to Boston for game six. Boston has won two consecutive games in the series, while the Heat took the first two games of the series at home.
Miami may get the services of Chris Bosh back after nine games. The Heat center has been out with an abdominal strain since the second game of the second round series with Indiana. However, his status has been changed from out indefinitely to day-to-day. The decision for him to play will be a game time decision.
Boston must continue to get the ball down low to Kevin Garnett who has been able to take advantage of Bosh’s absence. Boston also needs to get guard Paul Pierce into the flow of the game early. Rajon Rondo the Celtics point guard will be a key part of the offense, as he needs to penetrate and take his shots when available and hit the open man when he does not have a shot.
Miami must continue to go to MVP LeBron James and his backcourt partner Dwayne Wade. The two have been the majority of the offense for Miami since Bosh went down with his injury. Miami also needs to get help from Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Mike Miller. If Bosh cannot play, the Heat needs to have someone step up, such as Norris Cole, who came through in the clutch for the team in game four.
Miami is just 5-4 SU without Bosh in the lineup in the playoffs this season and since he was acquired in 2010 to play with James and Wade, the Heat is only 12-11 in games he has missed, while they are 116-45 in games he has played.
The line opened with Miami as the favorite playing on their home court by 7 points. That has increased to the current line of 8 points. The total is just 179. Smart money bettors are taking the Celtics to win ATS, while they are going with Miami SU. The total will pay out to those who take the OVER.
The San Antonio Spurs are happy to be returning home. Tonight the Spurs take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in game five of their western conference best of seven series that will send the series winner to the NBA finals. The Spurs had won 20-straight games before visiting Oklahoma City for games three and four. The Thunder defeated the Spurs in both games to end their winning streak and make the series a tossup.
San Antonio must regroup defensively. The Spurs know that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will score between 20 and 30 points each night so the Spurs must make other players beat them. In game three, that is just what the Thunder did. Three players Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins combined to score 49 of the Thunder’s 109 points on 22 for 25 shooting. San Antonio cannot change their defensive game plan at this juncture, so they will play the odds and hope the three cannot shoot so well in game five.
Offensively both teams continue to put up big numbers. San Antonio’s Tony Parker struggled in game’s three and four but should be ready to lead the team once again playing at home. Tim Duncan has not played well offensively in this series, as he is capable of, and must pick up his game.
Oklahoma City must find a way to win on the road against San Antonio. The Thunder led the western conference for the majority of the season, but the Spurs’ late season winning streak helped them to pass the Thunder and take home court advantage. The Spurs are 6-0 SU when playing at home during this year’s playoffs. The Thunder is only 3-3 SU when playing on the road in the playoffs thus far this season.
The current line has the Spurs as the favorite by 5 points after opening with San Antonio favored by 4. The total is resting at 202 ½. Smart money takes the Spurs less the points to win SU and ATS. The total will pay out to smart money bettors who take the OVER.
Only four teams remain in the NBA playoffs and the two conference finals have turned out to be competitive and action packed. Tonight the Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat in game four of their eastern conference series. Miami holds a 2-1 lead in the series thanks to two wins at home. Boston came back to win Friday at home by 10 points 101-91 and will look to even the series tonight against the Heat.
Boston hopes to get yet another fine game out of their point guard Rajon Rondo. In their game two loss to Miami, Rondo scored 44 points and had 10 assists, while in game three he scored 21 and also had 10 assists. Boston will need his offensive output as well as that of center Kevin Garnett and guards Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
Miami continues to miss the presence of their big man Chris Bosh who has missed the last eight games due to an abdominal strain. Miami will rely heavily on MVP LeBron James and Dwayne Wade on offense. Defensively the Heat must try to slow down Garnett in the paint. The Celtic big man had 24 points in game three as he exploited the Heat’s lack of size down low.
Miami needs to have a player besides James and Wade to step you their game to help the team offensively. Udonis Haslem has played well at times but disappears for periods of time on the court. Mike Miller is a consistent outside shooter, but cannot play many minutes. Joel Anthony has not been consistent either.
The odds makers opened the line with Boston favored by 1 ½ points, but that has changed and now Miami is the favorite by 1 ½ points. The total has held steady at 180. Boston will win game four SU and ATS to even the series and the total will cash out to those who take the OVER.