San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat - 6/5/14 NBA Finals Game 1
Miami Heat (54-28) at San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm (AT&T Center)
The Line: San Antonio Spurs -3 -- Over/Under: 199 See the Latest Odds
The NBA Finals kicks off with the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Miami Heat in Game 1.
I don't know about you, but this is the matchup I've been waiting for since Game 7 of last season and it's finally here. The Spurs hit the ground running this season and stormed their way through the first 82 games to earn them the top seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Now, with the addition of Marco Belinelli and the improved play of Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs seem to be in better shape than they were at this time last season. The run to the playoffs has been tough for the Spurs but they flexed their muscle in every round and finally figured out the winning formula to beat the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs know they only have one team left to beat, just four more games to win.
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As for the Heat, it seemed like no team has ever had such an easy run to the Finals which is not too surprising given how good the Heat are and how weak the Eastern Conference was this season. After sweeping the Bobcats (now known as Hornets) in the first round and beating the Nets by 4-1 in the second, the Heat lost a couple games against the streaky Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals but never really looked threatened in their quest for a three-peat and a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. We already know exactly what we're going to get from LeBron James and the extra rest Dwyane Wade was allowed during the regular season seems to have put the Heat in good stead, but Chris Bosh and Ray Allen have been far from consistent and will need to step up against the much deeper Spurs.
In ATS trends, the Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the Heat are just 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings in San Antonio.
We've all heard how coach Popovich still hasn't moved on from the Spurs' heartbreaking Game 6 loss agains the Heat last season and I'm sure that feeling is mutual throughout the camp. Given that Tony Parker is also confirmed to start in Game 1, I'm leaning towards the Spurs to draw first blood and carry on with their strong form at home.