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San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat Game 7 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Miami vs San Antonio Handicapping

It’s not really about X’s and O’s anymore. The only question that needs to be answered tonight is whether the San Antonio Spurs have enough chops to recover from Game 6, charge up their aging bodies for the second time in 48 hours, and this time make enough plays in the second half to take down the Heat on Miami’s home court.

NBA Finals
San Antonio Spurs (3-3) at Miami Heat (3-3)
Tuesday, June 20
American Airlines Arena, Miami
9 p.m. EST
Spread – Heat -6
O/U – 189.5

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If any team can put aside the emotion devastation caused by the meltdown in the final seconds of Game 6 it’s the Spurs, who are no strangers to winning championships and have shown that they have the wherewithal to defeat the Heat when it really counts.

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But . . .

They have to be able to withstand the ferocious turn-up-the-heat defense that will be coming their way. Miami’s 5-Rottweiler defense has been the deciding factor in all three Heat wins. It’s coming, probably early or midway through the third period. Can SA deal with it?

The Spurs need something – anything – out of Manu Ginobili, who at this point looks more suited to a noontime YMCA pickup game than the NBA Finals. In the 34 minutes Ginobili was on the court in Game 6, the Spurs were outscored by 21 points. He treated the basketball like he was holding a water Moccasin (8 turnovers) and basically was eaten alive by the Miami D.

It may be sacrilege, but Gregg Popovich has to coach better. Loyalty is one thing, but Ginobili is clearly out of his element, and if he gets significant minutes again tonight in Game 7, he could cost San Antonio any chance of earning its 5th world championship. [ad-6571516]

And was Popovich paying attention when Indiana blew its own Game1 against the Heat by leaving its best defensive player off the court in the final seconds of overtime? Tim Duncan is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Pop.

Might be a good idea to play him when you need a board.

A rebound on that LeBron James missed 3-pointer in the late going would have made tonight unnecessary.

The Heat, meanwhile, just have to do what they do. Swarm. Attack.

Get the ball to James when the shot clock gets under 7, figure out where their satellite offense will come from. Mike Miller? Mario Chalmers again? Ray Allen raining 3s? Chris Andersen, even? Keep an eye on Dwyane Wade early.

He had a bad (6 for 15) Game 6 and his ailing knee might be acting up.

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Oddsmakers have set consistent lines (between 5 and 6.5) for every game in Miami, and tonight’s was at 6 as of early this morning, with much of the early action coming down on San Antonio. We’re liked SA here from the start of the series, and the Spurs are 4-2 ATS. But it will be a tall task tonight.

The NBA needs James in the game for ratings, so it’s likely every 50-50 call will go his way. LBJ will stay on the court for all but two or three minutes, so he’ll be going against reserves when Duncan and Tony Parker get their mandatary bench power naps.

It adds up to a Heat cover, and second straight championship.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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