Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/17/13
The San Antonio Spurs are dangerous enough when their combination of youth and experience allows them to employ a variety of offensive tactics against an opposing team like the Miami Heat. When their twice-waived free agent addition sets an NBA record for 3-pointers made and his 35-year-old counterpart drops a season-high 24 points with 10 assists, it’s all but inevitable that they’ll beat the NBA odds. Fortunately for Spurs fans, that’s exactly what happened in Game 5. With Danny Green red-hot once again, knocking down six threes for an NBA Finals-record 25 3-pointers made, and Manu Ginobili turning back time in his first start of the season, San Antonio made the once-favored Heat look like betting line busts. Thanks to home-court advantage, the NBA odds favor LeBron James and the Heat heading into Game 6 on Tuesday. Will having their backs against the wall be enough to push Miami to new heights against a San Antonio team that’s managed to answer every Heat blow? Over the course of the first five games of the best-of-seven series, the Spurs and Heat have exchanged swipes. A narrow Game 1 San Antonio win prompted a Miami blowout in Game 2, which inspired a dramatic Spurs win in Game 3 and another Miami response in Game 4. Then, of course, was Game 5. Eventually, however, this game of NBA Finals one-upmanship will have to come to an end. Favored by seven points heading into Game 6 in Miami, the Heat will need to not only hope to contain Green, but also worry about Ginobili replicating his Game 5 performance. Green and Ginobili, let’s not forget, are able to thrive in the San Antonio offense as much as they have been thanks to the ever-concerning presences of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. If the Spurs continue to get production out of every facet of their lineup, Miami may be left with little choice but to attempt to overpower them offensively. With James relatively quiet through the first five games of the Finals, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen will need to continue to contribute. The difference between San Antonio’s production and Miami’s production is that the Spurs have managed to pool theirs together as a unit more often. As fun as it is to consider the Spurs winning their fifth title when Game 6 comes to a close, neither San Antonio nor any mortal basketball franchise on this planet has come up with an answer for a motivated LeBron James backed up by his All-Star teammates. Perhaps that’s why oddsmakers refuse to rule them out. This post is presented by Bovada.
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