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2014 NBA Betting – Picks For Saturday, May 23

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/21/2014 10:52:27 PM

There’s a lot of drama that’s going to build up over the next few days, as the Eastern Conference Finals take a long break before returning to the court on Saturday night in Miami. The Heat have taken home-court advantage from the Pacers, but Indiana probably isn’t going to back down from the two-time defending champions.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3:
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Saturday, May 23

The Miami Heat lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals… in 2012. They lost Game 1 of the 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals. They won each of those series. When the Heat lost Game 1 of this series to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon, they were once again put in a position where they had to come up with a road win in Game 2 to shift a series in their favor. Late in the third quarter of Game 2, however, the Heat trailed 63-56. Indiana guard Lance Stephenson was cutting them up. The Heat were not getting much production out of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. LeBron was sitting back and waiting for something to happen instead of making things happen. Bosh did not find the range on his jump shots. Everything was heading south for the Heat against a Pacer team that wasn’t shooting the ball well, either. Paul George was 1-of-12 after two-plus quarters. He began to hit some shots as the third quarter moved along, but he still struggled. The Heat needed a spark.

LeBron gave it to them, as he awakened from a funk. He found Bosh for a corner three that Bosh managed to convert, pushing the Indiana lead down to four. LeBron then trusted another struggling teammate, Norris Cole, with a corner three, and that shot went down as well. Quickly, Miami reduced the Pacers’ advantage to one point. Down by one at the end of the third quarter, the Heat felt they could take away this game, and with LeBron diving to the rim in addition to hitting some big jumpers midway through the fourth quarter, Miami took a 78-75 lead with a little over 3:40 left. With Dwyane Wade then scoring the next eight points for the Heat, Miami grabbed an 86-78 lead in the final half minute and was able to secure an 87-83 victory to tie the series, 1-1.

The focus now shifts to Miami, which has home-court advantage but knows that Indiana has lost only one road game in the playoffs. In fact, Indiana was perfect on the road in the second round against Washington, going 3-0 in the nation’s capital city. The Pacers were 1-2 at home in that series, so Indiana might have Miami right where it wants the defending champions.

Who’s going to win this game? The long layoff will create a different kind of game. Neither team is likely to have a rhythm, but both teams should play with a lot of energy. Indiana is the team that will be more upset with itself after looking at game film. The Pacers are probably going to figure out a way to change the series in what looks like a long struggle.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana


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