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The Heat Aren’t That Elite, But They Might Still Be Elite Enough To Win The Finals

Posted by Craig Parsons on 6/5/2013 7:58:59 PM

The Miami Heat was taken to seven games by the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Is that a reflection of the Heat’s weaknesses, or will it point to a strong performance Thursday?

2013 NBA Finals, Game 1:

San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat – Thursday, June 6

In online poker games that unfold nightly on 94-foot-long slabs of hardwood, you need someone who can deal the ball with consistency and dependability. Yes, Tony Parker is that kind of player for the Spurs, but will this “dealer” have the rhythm and flow needed to break down the Miami Heat’s swarming pressure defense with the consistency that he will have to call forth? It’s hard to say “yes.” Parker attained such a noticeable groove in the Western Conference Finals against the Memphis Grizzlies. He was easily the best player on the floor in San Antonio’s four-game sweep, but Parker – having gained that kind of comfort zone – has had to sit idly by for a week and a half while Miami and Indiana stretched out their Eastern Conference Finals series over seven games. Is Parker immediately going to pick up where he left off on Monday, May 27, the last time the Spurs played a live game? It’s not likely that he will.

Legal online sports betting experts know that San Antonio will be rusty. The Spurs will have had a week and a half off, and while this aging team will welcome the time off, it also has to be said that a week and a half is too long a time for top athletes to rest. Athletes want at least some rhythm and flow to their routines, some constancy they can use to generate a seamless quality to their actions as competitors. San Antonio probably wanted a six-day break between games, but a week and a half could really throw the Spurs out of whack.

Miami, on the other hand, will be playing with a familiar rhythm and will have the added benefit of having come through a stiff test to survive and gain confidence in the process. A year ago, Miami fended off the Boston Celtics in a seven-game Eastern Conference Finals showdown. Once Miami got through that series, in which it was feeling a great deal of pressure, the Heat relaxed and then maxed out against Oklahoma City in the Finals. One could certainly advance the argument that Miami’s protracted seven-game struggle with Indiana shows that it is not a superteam worthy of all-time accolades and comparisons. That point is actually a very sound one. Miami is not one of the greatest teams the NBA has ever seen – that’s a hyperbolic and inaccurate statement. The Chicago Bulls in 1996 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1987 were more complete teams than the 2013 Heat. The same thing goes for the loaded 1986 Boston Celtics and the overpowering 1983 Philadelphia 76ers.

Yet, while Miami is not one of the NBA’s all-time best teams, the act of enduring a seven-game series is going to reinforce the Heat’s sense of toughness. It is going to give each Miami player a powerful dose of affirmation and positive psychological reinforcement. The value of this benefit cannot be overstated.

Miami might be in danger in Game 2, but it looks good in Game 1. Even the ranks of online football betting students who simply can’t be bothered to do much of any analysis on the NBA would say that the rust-rest tension point, so obviously the key thing to monitor as a prospective bettor, should work in Miami’s favor here.

NBA Betting Pick: Miami

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