Date/Time: March 31st, 7:00 pm EST
Television: NBA TV
Basketball Odds from BetDSI
Point Spread: San Antonio -2
The Miami Heat watched the second longest winning streak in NBA history go by the boards just this past week. They’ll try to stretch their newest winning streak to two games on Sunday in what might be the biggest game of the year against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center.
The Heat are still the overwhelming favorites to win the NBA title this year, but this is as important of a game as they will play until the playoffs begin. The No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference is most certainly not in any doubt, but the fact of the matter is that there is still some work to do to maintain the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs with just 10 games to go. The Spurs are only a game and a half back of the top spot in the league, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are within striking distance as well, so Miami is going to want to be careful with this one. Still, this is a team that is just playing out of its mind. F LeBron James is clearly the league’s MVP this year, as he is averaging 26.9 points, 8.1 boards, and 7.3 assists per game, and he is shooting 56.0 percent from the floor as well. G Dwyane Wade and C Chris Bosh are both absolute superstars, and G Ray Allen has fit nicely into his role of a sharpshooter. G Mario Chalmers has an ankle issue that caused him to miss the game against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, and we expect that Head Coach Erik Spoelstra is going to be awfully careful with his team’s top point guard in this one, if he even bothers to use him.
Of course, when you talk about the idea of “if he bothers to use them,” you have to start with the Spurs. If you remember properly, when these two teams met back in November, San Antonio played without G Tony Parker, F Tim Duncan, F Danny Green, and G Manu Ginobili, all of which were simply rested for the sake of rest. San Antonio still hung around in that game and nearly won it, but it wasn’t meant to be in the end. Ginobili is expected to sit this one out as well on Sunday, though a hamstring strain is a heck of a lot better reason to be sitting out against the Heat this time around than he had the first time. San Antonio has been playing in a heck of a lot of closer games of late. The margins of victory in the last three games combined are just four points, and the game before it against the Utah Jazz went to overtime. The Spurs are 3-1 SU, but just 0-4 ATS in those games.
Though we do think that the Heat are the best team in the league, we think that this is a big spot for the Spurs to prove a point. They might be just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games, but they have been storing up for this one. San Antonio has the ability to do some real damage to the Heat and get back in a position where the road to the NBA Championship would have to go through the AT&T Center, and we think that’s exactly what it is going to ensure on Sunday night. San Antonio 107 – Miami 99
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.