2012 NBA Finals - Heat v. Thunder Game 4

2012 NBA Finals - Heat v. Thunder Game 4

Miami Heat are favored to win Game Four with a 3.5 point spread, a (-160) Moneyline. The over/under on the game is 192.5 - Bet at BetOnline Sportsbook

During Game Three of the NBA Finals the Oklahoma City Thunder could not stay in the lead, after ten lead changes the Miami Heat came out on top to take the series lead 2-1. The biggest scoring difference between the teams, and the most important, was from the free throw line. The Miami Heat hit 88.6% of their 35 attempts producing 31 baskets. OKC was only 62.5% from the free throw line making just 15 of these shots. The final score was 91-85.

In the Finals a two game roll is enough to think that the Heat have command of this series, but there are reason not to count the Thunder out just yet. First, OKC were down 2-0 in the Western Finals to the Spurs, yet OKC is still in the hunt. From this we know that the Thunder players will not be frazzled by their current deficit in this series. This week Scott Brooks labelled his team resilient and attributed their staying power to a season long methodical and unchanged game strategy. These guys believe they just need to work a little harder to make their style of basketball work. Second, OKC was down 2-0 to the Spurs then won four straight to take the series. Much has been made about the youth of the Thunder but they have been tested. Maybe they are overly cocky but perhaps they are stoutly confident. Kevin Durant has said his team needs better ball control if they are going to have the chance to win Game Four. Additionally, OKC’s starters have finally stopped giving up a huge first quarter lead to the Heat. The closer score was reflected in the constant lead change. A more competitive start increases everyone’s confidence that OKC can hang with the Heat rather than playing catch up all the time. Playing catch up in Game Four would spell trouble for OKC.

The Miami Heat showed in the third quarter of Game Three that they could ward off the Thunder by rebounding from a 10-point deficit; coming back in the fourth quarter to outscore OKC 22-18. Miami’s strategy has been to win by whatever means they can; and it’s a mantra they remind themselves of when their opponent grabs a sizable lead or goes on a scoring run. With Bosh back in the starting lineup and contributing, the Heat now have a diversified arsenal to rebuff OKC’s occasional strokes of genius. And that could be their biggest strength or their biggest weakness. Over the year, Bosh’s presence on the court has not slowed OKC, but now in the Finals, his presence is making the difference. What this means is that if Miami can find the OKC rhythm they can disrupt it, if not trouble will come calling. Also, we must wonder if Miami has its own game plan that it can lay down forcing the Thunder to come to them. More often than not this series seems like the LeBron James show with occasional appearances from the supporting cast. But if you had to rally behind someone LeBron is a good choice; and let’s not forget that this team was at the Finals last year, having learnt from their mistakes they found a way back to this point once again.

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