2012 NBA Finals - Heat v. Thunder Game 5

Miami Heat are favored to win Game Five with a 3.5 point spread, a (-155) Moneyline. The over/under on the game is 193.5 - Bet at BetOnline Sportsbook

Game Five is crunch time for the Thunder who need to win the next three games to take the NBA Championship. Conversely, all the Miami Heat have to do is repeat what they have done for the past three games, out play the Thunder. Game Five will be the last game of the series played in Miami so the Heat need to win now to make it that much sweeter. The Miami Heat have controlled the series ever since game two by winning three close games to make the series 3-1, including a win in OKC.

The big question on everyone’s mind is will LeBron James be healthy enough to be as productive in Game Five as he has been all series. Late in Game Four James suffered severe leg cramps and had to stop playing. Luckily for the Heat, the Thunder made some questionable foul decisions in the last seconds and the Heat survived without LeBron. In press conferences James has explained he is still a little sore but treatment has helped relieve the pain he was experiencing. James will be active for Game Five.

One of the things OKC needs to do in Game Five to win is to get James Harden back up to his regular season stats. For his regular season play he was awarded the title of most valuable reserve player but he has not produced in this series leaving Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook short one option. OKC has been a team to stick with the same strategy all season, now that one piece of that formula is breaking down the Thunder are coming up short. They have consistently been known for sharing the scoring burden across the line-up; the exact opposite has been true these last few games. In truth Harden is not the only one to blame but the OKC players and coaching staff need to get him producing again.

Miami has been solid in the paint, that has been huge for them all series. They have also managed to come out on top each of the past three games despite some great OKC performances. Really, Miami has been the superior team. For the underdogs going into the series, Miami has actually put on a great show of talent, discipline and composure. Furthermore, no team with this lead has ever lost the NBA Championship. Miami is favored in the point spread by 3 points.

OKC has managed to fix problems in this series but it has never been enough. For example, OKC began giving up large first quarter leads mid-series, but then last night they won the first quarter and still lost the game. So what do they need to do to win? Actually they need to copy Miami’s formula, play the way you need to to win. This sounds absurdly obvious but if you look back at the series Miami has won using their defense and their offense, they have adapted to the flow of each game. OKC has continuously said they just need to keep playing the same game they have played all year and that will take them to the title. Being tough and consistent in Game Five has been the OKC mantra in the media prior to Game Five but you can also hear in their language the weight of being so far behind in the series. At this point it likely would have helped OKC to be back at home, but to Miami’s credit they won one game on the road and are likely to win the series at home in Game Five.

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