Game 4 of the NBA Finals takes place on Tuesday night in South Bech as the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Miami Heat. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on ABC. Currently the odds have Miami favored by 3.5 points with the total sitting at 192 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: After a stunning comeback win in Game 3, the Heat try to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Thunder when the teams meet again on Tuesday night in Miami. Although the Heat were able to erase a 10-point, third-quarter deficit to win 91-85, this game was more about the Thunder giving it away than Miami taking it. Oklahoma City, the league’s best free-throw shooting team at 80.7%, finished 15-for-24 (62.5%) from the line including seven misses in the second half. Kevin Durant was in foul trouble all night and was shut down by LeBron James in the fourth quarter, making just 2-of-6 FG. Although Durant didn’t take over the fourth quarter like he had in Games 1-2 (combined 33 points in final period), he still finished with 25 points on 11-of-19 FG with six rebounds and two blocks. His five turnovers and five personal fouls hurt his team though. Reserve SG James Harden also damaged his team’s win chances by making just 2-of-10 shots including 0-for-4 from long range. PG Russell Westbrook clearly had his worst game of the series with 19 points (8-of-18 FG) and just four assists. In Games 1-2, Westbrook averaged 27.0 PPG and 9.0 APG. C Kendrick Perkins bounced back from a poor Game 2, with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, six coming on the offensive end. On Tuesday, Miami was somehow able to overcome its 38% FG (33% FG in the second half) and 15 turnovers, including nine in the fourth quarter alone. Making 31-of-35 free throws was certainly a boost for Miami, as was Oklahoma City’s six turnovers in the final period. James is having a much better NBA Finals series than he did last year. His 30.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 86% FT completely dwarf his 2011 NBA Finals production of 17.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 60% FT. Wade, on the other hand, has seen his numbers drop significantly in this series (22.7 PPG, 41% FG, 3.7 TOPG) compared to last year’s championship series (26.5 PPG, 55% FG, 2.5 TOPG). On Sunday night, PF Chris Bosh posted his second straight double-double since being inserted back into the starting lineup, scoring 10 points (3-of-12 FG) with 11 rebounds. SF Shane Battier played 35 minutes on Sunday, but attempted only two shots, which were both successful three-point attempts. He is now an incredible 14-for-19 (74%) from the floor in the NBA Finals, which includes going 11-of-15 from downtown (73%). However, PG Mario Chalmers had another dismal shooting night (1-for-8), making him 2-for-15 from the floor (1-for-6 on threes) with a total of five points in his past two games. With Sunday’s home win, they are now 37-7 SU (84%) at AmericanAirlines Arena with a 25-18-1 ATS mark (58%). In the 2012 playoffs, Miami is 9-2 SU (8-3 ATS) at home in these playoffs, scoring 98.6 PPG and giving up only 87.2 PPG. The Thunder are still the NBA’s third-best road team at 25-16 SU (61%) and are a solid 23-17-1 ATS (58%), including 5-2-1 ATS in playoff road tilts. Both teams have nearly identical records with just one day’s rest, as Miami is now 35-16 (25-26 ATS), while Oklahoma City is 34-15 (25-23-1 ATS).
Free Pick: This game will be all about tempo. Miami did have the extra game to rest a bit between games 2 and 3 and they were able to get the tempo at their pace, but now they have had just 1 day to rest their tired legs and that should allow this Thunder team to get the game more at their pace. Miami is not a running team but they still average 100 ppg at home on the year, plus they have averaged 97 ppg on 1 days rest this year. Miami has played great defense this year as they have allowed just 88.9 ppg at home and 90.8 ppg on 1 days rest, but the Thunder does average 100.1 ppg on the road and 103.2 ppg on 1 days rest. Defensively the Thunder played well in Game 3, but they still have allowed 97.8 ppg on the road and 97.6 ppg on 1 days rest and should have problems with a heat team that can score on this floor. Thunder games on 1 days rest have averaged 200.2 ppg on the year and In a faster paced game this one should approach that number. Also should be another close game and that could me FT's at the end or even OT. I look for 195+ in this one.
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NBA Free Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat - Game 4What NBA bettors need to know about Thunder at Heat - Including projections from Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard with host Marco D'Angelo.