NBA Live (06/07/13)

By John Ewing

A look at game changing plays in Game 1 of the NBA Finals utilizing Live ScoreCaster.

Prior to this game, since 2002, teams with 7 days of rest or more in the NBA Playoffs went 9-7 in their next game. San Antonio was 4-0 in such scenarios and 3-1 against-the-spread. So would the Spurs be rusty or would they adhere to their past success coming off of 10 days rest? San Antonio, specifically Tony Parker, answered the bell in a 92-88 victory that tilted the series in the Spurs favor. San Antonio is now -130 to win series per, Heat +110 to win. Below we look at game changing plays utilizing Live ScoreCaster.

Live ScoreCaster allows you to view current scores and play-by-play as well as live, updating projections from 50,000 simulations of the remaining time in each NBA game. Live ScoreCaster is totally free and available at and for download on iTunes

To view the Live ScoreCaster for Game 1 of Heat/Spurs click here.

Heat vs. Spurs

  • Spurs take Game 1, fourth time Heat have lost opening game of a series in Big 3 era, Miami went on to win the next four games in each series.
  • Miami has won 10 consecutive games following a loss, Heat favored by 5.5 points in Game 2.
  • Prior to Game 1 Miami was a 66.2% favorite to win series, after Game 1 the Spurs became a 51.3% favorite to win.

The road team winning Game 1 had a significant impact on the series outcome. In NBA Finals history, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series 71.2 percent (47-19) of the time. However, the Game 1 winner has lost each of the last two NBA Finals (Heat in 2011, Thunder in 2012), stat courtesy of Click here for projected series results before Game 1. 

Team Wins Series% in 4 Games% in 5 Games% in 6 Games% in 7 Games%
San Antonio Spurs 51.3% 9.3% 20.1% 13.4% 8.5%
Miami Heat 48.7% 0.0% 5.5% 18.9% 24.3%

GameChanger – Small runs

Basketball is a game of runs or scoring bursts. The Spurs strung together three offensive surges that changed the game.

With 7:09 left in the 3rd, San Antonio completes a 6-0 run that cuts Miami’s lead to 58-57. The run also cut Miami’s chances of winning from 74.8% to 65.7%.

With 7:47 left in the 4th, San Antonio completes a 6-2 run that gives the Spurs their first lead since 3:38 in the 1st. With the Spurs taking the lead they also become the favorites to win swinging the projected win percentage from 54.1% for the Heat to 53.2% for the Spurs.

With 5:30 left in the 4th, San Antonio completes a 6-1 run that gives the Spurs a 83-79 lead. San Antonio becomes an 73.5% favorite to win.

GameChanger – The cover

Game 1 opened at Miami -6 but settled at Miami -5. Miami was projected to cover at halftime and for much of the 3rd quarter before the first Spurs run that we noted above. However, there was one play at the very end of the 3rd quarter that may have swung the game in the Heat’s favor as well as the gamblers who backed Miami.

With 0:03 left in the 3rd, Heat leading 72-69, LeBron brings the ball up the court for the final shot of the quarter. James takes a deep three that misses; Miami’s win percentage after the miss was 65.4%, projected final score 96-93. Had LeBron’s shot went in Miami becomes a 79.4% favorite to win but more importantly to the gamblers out there the projected score becomes 100-93; Heat cover.

GameChanger – Parker’s shot

“We got a little bit lucky in Game 1,” Parker said. He may have been referring to his own shot with 0:05 left in the 4th that gave San Antonio a 92-88 win. How much did that shot actually change the game? After taking the 92-88 lead Miami’s chances of winning were 25.6%. Had Parker missed the shot or not released it before the shot clock expired the Heat would have had a 41.1% chance of winning. Parker’s made basket was worth 15.5% to the Heat’s win percentage.