2013 NBA Finals Game 5 Preview (TV, Schedule, Game Information)

2013 NBA Finals
2013 NBA Finals
Jun 13 2013 San Antonio TX USA San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard 2 rebounds against Miami Heat small forward LeBron James 6 and center Chris Bosh 1 during the second half of game four of the 2013 NBA Finals at the ATT Center The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 109 93 Derick E Hingle USA TODAY Sports

Status: Series tied 2-2
Date: June 16th
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
Location: AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)

The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat will square off on Sunday in a pivotal Game 5. Neither team will be out of it should they lose, but there’s little question the Spurs need the game a bit more.

San Antonio has one more game at home, but after today, will travel to Miami for Game 6 and, if needed, Game 7. The Spurs lost home court advantage in Game 4 when they were defeated 109-93. San Antonio has proven they can win one game in Miami, but two in a row? That might be too big a hurdle to overcome – even for the Western Conference champions.

The Heat haven’t lost back-to-back home games all season. They also are yet to lose two consecutive games in the postseason. San Antonio is an excellent team, but the Heat simply don’t lose too much on their home court.

The winner of Game 5 won’t just have the series lead, but will have the inside track to winning an NBA championship. NBA Finals’ have been tied at two games apiece a total of 27 times. In 20 of those instances, the winner of the pivotal fifth game has gone on to win the title.

For the Heat, it will be all about matching the effort they had in Game 4. Miami played with great intensity throughout the whole game, shooting well and forcing turnovers on the defensive end. With a close game heading into the fourth quarter, the Heat outplayed the Spurs down the stretch to tie the series.

Just as importantly, in that game the Heat got big contributions from each of their stars. LeBron James had his biggest scoring game of the series with 33 points and added 11 rebounds. Dwyane Wade, who has struggled significantly in the postseason, had 32 points. Even the wildly inconsistent Chris Bosh got in on the act with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Miami clicked as well as they have in these playoffs.

But while the Heat are on the upswing, San Antonio, faces a few problems.

For starters, there’s the Tony Parker injury watch. After a hamstring injury in Game 3, Parker not only returned to play in Game 4, but he had a solid game with 15 points and nine assists. That game showed he can still be effective even when he’s not 100%, but Parker’s overall production in the Finals has dropped. Heading into the series, Parker was averaging 23 points per game and making nearly half of his shots. But against Miami, the guard is scoring less than 14 points a night and shooting only 43% from the field.

Veteran guard Manu Ginobili is facing similar struggles … only his have continued throughout the entire postseason. Ginobili is making only 35% of his attempts, scoring 7.5 points in the Heat series. That’s down from his regular season production of 12 points on 43% shooting.

Turnovers have also plagued the team. Since committing only four in Game 1, San Antonio has had trouble taking care of the ball. The Spurs have had a total of 46 in the last three games, averaging just over 15 per game. That’s been particularly true in the fourth quarters of their two losses when the team has had a total of 11.

If the Spurs want to win Game 5, they’ll need to turn some of those things around.

author avatar
Anson Whaley
Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');