The NBA Finals resume tonight with Game 5 back in San Antonio as the new 2-2-1-1-1 format takes effect for the first time since 1984. This might be the first time where a higher seeded team wishes the old format was still being used after how well the Spurs played in games 3 and 4 on the road last week.
Thanks to whatifsports.com we have a way to predict what is going to happen in Game 5. While this site does not know it is Game 5 of the NBA Finals it is predicting it does ask and allow you to change the starting lineups and depth charts for each team, including how many minutes each player will play.
What If Sports has the home team, the San Antonio Spurs, outscoring the Heat by ten in the fourth quarter to come back and defeat the Miami Heat, 97-93. This site gives the option to also generate a play-by-play and the lead went back and fourth in the final four minutes until the Spurs actually made all of their free throws to close out the defending champs and win the 2014 NBA Championship.
These box scores are pretty realistic and could very well be a mirror image of what we see after tonight’s game. LeBron James finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists and actually got help from Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh as each finished with 19 and 14 respectively.
The Spurs got another good game from Kawhi Leonard who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Tony Parker recorded 25 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Manu Ginobilli added 13 points while Tim Duncan chipped in with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
While I do not think think the Spurs will win a third straight game against the defending champs the prediction and I do have one thing in common: tonight’s game should come down to the wire. I expect big games from Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James and I think the Heat will escape from San Antonio with the narrow victory, 96-94.
The Heat have not lost back-to-back games in the playoffs since the 2012 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals so I do not think the defending champs will not show up for a third straight game. That means the series will be heading back for a Game 6 on Tuesday night in the same building the Spurs’ collapse happened a year ago. I think things will be different this time and we will see a repeat performance from games 3 and 4 by the Spurs, who will win their fifth title and their fourth in the last 12 seasons.
But hey, who really knows what going to happen. NBA 2k14 seemed to think the Heat would win Game 5 by a score of 103-100 when I simmed a 12-min quarter game between the Heat and Spurs. Parker had 26 points and 8 assists in the video game while Wade led the way for the Heat with 26 points. That game also was close down the stretch, so a close game with a great finish is almost a guarantee for tonight.