Heat a Record 6-Point Underdog With James for NBA Finals Game 5Erik Matuszewski
LeBron James has never been a bigger underdog since joining the Miami Heat in 2010.
James and the Heat head to San Antonio a loss away from having their two-year run as National Basketball Association champions come to an end, trailing the Spurs three-games-to-one in the NBA Finals.
After losing two straight games at home by a combined 40 points, the Heat are listed by oddsmakers as six-point underdogs for Game 5 on June 15. Miami has never been more than a five-point underdog since James joined the franchise, according to Las Vegas-based gambling information website Pregame.com.
“We’re still a confident bunch, even though our heads are lowered down right now,” James, a four-time Most Valuable Player, said after the Heat were routed 107-86 in last night’s Game 4. “Of course, being down 3-1, and losing two straight games at home, that’s just human nature. But we’ve still got to go out and play on Sunday.”
No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win the championship.
“I don’t care about odds,” Miami’s Chris Bosh told reporters. “Odds are for people that can’t do it.”
The Heat were five-point favorites -- having won 13 straight postseason games following a defeat -- before losing by 21 points last night. They were favored by 4 1/2 points in Game 3 on June 10 and lost at home 111-92.
Miami had been a five-point underdog with James on five occasions, according to Pregame.com, most recently in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, where the Spurs won 110-95.
James and the Heat were also five-point underdogs against the Spurs on March 31, 2013, and against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 14, 2013. They were five-point underdogs on the road twice in the 2012 NBA Finals against the Thunder and split those two games in Oklahoma City.
“Miami looks spent right now,” Four-time NBA champion and Turner Sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal said on TNT after Game 4. “Their faces, their body language doesn’t really look good. San Antonio is in a groove, we all know how well they play at home, and they’re looking to close it out.”