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That’s More Like It

09 Jun

The San Antonio Spurs were leading Game 2 of the NBA Finals 62-61 with 3:16 left to play in the 3rd quarter. By the 7:13 mark of the 4th quarter, Greg Popovich had emptied his bench, and the Heat were leading by 27 points 94-67. Miami would go on to win the game 103-84 evening up the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

Here’s how dominant Miami was during its 33-5 run:

-The Heat were 12/13 from the field while the Spurs were 2/10
-Miami was 5/5 from 3, the Spurs were 0/3 from 3
-San Antonio committed 6 turnovers, and the Heat had just 1.

Unlike in game one where the Spurs tied an NBA-Finals record committing just 4 turnovers, San Antonio was much sloppier turning the ball over 16 times leading to 19 Miami points. If the Spurs are going to be this carless with the ball, the Heat will burn them alive. Miami is best when the other team is turning the ball over allowing them to go in transition where the Heat excel.

The Spurs were able to hang around until the end of the 3rd quarter with LeBron James struggling mightily. James missed 8 of his first 10 shots, but heated up in the fourth making his last 5 shots to finish with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. During the Heat’s 33-5 run, James was 5/5 and scored 11 points. LeBron also had 3 blocks, including a high-light reel rejection of Tiago Splitter who was attempting a massive throw-down.

LeBron received a lot of criticism for not being aggressive enough in game one, and he continued to share the ball in game 2. This time his teammates stepped up, and backed him up. Mario Chalmers was superb with a game high 19 points didn’t turn the ball over once. Tony Parker by comparison had a game high 5 turnovers.

Chris Bosh was solid scoring 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds. It looks like Bosh is gradually playing in the paint more, exactly where Miami wants him. Dwyane Wade was hot early, but didn’t score in the 2nd half finishing with 10 points.

Miami’s 3-point shooters came to life in Game 2. Ray Allen was 3/5 from 3 for 13 points, and Mike Miller was 3/3 for 9 points. You rarely hear Miller’s name during the regular season, but for the 2nd year in a row he has come to life in the Finals. Chris Anderson had a productive game with 9 points on 3/3 shooting off the bench.

Other than Danny Green, who scored 17 points on 6/6 shooting, everyone else on the Spurs struggled. Green almost single handedly kept San Antonio in it, but once LeBron James was put on him, it was over. After Erik Spoelstra made that defensive change, Green didn’t attempt another shot.

The Spurs big three of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili combined to score 27 points on 9/31 shooting. That’s not going to get it done, especially against the Heat. Kawhi Leonard played a role in LeBron’s struggles early on, but never found his offensive game either scoring 9 points on 4/12 from the field.

There was a feel good story for the Spurs in this one with Tracy McGrady finally appearing in the NBA Finals. McGrady played 8 minutes after not appearing in game 1.

The Heat haven’t lost back to back games in more than 6 months, and have been dominant following a loss in these playoffs winning by double digits each time.

With a loss in game 2, the Spurs streak of 7 consecutive playoff victories came to an end. The series now shifts to San Antonio for the next 3 games. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night at 9pm from the AT&T Center.

The Spurs can’t afford turn the ball over like they did in this one going forward or this series could end early.

For Miami, other players have to continue to step up besides LeBron. The Heat got major boosts from Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Chris Anderson in game 2, but those players haven’t shown they can do it on a consistent basis.

 
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Posted by on 06/09/2013 in NBA

 

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