Gregg Popovich and the Spurs won’t admit it, but they’re happy right now. They will never admit their goal was to at least win one game in Miami. The Spurs are rarely ever complacent.
Heading into tonight’s game versus the Heat, the Spurs have plenty of areas where they can improve. Make shots. Don’t turn the ball over. Defend Miami’s shooters. The game plan sounds so simple, but it’s all just words. Nothing will change from the Game 2 blowout if San Antonio isn’t focused and relentless in their attack. There were many points in Sunday night’s game where the Spurs looked like they gave up on plays – offensively and defensively – because the score was still close and they felt that they could just turn it on at any time.
San Antonio played complacent, because they were satisfied with taking Game 1. And for 33 minutes, they had the opportunity to snag Game 2. But Miami knew what was a stake. You can’t measure effort level, but the Heat sure as hell played with the intensity and aggressiveness of a team who “wanted it more.”
And with the series shifting and homecourt advantage in San Antonio’s favor, it’s time for Gregg Popovich to make the next adjustment. Erik Spoelstra made a great change in strategy. It wasn’t just LeBron guarding Parker for stretches to maintain him. The Heat managed to trap the Spurs primary ball handler, forcing contested passes that were either stolen or that a teammate had to go out of position to get, which forced the Spurs into constantly resetting their offense.
Those types of small tweaks Popovich has to implement in the Spurs game plan for Tuesday. The only thing needed is the Spurs willingness and ability to execute it. Coach Spo is one of the few coaches in the NBA that can match Pop X’s and O’s wise. He just so happens to also have three of the best players in the world to help with that.
But as we’ve seen time and time again, the players don’t make the system. When execution is flawless, anybody can win as long as the effort is there.
The series has three games in San Antonio beginning tonight. And if the Spurs don’t want to put forth the effort they’re capable of, they can start making plans to stay home for the rest of the summer.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
Tony Parker – Mario Chalmers
Danny Green – Dwyane Wade
Kawhi Leonard – LeBron James
Tim Duncan – Udonis Haslem
Tiago Splitter – Chris Bosh
Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Gary Neal – Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen
Gregg Popovich – Erik Spoelstra
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
When: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013. 8:00 PM Central Time
Where: AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Television: ABC (National) Radio: 1200 AM WOAI (Local)