Did you watch the game last night? So you saw the massacre San Antonio laid on Miami then, right? Good. That’s less typing I have to do here to introduce this. And if you didn’t watch last night’s game, we have you covered too with our full game recap here.
So without further adieu, let’s get to it. Happy report card time!
Who’s Hot: The consensus staff pick here is Danny Green. Gary Neal works also. Instead of picking one, let’s select both and add a third member: Kawhi Leonard. The Green/Neal/Leonard trio combined for 65 points on 57% shooting, while outscoring the entire Miami Heat starting lineup by 22 points.
Who’s Not: LeBron Raymone James. King James didn’t say much after the game besides, “I gotta play better and I will play better.” Today during the pre-practice presser, LeBron was more blunt by saying, “I played like s***.” And everyone knows it. Before the series began, James stated that there’s nothing you can dare him to do anymore. And Popovich took the challenge and has dared him to shoot. The results have been terrible. Via the Express-News’ Dan McCarney, look at LeBron’s shot chart in the 2007 NBA Finals compared to 2013. Eerily similar.
Staggering how much LeBron’s 2007 shot chart resembles 2013. twitter.com/danmccarneysae…
— Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) June 12, 2013
Turning Point: San Antonio had a comfortable 11-point lead in the second quarter with three minutes left. In just under two minutes, the Heat, backed by a couple Mike Miller three’s, went on a 12-1 run to tie the game at 44. Then Tony Parker hit a ridiculous fadeaway corner three, followed by this:
(Watch Pop kick his leg out at the 10 second mark. He knew it was good.)
Up Next: In the 2013 Playoffs, the Spurs have answered every loss with a double-digit win. So have the Miami Heat. Something has to give on Thursday night, whether a close game or not. Either the Heat answer the way they have all year, or they faulter at the hands of San Antonio, and lose consecutive games for the first time since January. Tip-off on Thursday is at 8PM at the AT&T Center.
PG Tony Parker | 6 points (2/5), 8 assists, 2 rebounds
Tony Parker’s biggest contribution last night probably wasn’t anything he did on the court. He told Gary Neal before the game, if the Heat kept trapping him, Neal would have open looks and needed to come through. Well hot damn, Coach Tony struck again.
SG Danny Green | 27 points (9/15), 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
I gave Danny Green an A+ after his performance in Game 2. Even though he seemed down on himself because if you win as a team, you lose as a team. There’s nothing more I can say or add after last night. Just glad his effort didn’t go to waste in another loss.
SF Kawhi Leonard | 14 points (6/10), 12 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists
Let’s stop calling Kawhi Leonard the “LeBron Stopper.” Sure, he’s done a great job, but Danny Green’s effort on LBJ has also been fantastic. What Leonard did in Game 3 was what we’ve come to expect from the 21-year-old. He started the game off early with a three, his 12 rebounds were more than anyone on the Heat had, and, as usual, Kawhi Leonard was doing Kawhi Leonard things by disrupting the passing lane and getting his huge hands everywhere, resulting in four steals.
PF Tim Duncan | 12 points (5/11), 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist
Duncan struggled some to start the game, just missing a couple easy shots and free throws. But instead of getting discouraged and deferring the basketball, he remained aggressive and found his groove on the way to another playoff double-double in just under 30 minutes played.
C Tiago Splitter | 8 points (3/7), 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assists
Splitter managed to not get blocked by LeBron, made a couple dunks, and grabbed four offensive rebounds which was part of the reason San Antonio managed 20 second chance points.
SG Manu Ginobili | 7 points (3/7), 6 assists, 2 rebounds
He did a good job of filling the stat sheet in just 23 minutes of action. Even though Ginobili missed all four of his three point attempts, Manu had some excellent highlight plays that reminded us of the old Manu instead of old Manu.
SG Gary Neal | 24 points (9/17), 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Neal before Zod. Neal with it. Nailgun Neal. The Towson Triple. So many glorious nicknames, and not enough for every three pointer he hit last night. And the best thing of the night, ESPN captured Popovich telling Neal, “Tony told me to tell you to never leave Miller open again.” It paid off.
PG Cory Joseph | 2 points (1/4), 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
CoJo finally got some worthwhile minutes, but didn’t take advantage of them. His only basket came on a fast break layup in which he also drew the foul, but missed the free throw. Joseph shot 25% and turned the ball over three times in just under 21 minutes. Just a serviceable performance, with plenty of room to improve.
PF Matt Bonner | 2 points (0/3), 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Bonner was pretty bad. The Heat offense took advantage of his prescence on the court, letting the Red Mamba get repeatedly burned on defense. It wouldn’t have been bad if he was at least hitting shots, but he blew two wide open three pointers, which was enough for Popovich to bench him.
SG Tracy McGrady | 0 points (0/2), 2 rebounds, 3 assists
All I want for Tracy McGrady to do, is score one basket in the NBA Finals. That is all. Originally, this report card was for everyone who played at least 10 minutes. But I had to put T-Mac here for one reason and one reason only. Through three games in the NBA Finals, Tracy McGrady has as many rebounds as Dwyane Wade, with four.
Head Coach Gregg Popovich
Coach Pop did a good job in Game 2 of pulling his starters as soon as he realized the game was out of hand. With only one day off in between Games 2 and 3, the only players that played over 30 minutes were Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. Even better, the moment Game 3 was a blowout, Popovich once again benched his starters to get them rest. The only Spurs starter to play over 30 minutes was Danny Green with 31. Coach Spoelstra let LeBron play 39, Wade play 34 and Bosh play 32. Chess versus checkers.