I feel the same way, Coyote. I feel the same way.
If you missed our game recap from last night, we’ve got you covered right here. But let’s get the depression over with.
Who’s Hot: Dwyane Wade subtly called out LeBron James during the Eastern Conference Finals. Wade knew the Heat couldn’t succeed if he and Bosh weren’t getting their touches. And on Thursday, Wade and LeBron both attempted 25 field goals to combine for 65 points. Look at their shot chart from last night:
Who’s Not: There’s a couple candidates here, but we’ll go with Tony Parker’s second half. After starting the game with 15 points and silencing all the critics about his hamstring, he came out with absolutely no aggression after halftime. Parker only managed to attempt four shots and missed on all four. He claims he’s fine and wasn’t tired, so the collapse somewhat falls on his shoulders.
Turning Point: With 6:30 left in the third quarter, Danny Green hit a three pointer to take the lead 61-60. After a Miami Heat timeout, Ray Allen hit a layup and a Neal turnover lead to a wide open Mario Chalmers three in transition to make it 65-61. The Spurs would never cut the deficit to less than three points for the rest of the night.
Up Next: We have two days off before Game 5 at the AT&T Center on Sunday. Then it’s back to Miami on Tuesday. If the Spurs still want to have a chance at winning a fifth championship, Game 5 is practically a must-win. Can’t go back to Miami down 3-2.
C Tiago Splitter | 4 points (0-3), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Splitter started the game on Wade defensively. It was a disaster. He instantly committed a shooting foul on Wade and was benched 48 seconds into the game. Then when Pop actually gave him minutes, he did nothing. It seems as if Tiago’s confidence is completely shot.
PF Tim Duncan | 20 points (6-10), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
Duncan started off sluggish once again, and was finally ripped by Popovich after a timeout. Great moment caught by the ABC cameras, after Pop ripped Duncan, Duncan decided to sit on the scorers table the rest of the timeout instead of with his team in the huddle. Pop then approached him and said the words, “I’m not mad.” Duncan smirked and walked away. But TD needs to perform better for San Antonio to win this series. Hopefully last night was a wake up call.
SF Kawhi Leonard | 12 points (5-10), 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks
You know the phrase: Kawhi Leonard did Kawhi Leonard things. But defensively, he struggled. Wasn’t his fault, he stuck with the gameplan of forcing LeBron to shoot jumpshots. But when LeBron starts knocking them down, you must close out on him faster. That’s my only complaint.
SG Danny Green | 10 points (3-8), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Wade and LeBron did a fantastic job on Green defensively, never allowing him to get separation for open shots. Again, only complaint is his job defensively on Wade. When Dwyane Wade is in a groove, you have to close out on him faster. That never happened last night.
PG Tony Parker | 15 points (7-16), 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Parker’s first half was an A+ performance that kept the Spurs afloat. And then his second half was god awful. His hamstring is fine, so there’s no excuses for his slide. You can’t be the teams leader and just fall off a cliff like that.
SG Gary Neal | 13 points (4-7), 3 rebounds
Nothing negative to say about Neal. He’s not the best creator or dribbler, so his production is limited by that. It’s also hard to be an intricate part of the offense when the best player in the world is guarding you. LeBron barely let Neal breathe. But Gary did manage this absurd shot on James, to give the Spurs some small hope:
SG Manu Ginobili | 5 points (1-5), 2 rebounds, 2 assists
When asked about why Ginobili’s been so ineffective, Gregg Popovich answered, “If I knew that, I already would have fixed it.” Well, s***. If Pop doesn’t know what’s wrong with Manu, then I sure as hell don’t either.
PF Boris Diaw | 9 points (3-6), 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Bobo the Land Walrus made a decent return after getting the “DNP-CD” treatment from Pop in Game 3. But Popovich put him to guard Wade in his 11 minutes, and again, the results were disastrous. We’ll see if Diaw gets the start in Game 5 after taking over for Splitter in the second half, but he’s not the problem or the answer.