Miami will host the next two games, as the Finals have switched back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the first time since 1984. It is critical for the Spurs to win at least one of these two games in Miami and re-establish their home court advantage.
In both of the first two games, Miami has had a role player step up and have a big game for them. In Game 1, Ray Allen came off the bench and scored 16 points to go along with three assists and five steals. In Game 2, it was Rashard Lewis’ turn. He scored 14 points and the threat of his three-point shooting was enough to to stretch the floor so that LeBron James could get to the basket.
The question is: Who is it going to be for Game 3?
Mario Chalmers can always bust out and have a big game, and Norris Cole has the ability to do so as well. Even James Jones has shown he can knock down open threes throughout his career. And we’ve all seen what Shane Battier can do in the Finals if given the opportunity.
LeBron: “I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and they have a lot of confidence in me. We live with the results no matter what.”
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) June 9, 2014
LeBron is going to get his. He is one of the all-time greats, and the Finals are when the greats become greater. The Spurs just need to make sure the other players on the Heat do not hurt them as well. If they can control that, they will be fine.
On the other side of the ball, the Spurs started Game 2 hot. Tiago Splitter had four 1st quarter assists that lead to an early 11 point lead. The interior passing from Splitter, Duncan, and Diaw is what makes the Spurs so difficult to defend, especially for the Heat, who are prone to being punished inside. Towards the later part of Game 2 this interior passing stopped and many perimeter shots were forced. If the Spurs are able to get the ball down low and let their bigs use their passing ability it will open up all areas of the court.
The slowing down of the Spurs offense coincided with the tim in which LeBron James was guarding Tony Parker. If the Spurs are going to score enough points to stay in these games, they need to find another way to initiate the offense.
Game number 3 of any series is always big, especially if it’s tied 1-1. This is a crucial game for both teams, because whoever wins Game 3 has history in their favor. Who wants it more? We will find out tonight.
***All stats taken from NBA.com.
Go Spurs Go!