Jun 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (left) and Manu Ginobili (right) during practice at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Play like they did in game one. That is it. Easiest post I have ever put up here. You know us too well. Do you think Head Coach Gregg Popovich told them just do what you did in game one and we will win. I doubt it. There were areas in game one that the Spurs do need to improve on and as we always do, we will bring them to your reading pleasure.
First, lets take a look back at our keys to victory for game one.
Shake Off The Rust. With the Spurs having their longest layoff of these post-season, 10 days, there certainly will be some sort of game rust that comes along with it. Don’t be surprised if San Antonio comes out looking lack-luster and trying once again to get that feel of game speed. I particularly see them getting rid of this rust early in the first half.
Jun 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket defended by San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) in the third quarter during game one of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Well one possession they were rusty and that didn’t really bother me at all. San Antonio turned the ball over at the start of the game and rebounded quite well. Once Miami’s Dwyane Wade went in for a dunk, to me that is what settled down the Spurs. First basket is out of the way. San Antonio then went on a 9-0 run after the flush by Wade and the rest as they say is history.
Control Emotions. This is the biggest stage of the NBA. Both of these teams have players that have been here before, the veterans of these teams. They will be able to control their emotions, but how will Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patty Mills and Company do? Early on we have to keep a close eye on them. With emotions certainly going to be running high, this can make you do unusual things. Try to force a pass down in the block, force up shots that you are not used to taking. Then again, you can understand the way these younger players are going to react in this atmosphere.
I was a little concerned about this area, not for the big three and how they would handle it but with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Both handle the atmosphere to the best they could. Leonard who was probably on an extreme high didn’t show any kind of nervousness. He has the task of guarding the best player in the game right now. He did a tremendous job on LeBron James. Green, hit some big shots down the stretch for San Antonio and too had a solid game on the defensive end.
Limit Turnovers. The excitement that will be in Miami can over take ones body and in fact make a player go 100 miles an hour. That , along with the time off the Spurs have can lead to some sloppy play. San Antonio needs to take care of the ball and as they have done on the road these playoffs, let the game come to them. This is their moment.
Jun 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) is fouled by Miami Heat power forward Chris Andersen (11) during the fourth quarter of game one of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. San Antonio Spurs won 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Four! After their first turnover with a few seconds into the game, I surely was not the only one that was thinking, “Crap. It’s going to be one of those games”. Well that shook the rust quick and San Antonio for the rest of the game did a great job in taking care of the ball for the remainder of the game.
We amaze ourselves and are glad that they [Spurs] make us look good when we give our keys to victory. Now we come to game two. Here is where we see San Antonio needs to do a better job at to win game two.
Put Your Butt On Someone And Box Out: The San Antonio Spurs were out-rebounded in game one 46 to 37. Every Miami Heat player grabbed a rebound during game one. San Antonio needs to make sure that they win the rebounding edge. The Heat thrive on getting those second chance points and being in Miami, it gets the crowd going when they see their team hustling for the ball. Heat grabbed nine offensive boards LeBron and Wade had two.
Keep Miami Out Of The Lane: They relied a lot on their jumpers, which is what we want them to do, but game two, you have to know that they will want to attack, attack and attack the rim. Wade looked like the ‘Flash’ of old during game one with his slashing to the rim and finishing. In my opinion, we will give Wade, Bosh and James the outside jumper. Let them kill us with their jumper. As we did in game one, when LeBron drove into the lane San Antonio players were there to meet him. This has to happen again.
Three Point Shooting: Just imagine what the final score could of been if San Antonio would of hit more than seven three’s. As a team the Spurs were 7 of 23 from behind the arc, 30%. The shots they took were not rushed (well Gary Neal) but just didn’t fall. A few of Danny Green’s were in and out. I don’t see another poor shooting from them behind the arc.