Jun 9, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; From left to right: San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2), center Tiago Splitter (22), point guard Tony Parker (9), power forward Tim Duncan (21) and shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) react during the end of the fourth quarter of game two of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Miami Heat won 103-84. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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
Point GuardsTony Parker – Mario ChalmersShooting GuardsDanny Green – Dwyane WadeSmall ForwardsKawhi Leonard – LeBron JamesPower ForwardsTim Duncan – Udonis HaslemCentersTiago Splitter – Chris Bosh
Key Bench PlayersManu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Gary Neal – Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen
Head CoachesGregg Popovich – Erik Spoelstra
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
When: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013. 8:00 PM Central TimeWhere: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TexasTelevision: ABC (National) Radio: 1200 AM WOAI (Local)
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