Jun 12, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard talks with the media the day before game 4 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at AT
Looks like Kawhi has been a magnet to media during these finals. What do you expect, he is playing as if this was not his first Finals, but he has been on this stage before. The San Antonio Spurs are coming off of their impressive, putting on a clinic, win against the Miami Heat back on Tuesday night.
Hoping the Spurs continue their success on the Miami Heat defensively as well as continue their hot shooting from three point land, myself and Senior Staff Writer John Diaz look back at game three and ahead to game four.
Jun 11, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Gary Neal (14) makes a three point shot against Miami Heat shooting guard Mike Miller (13) with 0.9 seconds left in the second quarter of game three of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT
Michael Rehome (Lead Editor): We saw the San Antonio Spurs set a finals record with 16 three-pointers. You knew something was going to happen. We’re you surprised it was Neal and Green taking the spotlight?
John Diaz (Senior Staff Writer): You know, with the way Green’s played this season, no. But I can’t say the same for Neal. I don’t know what the Heat have in their scouting report, but it’s obvious that defending Tony Parker is their first priority, with the Spurs shooters as an afterthought. Pop’s done a great job of adjusting to Miami’s pressure and trap defense, with plenty of misdirection screens to free shooters. And the Heat’s laziness has helped too. The only thing that surprised me was how confident both Danny and Gary were, launching shots from 28-30 feet with such ease.
MR: When they did launch though I can tell you that I wasn’t mad at all. Usually when I see Neal launching from deep I get frustrated, and you do too my friend. Another key to the blow-out win is the way they continue to make life hell for Bron. He did not get to the line at all in game 3. Will that change?
JD: Oh man, I absolutely hate when Gary starts launching shots when there’s 15 seconds left on the shot clock. But when he’s in his zone, the man is a true sniper from deep. I’ve been an avid LeBron fan/support for awhile now, and watching these Finals has been a true disappointment (from that aspect, not a Spurs fan perspective.) You can’t be the best player in the world, come out before the series begins and state you’re 20, 40, 50 times better than six years ago (regardless of how true it is) and perform as lackluster as he has. He’s playing scared and I’m driving myself crazy in thinking why.
Jun 11, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts on the sideline against the Miami Heat in the third quarter during game three of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT
Granted Pop’s game plan is great. But the man needs to drive to the damn basket, to try and draw fouls and some free throws. He’s not going to get into a groove otherwise, and with no groove, his jumpshot will continue to elude him. But on the other hand, Dwyane Wade was spectacular to start this series, especially in Game 1. Where has he been to help?
MR: LeBron should of kept his mouth shut to be honest with you. We know that you are a better player but he put himself up there so high that we were all expecting him to come out and straight dominant. We haven’t seen that yet this series. He will come out playing more aggressive than ever I believe in game four, he has to.
Speaking of Wade, Danny Green said it best that there is something wrong with him. You can tell. He is not himself. I think he is playing a little tentative, well after game one. He has been struck with injuries this season so maybe one has come back and is taking the best of him.
I think LeBron should of kept his mouth shit about being 20, 40, 50 times better. He has gone the opposite way for 2007.
The Spurs will continue to go under screens on LeBron to dare him to take jumpers. I am wth you thought, having the body as he does, you would think he could easily get into the lane.
Neal after having a good shooting night tends to go the other way too. Do you feel he will continue his good shooting tonight?
Jun 11, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) shoots against San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the fourth quarter of game three of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT
JD: Wade’s been playing with that knee bone bruise for awhile now, and the only way it gets better is with rest. I know he’s in serious pain out there, but if Wade refuses to use it as an excuse, I’m not either. He just simply has to play better and it starts on defense. He leaves Green open every time, and seems to only show up on offense when he has to bail out LeBron. The best thing I’ve seen on Twitter, and it was from a Heat writer, was a tweet about him trashing “Dwayne” Wade, with a follow up saying, “Yeah I spelled it Dwayne…he gets the y back where he wants it when he isn’t an ass****.” So injury or not, he’s been as frustrating as LeBron.
I want to say no, but with Miami’s defense, you never know. I actually think it’s the other guys that step up tonight. Ginobili and Bonner missed all six of their three’s, which were wide open. They can’t be happy with that and getting benched. But if Miami comes out as aggressive on defense as I think they will, maybe Neal and Green will have to duplicate Game 3 in some form or fashion.
MR: Now we come to predictions I feel that the Spurs have The Heat right where they want them. Miami now has to worry about other players on the Spurs than stopping just Tony Parker.
San Antonio wins this by 10.
What say you?
JD: I can’t say it enough. Miami hasn’t lost consecutive games since January. And they’ve answered every playoff loss with a double-digit win. I think one of those streaks ends tonight. I want to pick the Spurs, because they know this is their chance to bury Miami. But I’m going with the Heat in a close one. LeBron finally looks like the four-time MVP and Miami wins, 93-87.
MR: I sure hope you are wrong about that final. You will receive all sorts of hate mail in your inbox, and that is just going to come for me. Thanks for your time John.