Monday, June 17, 2013


NBA Finals 2013: Heat and Spurs

There are many factors that contribute to winning basketball. If the end result is that you score more points than your opposition, you are in pretty good shape.


For the San Antonio Spurs, the emphasis is on speed. And more speed. They realized from the outset that they had to come up with something to counter attack the most powerful offence in the National Basketball Association. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh were expected to lead the Miami Heat to their second straight championship.


The Heat began well, cruising to victory in the first game at home. Then, I believe that nasty bugbear called overconfidence came into play. The Spurs dug deep, and took the second game in Miami. The Finals then swung over to San Antonio for the next three games.


Home court advantage is more important in basketball than in all of the other major sports. The crowd virtually sits on the court, and they can cause a ruckus equal to the furor experienced nightly in the Madhouse on Madison, home of the Black Hawks. The Spurs won the third game at home, then dropped the fourth, Series tied two-two.


The Spurs knew that the fifth game was important. Tim Duncan, the perennial all star on the Spurs termed the game critical to the success of his team. The final two games of the Series will be played in Miami, and winning two straight on South Beach was not an option.


So it was run and gun for the Spurs, with Duncan working the post, and Tony Parker knifing through to the basket. Manu Ginobli also stepped up his game---big time.


Starting for the first time this season, Ginobli potted 24 points, and added 10 rebounds. At 35 years of age, he may be nearing the end of his career. He plays year round, fulfilling a major role as the key person on Argentina’s national team. Only once before in his NBA career did Ginobli have such a great game.


Danny Green also added to the Spurs offense. He knocked down six three-point shots, to break the previous record of Ray Allen, who now plays for the Heat. It was the remarkable outside shooting that kept Miami off guard, and allowed the Spurs to win.


The Spurs also benefited from a few critical rolls at the rim. Both Ginobli and Parker drove near the basket, avoided a wall of defenders, and elected to throw up teardrop shots which found their way through the hoop. Somewhat unconventional, but effective.



At this juncture, I would not count out the Heat. LeBron knows what needs to be done: “Getting in the paint. (Under the basket.) I think, between the two of us, (LeBron and Wade), we probably missed 12 layups tonight. Transition layups that we usually convert.”


Wade also noted a reason for the loss: “They continue to have great starts. We continue to start slow. We used so much to get back, and they continued to keep coming to us.”


There will be fireworks in Miami this week. Worth a look!



James Hurst

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