Anything you can do, we can do better. That was the emphatic statement that the San Antonio Spurs left the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
Miami’s 103-84 win on Sunday was bettered last night by the Spurs as they shot the lights out thanks to sublime passing and picking the right spots. The Heat’s perimeter defence is usually as strong as anyone in the NBA. The Spurs were simply just too good on this night.
Gary Neal and Danny Green went a combined 13/19 from three-point land with the latter leading all scorers with 27 points. Everything that these two let fly; landed. And the Heat let that happen. The Spurs’ three-point onslaught in summery was that Miami conceded a finals record 16 long-range bombs and could have had more. Even James was helpless as Green wasn’t intimidated by the sight of LeBron charging towards him, going for the block, as another three went in.
For me though, the key player was Kawhi Leonard. Now any key to a game against Miami Heat is to limit LeBron James as much as possible. A job easier said than done. The responsibility of guarding the best player on the planet is something you take more seriously than your own marriage.
Leonard’s patience, good hands and overall movement, defensively on James has been first class, especially in game three where he held LeBron to 7/21 from the field. He was harassed everywhere he went and the others couldn’t step up and help like in game two.
PARKER: A POSSIBLE GAME FOUR DOUBT?
The French guard came off in the second quarter as he continues to fight hamstring problems. Parker will go for a MRI scan on Wednesday [today] and we’ll know from there. TalkBasket will let you know his status for game four.
SUPER MARIO: A MERE CAMEO? (CORNY RHYME)
Mario Chalmers had 19 points and led the Heat in game two. For a player who thrives in the big game situation, he was nowhere to be seen in Texas. 0/5 from the field as Super Mario ended the game scoreless. For me, and I was glad that NBA.com noted this in their game notes, I felt Chalmers had the ball in his hands way too much in the third. He almost looked nervous out there, something you don’t associate with Heat’s number 15.
The Heat, for all their superstar power were simply out-gunned out of the AT&T Center. They now have the embarrassing honour of having a record amount of three-pointers made scored on them, being on the wrong end of a 36-point loss, which is the third largest losing margin in Finals history. I won’t go on.
I will say that game four will be interesting, to see how Miami respond, mainly. They’ve now witnessed how the Spurs react to a thrashing, now it’s their turn. I said that game three would pivotal, and I think it is. The Spurs are in the driving seat and Miami have to respond against perhaps the strongest team they have ever faced in the post-season in the ‘big 3’ era.
If the Spurs win game four. As good as the Heat are, there will be no hope for them.