LBJ found a view he likes

We all knew vengeance was on its way, yet the Spurs were still nursing a lead with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. A Danny Green floater put them up 62-61. It was his 6th make in 6 attempts, and his first from within the arc, giving him 17 points on the evening. Unfortunately for the Spurs, Green's hot shooting night had come to a close, and their fortunes were sealed up with him. Green's 17 led the team, and the next highest scorer was Parker, who needed 14 shots for 13 points. Duncan stopped at 9 points, and Ginobili only made it as far as 5.

When the 3rd quarter ended, the Heat were up by 10. LeBron James was having a terrible night by his standards, and remained stalled at 8 points. That wouldn't last long.

Only a couple minutes into the 4th, LeBron had one of those signature stretches where he does a bit of everything. From 9:18 to 7:13 he got free for a layup, blocked Splitter emphatically, assisted on a Ray Allen 3, dunked, grabbed a board, and hit a three of his own. After his three, the Heat had a 27 point lead and the Spurs had emptied their bench.

Spoelstra let his starters play with their food a little longer, and then Rashard Lewis was subbed in at the 5 minute mark, officially signifying the end of competition.

The Spurs have some serious concerns facing them, but even in the face of adversity, Tim Duncan showed why you can't spell Big Fundamental without Fun.

You have a bee on your face! Just kidding.

Bosh for his part was not terrible in this contest. Sure his 12 points paled in comparison to the output of Mario Chalmers, but he shot well and grabbed 10 boards. Actually, horrifyingly enough, all Heat players were left looking up at Chalmers, who led the team with 19 points. It seems that the Onion article, Mario Chalmers Under Impression Heat Need Him to Step up in Playoffs was more accurate than they ever intended.

Even more alarming for the Spurs than making Chalmers look good, as much as that's possible, is the rapid deterioration of Ginobili. Once an essential catalyst for their playoff fortunes, Manu is looking less integral with every possession lately. Since the Western Conference Finals, he's scored in single digits more often than double, and the only time he's reached 20 points in these playoffs the Spurs lost by 10 to Golden State. Simply put, the Spurs appear able to succeed more or less without him, but they can't really succeed with him sucking it up, which was precisely what happened in Game 2.

According to the box-score, he only turned the ball over 3 times, but this seemed to be a much more common occurrence while watching the game. Maybe this was accentuated by most of the turnovers coming right after his signature behind the back dribble, which used to mean trouble for the opposition, but last night mostly meant that several Spurs would be diving to the floor, trying to keep the Heat from turning a loose ball into a fast break.

Even so, it could be worse for the Argentine. Tracy McGrady, who's a year younger than Manu, still hasn't scored in the playoffs (or for that matter in a Spurs uniform). Not surprisingly, last night marked the longest time he's spent on the court for his new team, so I suppose this could become a silver lining if the Heat continue to dominate.

My favorite part was obliterating the opponent

This was the Spurs worst loss in the Finals since their Game 4 shellacking at the hands of the Pistons, which isn't all that surprising considering that they swept the Cavs. Game 3 is tomorrow in San Antonio, and should go a long way in determining what kind of series this will be...

Anonymous Shiv said...
Splitter doesn't get a bawful mention for ending up on the wrong end of a poster even at the right end of the court?

Anonymous Stockton said...
Start working on that piggyback article...


Blogger Barry said...
Man, 7 of 21? That's Kobe Bryant territory!

Blogger Wormboy said...
Best image of my entire basketball fan life: