Congratulations to the heat. Despite achieving another of his lofty goals, LeBron will go on this summer thinking about nothing but basketball, as evidenced by this marvelous video.

That looks familiar. Oh yeah, cause I already did it, before widespread high definition. Oh and feel free to comment about the guy that appears at 1:02. People can't seem to wrap their heads around it:

Oh, and Fuck you, Ray Allen. That is all.

Kawhi Leonard showcases his likability by throwing down a monster dunk and smacking Mike Miller in the face simultaneously.

Battier must've been eating his turd sandwich on the bench, because he flashed a shit eating grin after lucking into a 3 off the backboard.

Mario Chalmers is having a huge 1st quarter...

The first quarter comes to a close with Diaw blocking James violently. Yes, you read that right.

Duncan is having no trouble scoring on Bosh; I guess that's why they switched Birdman onto him.

Duncan misses for the 1st time tonight on his 9th attempt, and then promptly scores again.

Birdman doesn't have as much to lose as most players when diving face first into things. Still, it was pretty bold to crash into the metal stairs like that.

Duncan has half of the Spurs 50 points at halftime. I might be more concerned about what that means for a team that thrives on parity, if it wasn't so awesome.

Jeff Van Gundy just referred to Kawhi Leonard as the "long arm of the law" after his steal on Wade. Duncan followed this moment by scoring his 30th point and putting the Spurs up by double-digits.

Mike Miller starts the 4th by hitting a three with only one shoe on. Jeff Van Gundy declares that shoes are overrated.

LeBron is headbandless. He catches a elbow to the neck from Ginobili, and crumples to the ground. Moments later he's converting a left handed post move.

Apparently the headband has been holding LeBron back. He's led the Heat back to a lead without it.

Ginobili can't hold onto the ball and Parker doesn't have his shot tonight, but both of them brought their flopping game. Parker's face just got an offensive foul on LBJ's invisible elbow. Ginobili's face brought the beast out of Ray Allen's elbow earlier.

Parker whips out a 3, a steal, and a spinning jumpshot in the paint, giving the Spurs the lead in the final minute. Wow. We might be seeing those plays for the next few years.

LeBron lost the ball trying to post Parker. This might be the end people.

James loses the ball again, in confusing half shot, half pass fashion. San Antonio 28 seconds away from a championship, leading by 5. This might actually be happening.

Ray Allen demonstrating why the Heat got him in the off-season by hitting a 3 to tie the game. The Spurs allow offensive rebounds in their two final defensive sets, both with Duncan on the bench in favor of Diaw. We're going to overtime in Miami.

Bosh concludes the game with several impressive blocks... See you for Game 7.

I think we've just witnessed the formula to stopping the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs have found a way to exploit Lebron and the Heat's weaknesses. "But Jason, Lebron doesn't have a weakness...HE'S DA BEST PLAYER EVAHHHHH!!!" Yes, Lebron is by far the best player in the NBA. But there are a few weak spots in his game. Its OK, even Jordan had areas of improvement. The Death Star had that thermal exhaust port thingy. The chink in Lebron's armor is his jumpshot. It's streaky. I've said this many times in the past and I always get harsh backlash. Usually hordes of Heat fans screaming, "WHAT??? LEBRON CAN SCORE FROM ANYWHERE. UR JUST A HATER!!!" wildly tossing their heads back and forth in the air while frothing at the mouth. I'll say this, when Lebron's shot is falling, there is no man or beast that can slow him down. The problem is that it isn't consistent enough to make teams fully respect it. Most players will sag off him in anticipation of the drive. Not saying Lebron is like Rajon Rondo where defenders just look at him standing outside the paint and start laughing. He can shoot obviously. But you'd rather give him a few feet because you know he wants to drive and kick or drive and score. As a defender you'd never do that with a Kobe or a Durant for example.

Pictured: My head after the wrong people read this blog

Normally if Lebron's jumper isn't clicking it isn't a big deal because he'll drive to the lane for the much higher percentage shot. (This is exactly what he should be doing.) The problem now is that the Spurs have packed the paint and aren't letting him get to the rim. So far through three games Lebron has averaged 16.6 points per game on 38% shooting. That’s pretty far off from his regular season average of 26.8 points on 55% shooting or 26.2 points on 51% shooting for the first three rounds of the playoffs. Lebron isn't even getting to the free throw line anymore. Just two attempts per game vs. a bazillion against any other team. The most glaring stat is the fact that Lebron is 7 of 30 on shots from outside the paint. It’s a very small sample size. But I don't think it's an anomaly. The Spurs are starting off playing man to man, and whoever is covering James is forcing him into a double team after a few dribbles which is making him pass it out to a teammate. I can't give Popovich all of the credit however. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are really smart defenders. They're making James run into the double team, they know when to sag off on the perimeter, and when he does get to the rim, they jump straight up to contest the shot without fouling. Those things are hard to coach and take instincts that a lot of players lack.

big 3
And then Lebron said, "Hey Manu, I cant wait to drop 30 on your old ass."

So, the first step in extinguishing the Heat is turning Lebron into a jumpshooter. The second step is to close out on the perimeter shooters. If Lebron runs into a high double team, his first instinct is to pass. The problem for most defenses is that Lebron is able flick a laser beam of a pass to a teammate so fast that no defender could possibly recover. There really isn't much you can do about that other than make sure a guy like Birdman isn't sliding along the baseline for an easy dunk. (This really hurt the Pacers.) Last night Matt Bonner left Mike Miller wide open for a three. Gregg Popovich called timeout on the next possession and ripped Bonner's head off for missing his assignment. That’s because if you can't close out on the Heat's role players or they just happen to be on fire like Mike Miller has been, then you'll have a hard time beating them. In game one Miami shot 30% from beyond the arc. In game two, they shot 52% and blew the doors off of San Antonio. Last night they shot 50% but thats because Mike Miller went 5 of 5. Other than that, Lebron made one, Cole made one, and James Jones made one in garbage time.

james jones
 "Yeah, keep laughing. At least I have more points in the Finals than T-Mac."
The next step is to use size to your advantage. Miami doesn’t have a center so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see Roy Hibbert and the Pacers dominate inside. Battier pretends to be a power forward, Bosh and Birdman pretend to be centers, and Joel Anthony pretends to be an NBA player. Tim Duncan averaged a little over 9 boards a game for the first three series. Now, against Miami he’s snatching down 13 per contest. Kawhi Leonard was a modest rebounder prior to this series. 5.9 a game for the playoffs. Have you checked the box scores lately? Miami is allowing him to get 12 rebounds per game. He’s like the Klumps at an all you can eat buffet. Didn’t catch that reference? He’s like Eddy Curry at an all you can eat buffet. James, a small forward, is the Heat’s leading rebounder. I don’t care how great a player is, it’s never good thing when one player is forced to be the best scorer, rebounder, passer, and defender.

bosh begging
 "C'mon bro. Lemme get this next rebound. Bron keeps yelling at me"
The last key step is something very few teams are able to pull off. Even when not playing Miami, they seem to struggle with it. Passing the ball. San Antonio knows how to swing the ball around the perimeter until they find an open man. When they do this, not even an athletic team like Miami can keep up. One of the first lessons you learn when playing organized basketball as a youngster is “The ball will always move faster than the man.” The Spurs unselfishly shares the ball at the tune of a league’s best 25 assist per game during the regular season. Ball rotation is simply a must against the Heat defense. They’re lethal at pick n roll defense and it shows. Parker had a good game one, but failed to make an imprint during the next two. The picks would leave him still outside the lane. And his drives would result in wild flails at the rim. Passing is one of the key weapons Dallas used to take down Miami in the 2011 NBA Finals. Danny Green and Gary Neal feasted on open three pointers yesterday. Those shots will be there as long as San Antonio stays the course.

green u mad
Other than the standard things that teams need to do in order to win games, (Cut down on turnovers, don’t allow second chance points, and make open threes) the Spurs have found a solid four step process to beat the Heat. This isn’t a prediction that San Antonio will win the next two games and actually beat Miami. In fact Lebron could (and probably should) channel his inner Kobe and shoot himself into a good rhythm despite how many mid range shots he misses. It’s the only way he’ll be able to consistently score 25 or more against this team. With Tony Parker apparently questionable for game 4, the series could be knotted up 2-2 after tomorrow. I still can’t tell which way this tree will fall. But if San Antonio wins the championship, I hope the narrative will be about what the Spurs were able to do rather than what the Heat weren’t able to do.

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...

Enjoy your view, LeBron?

Seemingly every media outlet that didn't just post a video of exploding heads had the Heat winning this series. That probably has a lot more to do with them and a lot less to do with the teams involved. However, those outlets have forgotten one thing: these are the fucking Spurs we're talking about.

The Spurs demonstrated just that by winning Game 1. Since this series is played in a 2-3-2 format, that gives them home court advantage and an excellent chance at having the Heat on the ropes by Game 5. Still, this thing is far from over; you might remember that the Thunder won Game 1 last year, and across the nation eulogies were being written for the Heat, just as they are now.

The truth is, the Spurs won this one narrowly, and overcame Heat advantages in shooting percentage, rebounding, and total assists. Strangely enough, one of the few areas the Spurs had an advantage at was the free throw line (which really messes with my belief in Stern conspiracy theories *). The Spurs also forced more turnovers, showing again their uncanny ability to beat teams at their own game.

* Stern's probably just luring us into a false sense of serenity before rigging a more important game.

Then there was this:

I know you've probably already seen it, several times at that, but with a shot like that, you can probably stand to see it several times more. It was such an incredible shot that most of what I've read this morning focused entirely on it, seemingly forgetting that 48 minutes had been played leading up to it, or that the Spurs already had a lead.

It was one hell of a shot, but the name of this site is Basketbawful, so let's focus on some of the Bawful from last night, shall we...

Chris Bosh: Oh yeah. You knew it was coming. How long can a power forward jack up threes, even if he hits a few, before he has a game like this. All of a sudden, he's knocking on the doors of exile, as editorials across the nation are clamoring for him to be expelled from South Beach. 5 rebounds (13 less than LeBron) and shooting 6-16 for 13 points is not good, but it's the 0-4 from downtown that really stands out. None of the ones I saw were corner threes either (you know, the kind he occasionally hits). For the record, Bosh actually attempted the same number of threes as Ray Allen. The only difference was that Ray hit 3 of his.

Boris Diaw: Parker's bosom buddy spent about 9 minutes on court and made his only shot. So why is he here? It's because he spent most of that time guarding LeBron James, which invariably resulted in a surge for the Heat. Normally, when something like this happens, it's the coach's fault, and if it had been, I dunno, Scottie Brooks's decision, it'd probably be his name at the beginning of the entry; but it wasn't Scottie Brooks's decision, it was Gregg Popovich's. Therefore, I'm pretty much assuming that it was some sort of brilliant mind game.

The Heat: They lost a game where, even if only for a couple of minutes, LeBron James was being guarded by Boris Diaw. I'm at a loss for words.

LeBron's ankles:

How could I resist? This play was so pretty, it almost feels like the reason gifs were invented.

Thanks for the link Raza.

Cory Joseph: Joseph missed his lone field goal attempt in 2 minutes and 14 seconds, christening the Finals lacktion section on behalf of the Spurs.

It's official. The 2013 NBA Finals have their finalists. I could attempt to write something intelligent, analyzing the participants, or perhaps predicting the results. Somehow, that doesn't feel right for this situation. So instead, I'm just going to post this 5 minute long video of peoples' heads exploding.


Feel free to comment with your own predictions, or just joyfully experience the sight of human heads violently bursting open over and over...