Friday, June 21, 2013

Spurs - Heat Game Seven: Boots Up

This Was Awesome.
Jokes and what it all means later; game diary now. It's gonna go long and sloppy.

No Julia Dale jokes tonight. THIS IS GAME SEVEN, DAMMIT. The pre-game highlight reel seems preordained for a Heat win; alert the conspiracy theorists! LeBron James enjoys calling his teammates Dog, and being filmed while being inspirational. Man, do I hate this trend in sports. Blame Ray Lewis and Drew Brees.

The refs blow the opening tip. CONSPIRACY! Danny Green misses, but steals it from a poor Mario Chalmers pass. Chalmers gets it back, but James can't convert and probably gets away with a missed turnover. Dwyane Wade misses from distance; Manu Ginobili tries to find Tim Duncan on a dangerous pass, and Chris Bosh picks up a foul. Weak first minute. Tony Parker gets to the rim on Mike Miller and scores. James converts off a deep pass. Duncan tips in Green's miss as James misses a steal, then steals and goes the ungainly distance. 6-2 Spurs. Bosh misses from the top of the key, but Parker misses a floater badly. Manu gets a weak call as James bodies him down low. Both teams look a little spent and tentative. A Chalmers make, and then another near steal and foul. Manu gets to the rim but can't finish; that's what happens now. Chalmers is stopped by Ginobili and hits the backboard. Ginobili hits a three, and that's kind of huge. Miller's jumper stays out, and Kawhi Leonard bulls his way to the cup. 11-4 Spurs, and Miller misses a bad long three. Manu misses a reasonable look, and Leonard can't convert the o-board. James with the hold and miss jumper; what you want him to take. Wade cross Manu and gets his second, and he might have been set up by Bosh. James gets to the line off good Wade penetration deep in the clock. He makes both, and it's 11-6 in what feels like the first 40 seconds of the 15th round of a heavyweight fight. Everyone looks a little spent, and Miami is playing that low commitment offense that makes them vulnerable. They also haven't forced the turnovers that make them go.

Leonard's three stays out, Wade hurts Gary Neal in the post for an easy one. Neal another miss, but Wade turns it. Bosh blocks Parker for the chasedown block. Leonard for a nice sneaky inbounds hoop. Duncan blocks Bosh as the tin, but the Spurs can't convert, and Wade gets another to go. 13-10, Heat, but Duncan feeds Diaw down low; great pass. Ray Allen can't get a call on Leonard, but sloppy ball-handling in the half court gives it back. James settles for mid-range on Diaw and misses. The Spurs run, but Parker isn't getting by guys tonight. Manu back in with two fouls. Chris Anderson owns Duncan for a block, but Chalmers turns it back on bad Globetrottery. Duncan owns Anderson but can't get the roll; Diaw gets the board, but Ginobili's third turnover of the game ends that. After six games of beautiful basketball, ugliness is taking over, or maybe just over the top fatigue. At least it's close. 15-10 Spurs.

Shane Battier in and gets the three; big shot, and bigger when Ginobili misses. Anderson tips in a Miller miss and it's tied. Neal misses and the Heat look runnerish, as Battier Dukes Diaw into a weak call. Battier hits off an Allen pass, and that's an 8-0 Heat run with Parker and Duncan (and Wade) away. Leonard drives on James and gets a call for the push, but he misses one as ESPN fellates him. James holds for one, and Chalmers can't make; Anderson's tip is clearly after the buzzer. Heat 18, Spurs 16, Artistry 0. If we can't get great basketball, at least give us close basketball.

Doris Burke no longer asks Popvich questions, which is sad; I enjoy him when he's rude. Green misses a three, and he was blanketed. Loose ball foul on Tiago Splitter as Anderson sells it. Battier hits a third three, and he's the MVP now. Well, he might be the only guy on the floor who is fresh. Splitter misses and looks awful doing it. Wade turns it, and Parker gives us his first flash on a nice layup. Neal forces and Allen turnover, Splitter gets a great feed from Parker for the dunk, and we're back to a 1-point game. Looks like everyone is saving Overdrive Effort for the fourth quarter to me.

Duncan's second foul, stays on the court. Miami plays volleyball until Chalmers can get to the rim, and that's a game changing possession. Parker blocked, but he gets a crafty entry at the cup, and draws the call on Bosh. Parker spins in both, and Wade gets them right back. Leonard gets to the lane and doesn't get the and-one. Green misses a runner, and he's looking over-matched. Parker gets one in the lane, but Wade gets it back. Bosh gets his third. I miss a few perfunctory minutes, and get back to see James make a three. Green gets two free throws, and Leonard gets his 10th board as the Spurs sag off James and make him a shooter only. Duncan finishes to tie it, then the same thing happens; James miss from deep, Spurs run and fun. Manu gets to the line on another Haslem foul, and makes both for a lead. Wade makes in the lane to go to 12, and he might be the best Heat player tonight so far. Parker with a couple of makes as the Spurs continue to live at the line. 13 to 1 FTs for the Spurs in this quarter. Wade misses, but James skies for the board and tip. Green misses, and is now 0 for 5 from the floor. Wade makes from mid range, Green misses from 60 feet, and the half ends with a 2 point Heat lead. If you skipped out on watching the half, you really didn't miss much.

As school is out, I get to wallow in the ESPN halftime show, and at least they keep it about this game for once. Spurs shot 35% from the floor in a road Game 7 and are only down two; hard to do, but the Spurs are up 15 to 3 on FTs. And they wouldn't be down at all if it weren't for Battier. Why doesn't every player just be more aggressive? It solves everything!

Leonard with a board on defense, than a jump hook on offense. As the series goes on, he just keeps looking better and better. Chalmers gets a runner to take back the lead. Leonard on Miller is Iso Hell for the Heat, and I'm not sure Miller can defend anyone in black. Old school three, but a FT miss; tie game again. Miller misses from the arc as ESPN gets into the weeds of how Leonard has big hands. James has all day to hit a three off chaos, and makes. Manu with a nifty make off Fake Chaos; Duncan throws amazing screens. Chalmers goes on Parker and gets to the line, but misses one. 2 point Heat lead. Leonard makes as the Heat stupidly double Manu outside. Chalmers misses, but Green makes a terrible turn in transition, and the James-Wade Highlight Dunk is inevitable. Green wilting in the Game Seven spotlight; if only he was man enough to Be More Aggressive!

Duncan over Bosh; that works until he gets tired, clearly. Tie game. Chalmers is awkward and misses on a three. Green front rims a clean look, and Wade turns it while snarling at Bosh. Green gets trapped, and Parker calls a 20 to avoid a turnover. Halfway through the third, and we've got a close game that has felt like all prelude so far. Duncan with a look down low, but Wade alters it; best shot blocker ever for a 2-guard. Deep clock and a Green miss; not good. Wade makes to re-take the lead, and Miami looks run-ish. Leonard's three stays out, but Green gets the easy board and clean look from the arc; it finally goes in. Chalmers with a careless turn with his foot out of bounds. Green out, Diaw in, bad Spurs possession ends with Parker turning it. James makes his fourth triple, and that's very worrisome for the Spurs. Parker front rims from mid-range, but the Spurs get the board. Bosh gets away with a goaltend on Parker's next drive, and Neal fouls James to stop Transition Train from converting. James makes again from the arc, 5 point Heat lead and Danger Time... so Leonard makes an absurdly good drive and back to the hoop lay up. Allen with the foul, Leonard with the make. 2 point Heat lead. James now feeling it; drives on Leonard and gets the call. The best player in the world is playing like it. Two makes and the lead is four. Diaw makes a three, and that's found money. James doesn't get the roll on a long deuce, and Diaw feeds Duncan as they charge at him; make at the rim gives the road team the lead again. We just saw Diaw stop a run more or less by himself, and I'd like to remind the world that he couldn't get playing time for the worst team in recent NBA history, before he found his way to Popovich. Money time as the pressure mounts.

Leonard steals it from Chalmers, and Manu with the good body control to get to the line on Anderson. If Manu had played this well in Game Six, there would not have been a Game Seven. Miami can't keep the shot clocks running, because everything about Florida is horrible. But that does give us the chance to see Bill Russell yawn. Two makes, 3 point Spurs lead, 7-0 run. James makes the too-easy pull-up, and he has 28. Neal misses, and Diaw is called for a clear out foul. Allen misses from deep. Neal misses in return. James with a hop in his step, but can't make. Neal with a running hook. Good Heat ball movement ends in a Battier three; resurgence in a big way for him tonight. Manu with a great make. Chalmers banks in a 30-footer at the buzzer to give the Heat a 1-point lead, and this is the series everyone has loved. Big action, back and forth, no team ever leading by more than seven. Heat 72, Spurs 71.

Erik Spoelstra, shockingly, talks about defense. Duncan and Parker out as per usual, but no Splitter. Battier makes his fifth -- good grief -- and he's been absurd. Duncan right back in early. Manu misses from the arc. James misses at the end of a bad Heat possession. Manu misses another three, but Leonard with the putback. Chalmers misses an easy one, but Anderson gets the board and call on Duncan, his third. Anderson gets one, 3 point Heat lead, Parker back in. Leonard gets a call on James as Heat Fan cries. Spurs turn it on Manu's third foul; poor pick and roll execution. Heat showing tons of hops on the o-board, with Wade and James taking turns; a great block by Duncan goes for naught. The MVP gets a call on Leonard and makes one, but the second is negated on a lane violation by Birdman. Super ragged Spurs possession ends in a jump ball, Parker on Wade, Miami wins that all day. Leonard saves a transition hoop. Spurs look spent to me. James to Battier, and he finally misses; Leonard's 11th board. Parker runs, gets it to Duncan for a clever make. Once again, the Spurs claw the casket open. It's what they do. 2 point Heat lead.

Chalmers finds a wide-open lane, takes, makes. Green misses from the arc. Chalmers misses from the corner. Green turns it, Wade hurt on the play, and I'm sorry, UNC fans, but Green vs. Battier tonight is a TKO for Duke. Odd clear path call with Wade crawling on the floor, and it's overturned. Wade wants Duncan, and makes over him, 6 point Heat lead. Manu with a careless turnover, and Popovich looks ready to strangle him. Bosh with a moving screen, his fourth, and his terrible game is the only thing keeping the Spurs close right now. Manu with another tough runner, again with the casket thrown off. Bosh turns it, so does Manu. Ye gads. James on Duncan, makes over him. That's becoming a meme. 6 point Heat lead, 5:37 left.

Duncan on Bosh, can't make, Manu with the loose ball foul. This doesn't work in the fourth, especially when Bosh can foul without calls. Bosh's three is terrible, and the Spurs run. Duncan gets to the lane where Chalmers hacks him. These are must makes, and Duncan gets both. James with Hero Ball, and it works from deep. Ginobili hits a rainbow three, then Green steals one, but misses a tying three attempt. Miami looking a little rattled. James misses the long three. Parker misses, Duncan boards, but turns it; ends in a Battier three. It should be a kill shot, but the Spurs just run back, get Duncan on Bosh, and it's an old-school three. The guts of this Spurs team, just unreal. Bosh's fifth foul, a get even for the one that was missed. Three point game, and Spoelstra calls time. 3:06 left as everyone in the building could use a new pair of underwear.

This. Is. Awesome.

Battier feeds Wade, a big make. Spurs ragged, Duncan misses as the refs won't foul out Bosh on something marginal. Kill shot potential here. James on Leonard, can't get it. Green boards. Leonard nails a three, and every time this seems like it might end, the Spurs claw back. Chalmers nearly makes on a bad reach by Green, bail out foul. Mario can't get the first, and that's big; also the second, and Bosh blows the board. Leonard goes for a go-ahead three, but it rings off and out of bounds.

The end of game is so fast, I can barely stand it.

Wade goes Hero Ball and misses; terrible. James skies for the board and feeds Battier, whose killshot three stays out. Manu boards, nearly turns it on a killshot James steal, but Green gets it up court. He doesn't take an open three, because there are 40 seconds left in an NBA Championship Game. Instead, Duncan gets it down low and misses from five feet. and a tip, against Battier. I'm so sad for him. Sincerely. Heat ball with 39 seconds left and a lead.

James runs clock, makes a 20-footer like the season isn't riding on it. Cotton. Four point Heat lead with 27.9 left. James with 35/12/4. Dagger, dagger, dagger.

Parker on the bench. Wow. Ginobili turns it, and unless Parker's no longer able to walk, I don't get that move. As for Manu making the turnover, well, that's what happens with him now. James with the easy makes, Parker back on the court, so that's just Popovich out-thinking himself. Manu misses by five feet from 30, and that should be that. Green fouls. Wade makes one, Battier tips it, Miami runs out the clock, and that's that. Miami's won in seven.

Well, this played out exactly as I predicted, but I'd rather I was wrong. Wade cites this as the hardest series they've ever had to play, and I wonder if that includes ones that he's lost.

More later. I need to clear this diary up and get to shorter and punchier things. But again, what a series, what a playoff, what a game. My favorite sport.

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule