Sunday, June 15, 2014

Heat - Spurs Game Five Takeaways: Follow Someone Else's Lead

This Is My Happy Face
Prior to tonight's game, the hype machine was about how someone has to be the first team to come back from 3-1 down, but the fact that the Spurs spent the last two games whistling "Sweet Georgia Brown" on Miami's home court did not inspire confidence. In any event, there's no more pro hoop before Halloween, so let's get into this one with too much detail in the Takeaways...

> LeBron James tells his teammates to follow his lead by saying inspiring things in front of a live mic

> Ray Allen in for Miami, which would be fine if he were a point guard or young

> Dwayne Wade with the first make, and that's encouraging for drama's sake

> Allen with a strip leading to a James flush, and Miami looks much more energetic early

> Tim Duncan with a miss of a too-open shot, and then Tony Parker does the same, and hmm...

> Actual nastiness in a floor melee -- interesting

> Duncan campaigns and does not get a call, followed by a James flush, and it's 8-0 for the road team

> Manu Ginobili in early and misses, James with a 3 coming back, and wow, the Spurs aren't moving the ball well

> Kawhi Leonard with the first make of the game, a three, with five minutes in -- big shot to stop the bleeding

> Rashard Lewis with a 3 with Chris Bosh driving and oddly dishing when defended by Parker

> Miami's on the ball pressure is just night and day from Games 3 and 4, but it takes a lot of energy to play this way

> James with absurd separation speed past Ginobili for another transition hoop, and the Spurs are yelling at refs, never a good sign

> 19-5 after six minutes is not exactly according to the script that said this was over

> Gregg Popovich goes to the subs, as is he is want to do when the starters do not produce

> James' second block of the game is crazy athletic

> Allen with a three, and he's your designated savior so far

> Ginobili with the old-school three to answer, a lifeline

> Shane Battier and Manu Ginobili get into some awkward weirdness as both men try to flop first

> Patty Mills playing downright disrespectul defense on Allen, leading to a miss and a Leonard three to cut the lead to 7

> Allen misses again and again, and it's telling that Miami is going down with the old guys that used to help

> Mills gets a soft roll in 3, 12-0 Spurs run, and this all feels inevitable

> James with an absurd end of clock 30-footer to stop the bleed

> Norris Cole in for Mario Chalmers, and wow, how the mediocre have fallen

> James with two makes, and that's 17 and 6 in 10 minutes - ye gads

> Danny Green with the transition 3 miss in the 2-for-1 choice, and that shot was going down earlier in the series

> Cole gets bailed out by the refs, and feel free to start thinking conspiratorial thoughts

> Leonard draws the second on Battier, who looks all kinds of spent

> James misses from 30, amazingly, and it's 29-22 Heat after the first

> As better as the Heat looked in the first, it's really asking a lot for James to be this absurdly good for 11 more quarters to suck out a series win

> Boris Diaw with the great pass and flush for Leonard to start the second, and it's telling that the Heat stars are in during what is usually benchie time

> Leonard over James to cut it to 3, and yeah, Young Buck's a coming

> Wade with a long make, and they need a lot more of that

> Green with another open corner miss, and that sort of thing is going to keep Miami hoping

> Chris Anderson ends a Parker drive, and that's shot blocking the Heat haven't had all series

> Parker now 0 for his first 6, not exactly his usual standard

> Green misses from five feet, and it's kind of amazing that the Spurs are only down 7 while shooting this badly

> James tries to pass rather than drive on Duncan, leading to a turnover -- telling

> Bosh misses the too-open 3 with no Heat player in any position to get a board, also known as why I hate it when 4's shoot 3's

> Duncan shakes Udonis Haslem, because, um, that should always happen

> Wade draws on Belinelli, and gets both to fall, which hasn't been the case very often in the dotage of his career

> Haslem blocks Duncan, but Timmy's got enough wherewithal to get a miss on the rim to continue the possession, leading to a Belinielli deuce -- um, he's heady and stuff

> Duncan owns Hawlem again, cutting the lead to 3, and no, Erik Spoelstra, your spirit animal can't play against Duncan

> Allen with the offensive foul turnover, leading to the old-school Duncan three to tie it, but Timmy misses the FT

> Spur defense picking up fast, as James drives and can't finish; Leonard's answering three is the Spurs' first lead

> Really did not think San Antonio could play this level of defense

> Mills with a killshot three, but it stays out

> Lewis with an airball from the corner three, and he's spent

> Ginobili with the super-pretty drive and reverse, and that's another Heat timeout

> Wade with a cheap shot push-off that Mills sells it for all that he's worth

> Miami with six points in nine minutes of the second quarter, and that's Game Four all over again

> Bosh misses the open three, Ginobili skies to make the lead seven, and seriously, no one knew he could still do that

> James with a fade and make to stop a 14-0 run

> Miami's defense worse now, and Ginobili makes the heat check three

> Bench scoring is 22-2 Spurs, and yup, that's kind of important

> James misses and makes at the line to cut it to 7

> Diaw misses an easy floater, Wade gets one to roll in, back to 5

> Diaw's drive and make goes this time, easy ball movement, unlike the first quarter

> James misses the 3, Parker misses to go 0 for 7, but San Antonio is so complete, they are still up 7

> Spurs getting the o-boards now as well -- fresh legs

> Diaw misses the 3, and the half ends Spurs 47-40, 25-11 in the second

> Any hope that Miami would use the break to get their legs and defensive ball pressure back left pretty quickly

> Leonard with the continuing rise and rush, and it's really getting hard to see the fourth quarter being meaningful

> Splitter with a signature block on Wade, and that had to taste good after last year

> Mills with the killshot three after that play, and the series may have just ended

> Bosh with a temporary reprieve make before Mills again hits

> Ginobili three, the lead is 21, and that will be all, Mr. James

> Chalmers and Michael Beasley in, and that's the essence of desperation right there

> Two makes by Miami gives Popovich the excuse he needs for the angry timeout

> Mills makes at the end of the clock to foil good Miami defense and keep the celebration going

> Leonard makes and the lead's back to 21 as Beasley travels

> Credit to Bosh for still fighting the good fight, even while ESPN is giving us a lesson in Aboriginal land rights

> Chalmers to the line and the lead is back down to 17, or at least would be if Mills can ever stop making open threes

> Duncan over James, who replies with a three right back

> Beasley with a nice play on Parker, but James can't keep making threes

> Parker finally gets in the scoring column in the waning moments of the third, and this really should be a full runaway by now

> James makes two, now has 27, and the Spurs lead by 19; Spurs 77, Heat 58, and if this isn't over, I'm an airplane

> Five words from Pop in the interview, he's the best

> Spurs force a 24-second violation to start the fourth, and, um, wow

> Spur crowd outraged over an out of bounds, because they are just that fully invested

> Nice and one from Beasley, which is probably going to make Popovich throw a chair; he misses the FT, of course

> James with the board, speed outlet to Chalmers, who makes and gets Leonard's fifth -- as good a sequence as Miami could hope for

> Leonard gets to the line to end that mini-run

> James owns Diaw for once and dunks, back to 14, glimmmer of drama... so Duncan with the old-school make

> Chalmers with his best game of the Finals, which is damning with no praise

> Parker makes off the terrible Bosh three attempts, the lead is back to 18 with 9 minutes left, and this is starting to get outside the realm of math

> Heat suffer a turnover out of a timeout on the inbounds, which doesn't say much for the coaching of bench players

> Beasley with the follow dunk on James' three, but loses Diaw on the resulting three-pointer

> Wade hits a three to show he's not dead yet

> Parker owns on the hesitation make, just artistry

> James makes, but trading buckets isn't cutting the lead

> Parker again, no answer for Miami on defense

> Green misses the killshot three, but it's 18 with 6:30 left anyway

> James out of the huddle and on the bench, which has to be giving his haters fresh wood

> Wade gets to the line, misses both, stick a fork in him for at least this year

> Wade to Bosh on the break, can't finish, which is the series in microcosm

> Six straight makes by Parker, who seems determined to salvage his percentages

> Beasley really looks like he could have helped his team at some point in this series, but he's hopeless on defense

> It's rare that you see garbage time with so many name players trying to make thematic points

> Wade, James and Bosh out with 3:15 left, and let the rampant and pointless speculation begin

> I'd say something about the last two minutes of game play, but why be better than the professional game coverage

> The Right Way is cited, because guys taking less money for the chance to play for a championship is clearly very, very wrong

> ESPN feels that we will never see this kind of continuity again, because the NBA doesn't copy successful formulas at all

> All four victories were by over 15 points, which didn't say much for why we watched

> The stars and coaches couldn't wait for the game to end to hug, which seemed wrong, really

> Five titles in 15 years is a very odd form of dynasty

> Leonard is your MVP, because he pl;ayed the most like LeBron for the winning team (and yeah, it's an easy choice)

> He becomes the third youngest Finals MVP in history, and um, yeah, the Spurs' window isn't exactly closed

> Honestly, this might be the Finals again next year, which means Commissioner Silver desperately needs to end the conference playoff system

1 comment:

Snd_dsgnr said...

I won't moralize here and pretend there's a right or wrong way to build a team, but I will say that the degree of difficulty on how the Spurs are put together is much higher.

I mean do you realize that Duncan is the only lottery pick on that team? They have the #1 overall pick from 17 years ago, and no one else was picked earlier than 15th. That's amazing.

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