FanDuel - WFBC

June 12, 2013

Spurs Crush Heat in Game 3: In the third-largest rout in NBA Finals history, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 113-77 and took a 2-1 series lead. The Spurs had 16 three pointers -- 13 from Danny Green and Gary Neal -- as Green scored 27 points and Neal 24, both personal playoff highs. LeBron James scored 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting and failed to reach the foul line for the first time in his Heat career. "He missed a lot of shots he normally makes," Green said of James. "LeBron is not just us stopping him. He's kind of stopped himself out there and we're getting a little lucky."

posted by rcade to basketball at 09:04 AM - 18 comments

The Heat don't win if LeBron isn't the best player on the court. He is the best player in the game today but has a few games every year where he looks disinterested. Could be the weight of having to carry his team every game.

Expect he'll be ready for Game 4.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:53 AM on June 12

Hold up, here.

We're not going to start this nonsense about James not being "clutch", "folding under pressure", right?

I mean, after last year where he pretty much carried the team on his back for the playoffs, we aren't going to drag that bullshit out into the sunlight, okay?

posted by grum@work at 11:07 AM on June 12

He is the best player in the game today but has a few games every year where he looks disinterested.

Disinterested? I didn't see that. LeBron couldn't get his jumper to fall. It happens. An average isn't a straight line it's a series of peaks and valleys. I think he did get a little spooked by it, though. The Spurs were giving him a wide open three, at a point in the game where the Heat needed to catch up, and LeBron turned it down. For better or for worse, LeBron has a conscience. He's not the type of player who's going to keep bombing away.

Last night's game though, it didn't matter. Nobody is beating the Spurs when you get 13-19 from three out of Danny Green and Gary Neal.

I'm still hesitant to bet against the Heat. They've been outplayed for all but one of the quarters in this series, but that one quarter makes me think they could just up an steamroll the Spurs at any second.

posted by tron7 at 11:51 AM on June 12

Thinking about my last comment. The Spurs are like water seeping into every crack and crevice that's overlooked but I don't see them as a team that ever really imposes their will on other teams. So I see this series as more in the Heat's hands then the Spurs. The Spurs will exploit every weakness, now how many weaknesses will the Heat show?

posted by tron7 at 12:07 PM on June 12

The Celtics had them down 3-2 last year and even then I didn't think the Celtics had much of a chance. LeBron is always the best player on the court, it just depends on whether he has support.

posted by yerfatma at 01:01 PM on June 12

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:34 PM on June 12

I don't get the LeBron hate here. Battier's hitting 1/5 shots. Wade's scored 20 or more in 2/20 games in the playoffs. Bosh has had more than 12 once in the last 7 games and is hitting nearly 10% fewer shots this postseason. If we're going to talk about a guy folding under pressure, how does Bosh escape being target #1?

There are a lot of guys who for one reason or another have played worse this postseason, but LeBron isn't one of them. They need secondary scoring in a bad way and outside of the occasional game from Chalmers, Allen and Miller, they're getting a lot less than they did all season.

The Heat absolutely can pull this series out (especially if Parker's disabled in any way) but it's going to require some combination of Wade, Bosh, Chalmers and probably Allen in addition to James to do it. He'll not get there on his own - the Spurs are too good to have one guy beat them.

Strangely enough, Chris Andersen is shooting 82% from the field this postseason. I know he collects garbage points for the most part, but his shooting volume hasn't changed, he's just converting on a ridiculously high percentage of his chances.

posted by dfleming at 03:01 PM on June 12

To extend the career logic of this NBA postseason, whereupon

- Memphis beat the Clippers, who fired their coach
- Golden State beat Denver, who fired their coach
- The Spurs beat both Golden State and Memphis, who parted ways with their coach,

Both Spoelstra and Popovich are coaching to save their jobs.

posted by beaverboard at 03:11 PM on June 12

LeBron needs to be the best player on the court for the Heat to win.

LeBron can score boatloads of points but even if he doesn't he can still lead his team by getting others involved. He missed some shots - big deal. Wade, Chalmers, Bosh can all score 20 and LeBron still needs to be their best player to win.

It was the defensive end that not just LeBron but the entire Heat squad looked disinterested. The Heat are not a great defensive team. They can cause problems for teams by hustling and using their athleticism to force bad shots. When they don't hustle they are terrible defensively.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:27 PM on June 12

LeBron is his team's leader in rebounds and assists in this series - he's getting involved all over the court. The problem is that he has created a number of open looks for people like Bosh who continually are unable to convert. Blood, stone, all of that.


I mean, even last night when he was off, he was their team's best player - only Miller had what most people would classify as a "par or better" night for the team. Leonard was able to play him hard and glue himself to him in part because nobody on the team posed a threat. He knows there's help D there if you don't have to worry about your own man.


I think at some point, LeBron goes off for 40, but unless some of those secondary guys step up and play at least to their postseason averages, it might not be enough.

posted by dfleming at 03:45 PM on June 12

World Peace agrees with me ... kind of:

"So, as a fan, sometimes to see LeBron not take over, I'm kind of like, 'Come on, let's do it.' His pops went to jail with my older brother. My brother spent 10 years in jail, they were locked up together. I'm a fan of LeBron, so I always want to see him do well and sometimes I'm like, 'Step it up! Start playing.' "

Ugh.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:10 PM on June 12

And here I was thinking that the Spurs' decision to have a second year guy, Kawhi Leonard, guarding LeBron was pretty much a concession to let him have his way on the court. Have Parker, Duncan and Ginobili guard Wade, Bosh, and anyone else who could help LeBron out; make him carry the entire weight of his team on his shoulders because we know what those results have been in the past, right?

Turns out Popovich putting Leonard on LeBron was a genius move for more direct reasons. Leonard is giving LeBron fits in the paint as well as the perimeter, and the field goal percentage last night is very telling of his defensive efforts. And when you factor in how beat up the Heat are from the Pacers series, it's looking pretty good for the Spurs to finish the series before it gets a chance to return to Miami.

Still, at least 2 games to go, and anything can happen.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:18 PM on June 12

Strangely enough, Chris Andersen is shooting 82% from the field this postseason. I know he collects garbage points for the most part, but his shooting volume hasn't changed, he's just converting on a ridiculously high percentage of his chances.

He doesn't shoot from further than four feet.

Everything's put backs and dunks.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:10 PM on June 12

Everything's put backs and dunks.

I'm not sure what your point is. Those are the only shots Chris Andersen ever takes and the only shots he should be taking. He's shown an amazing knack for timing his rim runs and it's not like those shots are easy to come by or Chris Bosh wouldn't be shooting 45% this playoffs.

posted by tron7 at 06:56 PM on June 12

And here I was thinking that the Spurs' decision to have a second year guy, Kawhi Leonard, guarding LeBron was pretty much a concession to let him have his way on the court.

Tim Duncan: "We're guarding him with five guys,"

Kawhi has been great and he's definitely A) the Spurs best defender and B) outhustling LeBron on the boards but the Spurs are taking LeBron away and making the rest of the team try and beat them.

Again though, this game wasn't lost on the offensive end for the Heat. The Spurs got silly hot and then Miami's defense just crumbled, which they do from time to time.

posted by tron7 at 07:05 PM on June 12

The Heat are not a great defensive team. They can cause problems for teams by hustling and using their athleticism to force bad shots. When they don't hustle they are terrible defensively.

I have no idea what this means. It feels like a tautology: all teams are bad defensively when they don't force bad shots. LeBron James is the best/ scariest non-center defender I've seen in 30 years of watching the NBA. Even disinterested he makes any team he's on a B+ defensively. Please don't make me defend the Heat. I hates 'em. But being negative just because they lost a game when the best team of this era (Kobe/ Shaq notwithstanding) played a great game feels like "Haters gonna hate".

posted by yerfatma at 07:31 PM on June 12

Everything's put backs and dunks.

That's the same as his regular season play - but he's hitting 25% more of those shots in the playoffs. It's a wildly high % for a nearly 20 game stretch.

posted by dfleming at 08:00 PM on June 12

I'm not sure what your point is.

Well it's not meant as a knock on the guy, because if you could make every attempt be from four feet then I don't know why you wouldn't. I just love his shot chart and the spell against Indiana where he went 16/18 and had four games with 100% shooting was bonkers.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:22 PM on June 12

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