FanDuel - WFBC

June 19, 2013

Late Comeback Keeps Heat Alive: Down by 5 with 28 seconds left, the Miami Heat accomplished an amazing comeback to force overtime and defeated the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 in game 6 of the NBA Finals. LeBron James had 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, scoring a late three-pointer in regulation and a go-ahead shot in OT. "We were a few seconds away from winning the championship and we let it go,'' Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said. A deciding game 7 occurs Thursday night.

posted by rcade to basketball at 09:35 AM - 32 comments

Was just about to hit post. The game looked so finished that many Miami fans left early. They were not allowed to return.

posted by tron7 at 09:46 AM on June 19

Miami fans suck and don't deserve good sports teams.

What a game. I was scratching my head when Spoelstra put Bosh and Wade back into the game potentially breaking up a Heat run when they appeared to finally found some chemistry. Then Popovich pulled Duncan for a small lineup and Bosh is able to dominate the boards and help defensively.

Go figure - a Hall of Fame coach made the moves that played a big part in the loss. Spoelstra deserves an award for just having to coach that group everyday, maybe he'll finally get some accolades from his peers after this game.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:08 AM on June 19

I loved the game, but the last 20 seconds were terribly officiated. San Antonio had no chance to get up a shot because they were hacked so badly on Ginobili's run into the paint and the desperate three from the corner.

posted by rcade at 10:16 AM on June 19

Putting Wade back in nearly lost them the game. The whole offense is predicated on spacing the floor but then you have Wade who just won't shoot threes and it changes the whole complexion of their attack. Don't get me wrong, Wade is a great player and you have to put him in, but it changes everything.

There's so much to talk about in this game. Bosh with ballsiest block I've ever seen. Ole One Shoe hits a three. Tim Duncan's huge 1st half. Fat Boris playing great defense on LeBron for most of the game. Kawhi Leonard has had a great series (he doesn't score in bulk but he does everything else and shows up every game). Tony Parker's huge three that will now be forgotten.

Wow. Just wow.

posted by tron7 at 10:26 AM on June 19

and the desperate three from the corner.

Here's the play in GIF form. You really want a foul called on that? If he didn't block the shot the minimal body contact might draw a foul but he completely stuffs the ball. Green's momentum and the force of the block pushed him back.

posted by tron7 at 10:44 AM on June 19

the last 20 seconds were terribly officiated

While I agree with you that the Spurs got hosed on those 2 non-calls I cannot remember the last time a visiting team got calls late in an NBA playoff game.

The Spurs know that. The Spurs cannot control that. If they hit their late free throws they win. If they rebound the ball they win.

Both teams are well aware that Game 7 will be officiated no differently and need to adjust accordingly.

You really want a foul called on that?

Yes, that's a foul.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:45 AM on June 19

Yeah, there were a couple of tackles near the end that seemed rather flagrant, but that's the home playoff game plan: commit the hard intentional foul and assume the refs remember their instructions and swallow their whistles.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:48 AM on June 19

You really want a foul called on that?

Yes. I generally like the let-them-play idea in the final seconds, but that went too far. It's not minimal body contact -- he hip checks him before blocking the shot.

If you're just going to let a defender clobber the shooter and make a shot impossible to launch, it's not fair.

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on June 19

Well, if you think he got clobbered we're not going to agree on this. I think Green was allowed to get into his shot and once he saw that it was surely going to get blocked he tried to push it through Bosh's block causing him to be pushed back. There was body contact and shooters are very protected in the NBA but I think that goes away somewhat when the shot gets blocked. It's really a unique situation because you rarely see jump shots get blocked. If you think he got clobbered then it doesn't really matter that he blocked it or not but I don't think there was as much contact as you do.

posted by tron7 at 11:43 AM on June 19

How can you not see the hip check? Here's a slower version of the animated GIF. The reason Bosh was in position to make a shot impossible was because of the strength of the collision.

I know it's close, given how the final seconds are called in the NBA, but in my opinion it was over the line.

posted by rcade at 11:50 AM on June 19

How can you consider that a hip check?

posted by tron7 at 12:03 PM on June 19

Credit Bosh with making the play. He knows that if he prevents the shot opportunity that either the foul won't get called or the shooter needs to hit all 3 free throws.

Miami had Bosh guarding Splitter as Bosh isn't known for strong defensive skills. Bosh reads the pick and switches to ________ (choose 1 of : A. make the block B. commit the foul). Either way, it's a great play by Bosh, and his 3rd great play in clutch time in the game.

How can you consider that a hip check?

You see it differently? It was a foul. Bosh makes contact with the shooter's body prior to contesting the ball.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:05 PM on June 19

On another subject, is anyone else reconsidering their decision to dislike LeBron James and the Heat? They were fun to root against after the "5, 6, 7 titles" ego explosion that followed the assemblage of their team. But at a certain point their ability to weather adversity is becoming admirable. They're on the verge of a second crown, and nobody can say it was handed to them.

posted by rcade at 12:25 PM on June 19

is anyone else reconsidering their decision to dislike LeBron James and the Heat?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: LeBron has the physical ability and skills to be the best player the game has ever seen. But he's also a media diva douchebag who loses focus on multiple occasions each game either to pose after making a play or whine about getting fouled when he doesn't make a play. Wade isn't much different.

Case in point: In game 6 LeBron had a monster 4th quarter essentially willing his team into a position to come back and win. With his team down 1 basket and less than 2 minutes left he decides that he'll use his team's timeout as an opportunity to continue whining to the referees about his last 2 missed shot attempts. Meanwhile his coach has called the timeout to discuss an offensive set where he is almost certainly the primary option ... except LeBron isn't in the huddle, he's out on the court pestering the officials. (Did I mention Spoelstra deserves a medal?)

The Heat win because they have assembled the most talent, not because they work well together as a team. They are talented enough for Wade and James to win Championships while taking plays and games off.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:11 PM on June 19

I doubt game 7 can live up to game 6 but, even if it's a bomb of a game, this has got to be one of the best finals series in a long time. Not a lot of close games but the basketball has been phenomenal. Few turnovers, clean play, and very few blown calls (last night's second half was bad but it's been the first game it's even been talked about). Add in a classic game 6 and I can't think of a better finals this century.

posted by tron7 at 01:21 PM on June 19

My dislike of the Heat is not really a "decision". It seems to be involuntary.

I admire what they accomplished last year, however.

I still hope that Duncan, the very last guy who would ever make a foolish statement that included counting rings before they were earned is able to win his not one, not two, not three, not four. I will never tire of having that nonsense stuffed back down LeBron's throat.

If the Heat win the title by virtue of having won two consecutive games and coming back from almost certain defeat in Game 6, hats off to 'em.

I'm still annoyed that I raced home to be able to catch the end of the game and arrived just in time to see Parker produce a sequence of ill-advised decisions with the ball that helped decide the outcome.

If the Heat rediscover their Godzilla potential and blow out the Spurs in Game 7, I will be disappointed.

posted by beaverboard at 01:27 PM on June 19

Living in Miami I can assure you that Miami is not a 'true' sports town. Not all but a lot of the fans here are extremely fickle and will jump on the bandwagon when things are going great but the moment things start looking bleak, they're like rats jumping ship. I'm glad that they weren't let back in, they didn't deserve to see the Heat's comeback win.

As for the game itself, it didn't quite end as I expected. With 30 seconds remaining I thought the Spurs had it in the bag but the Heat stuck in there and continued playing tough defense and made some lucky shots.

Regardless if the refs missed some calls or just put their whistles in their pockets, the end result is a game 7 that I cannot wait to see.

posted by BornIcon at 01:55 PM on June 19

If anyone wants to complain about the lack of a foul call on Ginobili's drive, feel free to point out to them that he took about four steps before getting hacked. Two wrongs made a right on that one.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:53 PM on June 19

I watched his feet on the replay. He didn't travel. Once he controls the ball he takes two steps. The first establishes the pivot foot and the second step is allowed. You can see it here.

A player who loses control of the ball while dribbling doesn't have to establish a pivot foot until he gains control of it. Ginobili loses it when he has to grab the ball like a football.

posted by rcade at 03:22 PM on June 19

Yeah, I am completely rooting for the Spurs, but I have a hard time pinning this one on the officials. Even though SA didn't take advantage of it, if I was a Miami fan you could rightfully be upset that league rules essentially gave SA a free timeout after Ray Allen's 3 pointer by checking the tape.

My impressions:


  • Far be it from me to second guess Popovich, but the fact that Miami came back because they got second chance rebounds when Tim Duncan was pulled is super painful.

  • After the incredible clutch shot by Ray Allen and the beginning of overtime, I shut off the TV because there was no question in my mind that SA was tapped out and Miami would take the game. I'm not a betting man, but I would have laid $1000 bucks on it at that moment.

  • I have a hard time seeing SA coming back from that loss. According to ESPN stats, leading by 5 points with 28 seconds to go is a 98% win probability (based on the data from the last 15 years). Hate to be Debby Downer but I would not be surprised at a Miami blowout or at least an easy victory in game 7.

posted by jeremias at 03:30 PM on June 19

At this point does it really matter if Ginobili got fouled? The refs have allowed these two teams to play ball and they haven't made any suspect calls.

This IMO has made these Finals extremely entertaining.

posted by BornIcon at 03:33 PM on June 19

The refs have allowed these two teams to play ball and they haven't made any suspect calls.

The whole point of this debate is that the last two calls were suspect.

It was an enormously entertaining game up to the final 10 seconds. Seeing a team get hacked so badly they couldn't get a shot in the air wasn't how I like to see a classic game end.

I can't argue that the outcome was undeserved, but it's a disappointment to see refs decide the game.

posted by rcade at 03:51 PM on June 19

Seeing a team get hacked so badly they couldn't get a shot in the air wasn't how I like to see a classic game end

But it's what we've come to expect from NBA officiating in the playoffs for years.

Come to think of it the last Superbowl ended with 2 consecutive suspect non-calls for pass interference. And have you watched any 3rd period or overtime NHL?

I'm all for letting the players decide the outcome, but I'm with you and not for the late game no whistle policy where the players know the rules aren't enforced.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:12 PM on June 19

On another subject, is anyone else reconsidering their decision to dislike LeBron James and the Heat? .... They're on the verge of a second crown, and nobody can say it was handed to them.

I find the heat eminently unlikeable, and I don't see that changing. I haven't been able to watch most of the games, but I saw the last 10 minutes of last nights game, and what i saw was the Spurs one free throw, one rebound, one shot from putting what should have been a victory, away.

Miami is fighting, I'll give them that. It's not being given to them, but the Spurs had the game in hand, and they gave Miami the chance to take it.

posted by justgary at 09:36 PM on June 19

On another subject, is anyone else reconsidering their decision to dislike LeBron James and the Heat? ... They're on the verge of a second crown, and nobody can say it was handed to them.

No one has ever disliked the James-Wade-Bosh Heat because they didn't win a championship. The arrogance put them in an impossible situation (of their own making) -- if they win, people hate them because they were arrogant about it; if they lose, people hate them because they were arrogant about it and couldn't back it up. Ditto the "toughness" of their win -- if they sweep, it's because they're so stacked, so it's no big deal; if they go to seven games, it's because they don't try real hard.

posted by Etrigan at 11:38 PM on June 19

I'm not a Heat fan by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm of the vast majority of people that wanted to see them fail. However, I have to admit a certain admiration of this team's "fuck you all" attitude toward the naysayers and critics who want to see them fail as miserably as possible. With the exception of the first season the "big three" were together, they've gotten the job done (note I'm writing this hours before the Game 7 tipoff). Like them or loathe them, you have to give them at least a degree of begrudging respect for the way they've buckled down and taken care of business.


-- if they sweep, it's because they're so stacked, so it's no big deal; if they go to seven games, it's because they don't try real hard.

Indiana is an up and coming team that likely put the pieces together just to match up against (and beat) Miami. Ultimately, experience won out this time but don't be surprised if the Pacers take the Heat out in next year's playoffs if they stay healthy.

posted by NerfballPro at 05:28 AM on June 20

... if they go to seven games, it's because they don't try real hard.

Anyone who could say the Heat aren't trying hard isn't watching the playoffs.

Being arrogant isn't an insurmountable problem. If someone is humbled by defeat and later triumphs, it's a narrative that people can root for. I find some admiration creeping in as I watch the Heat, even though the Spurs are easier to like.

LeBron thought the Heat were done in that timeout with 28 seconds left. You could see the dread of the you-blew-it-again aftermath in his eyes. But they got it done.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on June 20

You could see the dread of the you-blew-it-again aftermath in his eyes. But they got it done.

Because they HAD 'blown it again'. The spurs gave them a chance with missed free throws and rebounds. And that's basketball and the Heat took advantage of the chance. But this wasn't a chance where the Heat were obviously the better team and took it. The spurs just didn't get it done.

posted by justgary at 02:31 PM on June 20

You could see the dread of the you-blew-it-again aftermath in his eyes. But they got it done.

They in this case refers to Ray Allen and Chris Bosh, the 2 Heat players who kept their minds in the game and made the key plays offensively and defensively. As rcade pointed out LeBron had that 'blown it again' look about him in the timeout and his focus was on the shots he missed not on the opportunity that 28 seconds presented.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:00 PM on June 20

Zach Lowe on the Spurs 'blowing it' and luck in basketball.

That's a great article. My point wasn't so much in regards to luck or even the Spurs allowing the Heat back in the game.

Rather that the line between James ending up with a 'we blew it again' look and 'getting it done' is a rather precarious one.

posted by justgary at 03:52 PM on June 20

Yep. If Kawhi Leonard makes both free throws, Ray Allen can't tie it with a 3.

But coming back in that scenario is amazing. Kudos to the Heat.

They in this case refers to Ray Allen and Chris Bosh ...

... and LeBron, who scored the three with 20 seconds left on his second attempt that possession. That was a big shot. He was big the entire fourth quarter, except for a few times he lamely failed to run back after a miss because he was complaining to the refs.

posted by rcade at 04:20 PM on June 20

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.