So I know I just wrote a post about how Miami’s offense may not serve them best in the playoffs, and I’ll stand by that notion. I’ve also complained about how easy the Heat have had it in the playoffs thanks to opponent injuries (Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Danny Granger) because I’m still mad at them for beating my Celtics last year. That said, I’m picking the Heat to win tonight’s game by double figures.
My expectations for Game 6 in Miami are:
- Tons of defensive energy and intensity from the Heat in an elimination game
- Worse shooting and playmaking from most of the Spurs
- A favorable home court whistle
- Fatigued veteran San Antonio players
- A Spurs emotional let down – No team has won back to back games in this series
- A highly focused Maimi team – The Heat have not lost back to back games since Manu Ginobili had a full head of hair
Frankly I hope I’m wrong and that it’s a real nail-biter. How great for the Spurs to win their 5th title on the road against a 66 win team? How fantastic for LeBron if he’s just the second player in NBA history to win back to back regular season and finals MVPs?
However this ends, I just hope it’s a great watch at this point. I thought Miami gave good effort in the last game and fell because of Danny Green’s lights-out three point shooting, but it’s also telling that when Miami went on its customary runs, San Antonio never folded. Most teams, even mentally tough squads like Indiana, have a tendency to get desperate or despondent when they lose a double digit lead in the space of two minutes because of Miami’s explosive transition scoring. The Spurs batten down and keep working their offensive and defensive philosophies.
Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see how Eric Spoelstra guards Tony Parker in this game. Tony went into straight iso sets against Norris Cole in game 5 and ate him for lunch. If Chalmers gets into foul trouble, does Spo go with Bron or Wade on Parker? Is that a good idea given his knack for pick and rolling bigger defenders to death?
If the Spurs do close out the Heat, there’s going to be a wave of vindicated analysts telling us all that the basketball purity conquered egomania in this series. The humble Spurs sublimated their egos and unified to win as a team while the prideful Heat fell as arrogant individuals. This will be false. Some teams are constructed to get a significant statistical production from a few players and consistent contribution without great numbers from the rest of the team. Other teams are constructed to get a more egalitarian contribution all the way around with relatively balanced production from all. Your classic examples might be the Lakers and Knicks of the early ‘70s. Both formulas worked. Both are examples of great basketball.
Tags: 2013 NBA Finals, Basketball, Danny Green, Dwyane Wade, Eric Spoelstra, Expectations, Game 6, Kirk Hinrich, lebron james, Luol Deng, Manu Ginobili, Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat, NBA, Norris Cole, San Antonio Spurs, sports, Tony Parker