One thing the Miami Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra must adjust and do in Game 2 in San Antonio is get Mario Chalmers going. Sharpshooter Ray Allen had 10 points and Chris Andersen had his share of defensive intensity and rebounds in Game 1. If Chalmers scores over 10 points, I guarantee you Miami will have a chance to win the ball game and Game 2 and have the advantage for home court for Games 3 and 4 in Miami.
The Spurs returned to their dominant selves in Game 5 in San Antonio. They routed the Thunder in every single aspect of the game. No excuse for the Thunder’s chance to win. Kevin Durant couldn’t come up big to win. Now, the Thunder have to win Game 6 in order to win Game 7 in San Antonio. In Miami, the Heat advance to win 117-92 and now await the winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder-San Antonio Spurs West finals. It was a team game for the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh had 25 points and Rashard Lewis and Mario Chalmers had 13 as Miami continued its rout over Indiana.
The Spurs are one win away from winning the NBA title again. The Miami Heat are one loss away. What’s missing from these NBA Finals? The capacity to play spectacular defense by either team. We haven’t seen a close game since Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals in which the Spurs won 92-88. The Heat will need to play catch-up and have to play angry for Game 6 in order that they survive their elimination game. Lebron James will have to play the game of his life, although that will be 50% unlikely, because the Spurs defense has nothing to do with Lebron James, it’s on Lebron James. Give the San Antonio defense credit for hounding Dwyane Wade and Lebron James, but don’t give Wade and James credit for trying to score points, because it’s their offense that is stalling, not the Spurs defense causing them to miss shots. What’s left to do? James and Wade must ignite their two-man fast break and when they do that, Miami perimeter shooters like Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, and Chris Bosh make their shots. Any way to win Game 6 for Miami? They must play like there is no tomorrow. They made mince meat out of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls for the first round and second round and had to survive seven games with the Indiana Pacers in order to move on. The Heat have to impose to play their brand of basketball in which James and Wade run their two-man fast break in which they did so well against Milwaukee and Chicago in the first and second round. What do the Spurs need to do in order to win Game 6? Play exactly like the way you did to win Game 5. Danny Green must continue to make three-pointers, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli must continue to step up like always and make the Miami Heat bleed with their continued consistency of points and steady defense. I’d say that the Miami Heat aren’t closing out the Spurs perimeter players on defense in Games 2 and 4, in which they won, because they aren’t running Danny Green or Gary Neal or any one who is threatening to shoot the long ball out of the arena.
1. Manu Ginobli gets going and he gets hot with his perimeter shooting.
2. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan contribute in big ways to the Spurs’ game plan, whether it be scoring, assists, rebounds, or defense.
3. Watch out for the Lebron James-Dwyane Wade fast break.
4. Mario Chalmers, Chris Bosh, and Ray Allen shoot the lights out of the gym.
1. See that the Spurs try to set screens for Tony Parker so he can get open and hit his shots.
2. See to it that the Heat continue their success in denying Parker’s penetration and ways to the hoop.
3. Watch for the Lebron James-Dwyane Wade fast break.
4. Tim Duncan gets going with his post play.
5. The Heat outside shooters (Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers) get open and make shots.
The Miami Heat win this game 103-84 behind strong defense and a balanced offense that had role players like Mario Chalmers stepping up and making big shots. When that happened and Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Lebron James were making their shots, everything went Miami’s way. The Heat ran rampant over San Antonio. The Heat disrupted Tony Parker penetrating when he picked-and-rolled and made turnovers on points whenever he tried to make a play. It was a smart move by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, because the Heat needed to find a way to contain Parker’s penetration into the passing lanes and where he gets easy points. Tony Parker was the reason why Miami lost control of Game 1. The Heat let up and Parker got his points. I think most importantly of all, the Heat took Game 2 very seriously because they lost Game 1 and some momentum into Game 2. Look to see the San Antonio Spurs review plays where they couldn’t recover on the pick-and-roll because the Heat burned their opponents on open plays and wide open jump shots and three pointers. San Antonio wasn’t expecting to see Miami opening up on three pointers and jump shots whenever Wade or Chalmers were trying to get open. Congrats to Miami for opening up opportunities on their perimeter game. Now San Antonio goes home with a split and figure out how they won Game 1, because they need to duplicate their success like they did in Game 1 again in Game 3. They need Parker at his best, making layups and open jump shots and Ginobli and Duncan doing well again in order to win Game 3.
What to expect in Game 6 tonight:
1. See that the Indiana Pacers take care of the basketball.
2. Lebron James has another breakout game.
3. Dwyane Wade contributes in some way to help Miami win.
4. Roy Hibbert has a big game against Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony.
5. See that Dwyane Wade and Lebron James run their patent fast break.
6. See that the Indiana Pacers run their offense with balanced scoring.
7. Watch and see if the physical Roy Hibbert and David West do try and take Lebron James out with their bigger frames.
8. Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen need to step up and hit their outside shots in order Miami wins Game 6.
9. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade playing outstanding perimeter defense so the Heat can generate fast break points.
10. D.J. Augustin and George Hill must have good games for Indiana to force a Game 7.