The Boston Celtics have home-court advantage throughout these NBA playoff games, but yet have shown that they can play with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The San Antonio Spurs are good for an old-fashioned two points and just-put-up-a-basket basketball philosophy has them playing the up-tempo Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are 2-0 in their series against the Spurs and San Antonio doesn’t have the basketball personnel to play these Stephen Curry-led basketball team. What will the Spurs do if they can’t get back Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, their two valued starters? The Spurs relied on Leonard having the basketball to dominate the ball game and the Spurs won’t play like a team until they realize they have to make shots in order to beat the Warriors. Boston won’t defeat Cleveland, because they don’t have a superstar like Lebron James who has unmatched athleticism.
It is the start of November and the Golden State Warriors are off to a start with Kevin Durant on board the Warriors squad. What will Durant do to help the Warriors come playoff time? Will he help Golden State with defense? There’s no question that San Antonio isn’t far behind with winning the 2017 NBA title now that Tim Duncan is retired. The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to help them win now. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are aging, but it won’t be long until fresher legs arrive for them.
The Boston Celtics, behind Isaiah Thomas’s 42 points, have won Game 3 in Boston to cut the Atlanta Hawks’ deficit to 2-1 series lead. Also, Stephen Curry didn’t play in Game 3 and although the Warriors were lacking in having a point guard who could dribble and make shots, the Warriors made it close with Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson scoring. The Cleveland Cavaliers are up 3-0 and are one game away from eliminating the Detroit Pistons. Though, the Cavs have Lebron James and could use another strong perimeter defender like James on the wing, I think that the Cavs could be unstoppable. The San Antonio Spurs are an well-oiled machine with fresher legs like Kawhi Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge, who can put the ball in the basket with veterans like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker lurking in the shadows. The Spurs are also up 3-0 on the Memphis Grizzlies and are one game away from eliminating the Grizzlies.
The San Antonio Spurs put out a whooping 111 points here in Game 3 in Miami. Everybody on the Spurs contributed to the victory. No one was left unaccounted for. How do basketball commentators and analysts get to this? How does anyone explain Miami’s behavior in Game 3? The Heat didn’t come prepared to play, that’s for sure. If Miami continues not to show up like they did in Game 3, expect San Antonio to win the NBA title in Game 5. Lebron James, that’s no excuse. If this is your realm, you need to show Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli that this is your home court. Lebron, you need to show your talent to Duncan, Popovich, Parker, and Ginobli that you are capable of taking them on. How does the San Antonio Spurs explain this onslaught of the Miami Heat? Simple. The Spurs played better basketball. They moved the basketball, they found the open man, and shot the ball when they had an open shot.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were the guilty culprits as they led the Thunder to a win in Game 4 and tie the series at 2 games apiece. Westbrook held Spurs point guard Tony Parker to 14 points as OKC led throughout the game. In the end, the Thunder have momentum going into Game 5 and taking a 3-2 series lead. The question for the Spurs is how do they move forward from the Game 4 loss.
San Antonio wins Game 2 112-77 behind Tony Parker’s basketball plays and Danny Green. The Spurs lead the series 2 games to none as the series shift to Oklahoma City. If you’re Kevin Durant, you should be wondering, who should be taking charge of these early games in the series? Somebody like Kevin Durant should be seizing the moment and taking charge of these late fourth quarters. But to no avail, there’s no OKC win. San Antonio is continuing to do all the right things in the right moment, take the charge, make the perfect pass, pass the ball to the open man, and making sure Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don’t score too much against a clogged San Antonio Spurs lane. If there is anything to consider, make sure San Antonio contains Durant and Westbrook to win the game. This is a Spurs team that likes having Tony Parker drive the lane for his layups and Tim Duncan scoring near the basket. They’re consistent in what they are doing and a Dallas team in the first round coached by Rick Carlisle nearly drove the Spurs nuts.
The Miami Heat reign supreme. Behind Ray Allen’s 13 points on 3 of 5 three pointers, the Heat win Game 2, 94-82. Now it’s on to Brooklyn in New York where the Nets have a chance to win it on their home court for Games 3 and 4. The San Antonio Spurs don’t have it any harder because they won Game 2 114-97 on some fantastic basketball being played. This is vintage Spurs basketball. Tony Parker does his thing going for layups and Tim Duncan will score points near the basket.
The Miami Heat dominate the Brooklyn Nets in Miami. I emphasize. In Miami. Lebron James ran the show. No question about it. The Heat won 107-86. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Portland Trail Blazers 116-92 behind Tony Parker. The Trail Blazers came out flat in the first game. Hopefully they’ll shoot better in Game 2.
Kyle Lowry is leading the Raptors to the second round. No? It’s only one game. The Brooklyn Nets have time to get there. The Nets need to win Game 6 to avoid elimination. In the Western Conference, the Spurs have Tony Parker to help them win 109-103. The Spurs are up 3 games to 2 with an elimination game coming up for their arch-nemesis the Dallas Mavericks. In another elimination game, the Rockets finally have some effort in handling a defense party, limiting Portland and LaMarcus Aldridge to points in the paint and winning 108-98.
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.