Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Miami Heat Vs. San Antonio Spurs: NBA Finals Game 3 Preview

The Miami Heat quickly forgot about their loss in the opening game of the NBA Finals. They responded with a 103-84 blowout win against the San Antonio Spurs to even the series at one game a piece. Now, the Heat can take the momentum they received in Game 2 and carry it on the road for the next three games when they visit the Alamo. It's the Spurs turn to host Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night at 9PM ET. Game 3 is very important in determining the winner of the NBA Finals with 92 percent of teams who win go on to claim the championship.

Miami was down one point with the a little over three minutes left in the third quarter before they exploded for a 33-5 run en route to tying the series. LeBron James got the help he was looking for from his teammates, and did not need to take over the game with his scoring. Instead, James is doing everything else needed to guide the team to victory. He is rebounding, passing and defending more than some are accustomed to seeing. His ability to drive opens up the perimeter for the outside shooters to spot up from 3-point range. As a team, the Heat totaled 10 3-pointers in Game 2 marking the most they have made during this year's playoff run. They will need more of those in Game 3 because it proved to be a vital part of their attack and it got the likes of Ray Allen and Mike Miller more involved.

The Spurs could not find an answer for the Heat in Game 2 after stealing the opener. The struggles of Manu Ginobili spread to the usually reliable Tim Duncan. Duncan failed to reach double figures for the second time in the playoffs despite being a force on the glass. Tony Parker couldn't replicate his late game heroics from Game 1. The Heat were able to keep Spurs point guard in check, limiting his touches and playing time. Parker's 13 points tied his lowest scoring output of the playoffs, the other was in the Conference Semifinals against the Warriors. The Spurs' triumvirate did not live up to expectations but things could change when they get home.

They did get help from the bench, but the team can only go as far as their superstars take them.

Although Miami's star power was questioned coming into Game 2, it came down to "the others" to step up in a must-win game. James played the role of facilitator for much of the game as the Spurs game plan was focused on stopping him. That plays into the hands of the best play-making forward in the game. His ability to find his shooters was important but it helped that his teammates took advantage of the wide open looks. Allen and Miller made their presence felt by nailing more than half of the team's 3-pointers. Mario Chalmers is no stranger to the spotlight and in the Game 2 of the Finals his light shined brightly, leading the Heat in scoring proving that the depth of Miami when clicking can be an unstoppable force. The Heat can only hope their fortunes continue on the road as the 2-3-2 format gives the three chances to spoil the Spurs first shot at an NBA title since the 2007-08 season.

Playing in their first home game in the NBA Finals since defeating the Cavaliers should bring a boost of adrenaline to the Spurs. A little home cooking may be what San Antonio needs to take Game 3 of the NBA Finals. They have not been as efficient as many have become used to seeing from the Spurs. If it weren't for Miami falling apart in the fourth quarter of Game 1, San Antonio could be in a 2-0 hole. They will have to limit turnovers and defend the perimeter to keep the Heat from going one of their patented scoring runs. San Antonio's play in the Finals to this point will not be enough to stop Miami especially if they cannot protect the
basketball.

As the Heat get ready to take their talents to Texas, they will do so knowing that the franchise has had its struggles playing in San Antonio winning only three times in the past 25 meetings at the Alamodome and the AT&T Center combined. In their latest game in the Alamo, Miami played without the James, Wade and Chalmers but were still able to steal a win behind a 3-pointer from Bosh in the closing seconds to secure a win. Miami is not afraid to leave South Beach going 5-2 on the road in the postseason. They need to keep the momentum going on the road after a bounce back win in order to sustain the level of dominance shown in Game 2.

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