- Heat-Spurs: Finals Hub
MIAMI – The Spurs put forth a terrific effort in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, finishing with just four turnovers and winning 92-88. At Sunday morning’s shootaround heading into Game Two at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Spurs guard Tony Parker acknowledged that repeating that performance taking care of the ball will not be simple.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen again,” Parker said. “Miami is a very, very good defensive team, so they’re going to create turnovers. First game, I don’t remember a game where we had four turnovers. That was pretty good. If we can keep it under 10, that’s what we want. That’s a realistic number. I don’t think 4 is a realistic number.”
Turnovers aside, the Spurs feel as thought they can still improve from Game 1, particularly as they see the chance to go up 2-0 heading back to San Antonio, pointing out rebounding as an area of concern — they were outrebounded 46-37 in Game 1.
While the Heat are 10-0 in games after their lost 10 losses, and haven’t lost two straight since January 10th, it’s worth remembering that in this postseason, the Spurs are a combined 13-2, and they haven’t lost a game since May 12, in nearly a month.
“It’s a great opportunity, obviously, to try to get another one,” said Parker. “I think in this team we have enough experience to understand how valuable this opportunity is. And we realize it’s going to be tough. They’re going to play with a lot more energy. It’s always easier to bounce back after a loss. We just have to make sure we match their energy, try to keep it close, and see what happens in the fourth quarter.”
The Heat have spoken about playing with a little bit of fear as a motivating factor heading into Game 2, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pointed out that fear — rather, “appropriate” fear — is something the Spurs are intimately acquainted with.
“We’ve talked about appropriate fear for 18 years,” said Pop. “We believe in it. Appropriate fear basically equals respect for your opponent. Don’t take anything lightly. Nothing comes easy. And a little bit of fear is motivating. It doesn’t mean you’re scared or anything like that. It means you’re smart.”
And how do you determine what level is appropriate, Coach?
“You figure it out.”