No Overreaction Needed, But San Antonio Faces Hurdles After Game 2 Rout

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MIAMI – Overreaction is an unintended consequence of the postseason, so the tendency after Miami’s 103-84 rout of San Antonio in Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals will be to think all sorts of bold thoughts about the Heat and an equal number of worrisome things about the Spurs.

If Game 1 provided a license to overreact to San Antonio’s (cough) poise and patience, for example, this one ought to be good for a little in the other direction. Better yet, overreacting by definition requires something sweeping and grand, suitable for a Finals.

Here goes:

  • San Antonio cannot expect to win again if it can’t capitalize on a 3-for-13 shooting night by LeBron James through the first three quarters. By that point, Miami led by 10 anyway and it got no better for the visitors.
  • The Spurs must make at least half of their 3-pointers the rest of these Finals, as they did Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena, if they’re going to shoot 37.9 percent from inside the arc against Miami’s defense.
  • As for tinkering with their Game 1 formula, San Antonio should have stayed away from the additive labeled “Quadruple your turnover total.” In the opener, they handled the ball as if it were their first-born, committing only four turnovers worth eight points to the Heat. This time, they threw the ball away — sometimes unforced, and wildly — 17 times, contributing 19 points to Miami’s cause. And discombobulating (16 assists) their own attack.
  • Someone needs to break the news to Tony Parker that, while he might be the best point guard in the NBA this postseason, Miami’s Mario Chalmers can lay claim to being the big-game guy of the moment in this series. Chalmers scored nine points during his team’s 23-3 run across six minutes in the second half — from 3:11 of the third quarter to 9:11 of the fourth — that took the Heat from a 62-61 deficit to an 84-65 bench-clearing.
  • The Spurs will not prevail if their Big 3 — Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili — shoots 10-for-33 again and gets outscored by a dozen points by the Heat’s Big 3. Then again, Miami cannot possibly succeed if its three big guys — James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — manage only 39 points.

Taken to extremes, overreaction will lead to a point where nobody can win. And obviously someone will. At this point in the playoffs, the answers come from adjustments, counters and responses, not from sweeping pronouncements. A 19-point loss still counts one.

Still, little will improve for the Spurs if they cannot handle the ball and themselves better against Miami’s defensive pressure. The Heat might not have swiped or deflected each of San Antonio’s errant passes, but they messed with lanes and angles to send them astray. Miami’s defense was heavy on hands and rotating more quickly, turning five men into what must have felt like six or seven to San Antonio.

It’s up to the Spurs, too, to react to losing with something approaching Miami’s urgency and intensity. They may have squandered a real opportunity in the 2-3-2 format to avoid a trip back to south Florida (few home teams win the middle three games). Now they need to do what the Heat did, in terms of effort and emotional bounce-back.

If there was something early Eastern Conference finals about the Heat in The Finals opener, there was something decidedly Game 7, East finals, about this one.

In that game, the Pacers got pasted in the clincher.

Miami grabbed this one by the throat, too.

“Miami played their ass off,” prickly Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Said Ginobili: “We have basically no shot winning a game against them if none of us [Spurs stars] played good.”

San Antonio got some helpful contributions from its supporting cast — Danny Green with 17 points and 5-for-5 from the arc, Kawhi Leonard‘s 14 rebounds and work on James — but Miami had a full-blown solar system in orbit around its Big 3.

Chalmers led them all with 19 points, at his irrepressible best when the unstoppable James was, for a while, quite stoppable. Ray Allen hit three 3-pointers again and scored 13 again, Mike Miller gimped his way through 16 minutes for nine points and, for a moment in the second quarter, Chris “Birdman” Andersen improbably was Miami’s leading scorer.

“I know I attract a lot of attention,” James said. “This team has been set up the right way where, when I do attract attention, we have guys that can make plays.

“Tonight was another case of that. They packed the paint on me. I seen two bodies, unless I was in transition when I missed a copule of bunnies. … My shooters just needed a little bit of room. Mike showed that, Ray showed that and ‘Rio [Chalmers] showed that.”

As for reports of James’ demise, when he was at his worst, his team led by five and then 10. His numbers by the end were solid — 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals, three blocks (including a highlight stop on Tiago Splitter) — and only one player in the game scored more than nine points in the second half. That’s right, James with 13.

The guy over whom so many overreact so often wasn’t falling into that trap off Game 2, however thorough the thumping. Asked what conclusions can be drawn from his 18-18-10 performance in defeat Thursday vs. his 17-8-7 in blowout triumph Sunday, James basically shrugged.

“Whatever conclusion you want,” he said. “It’s a 1-1 series. That’s the only conclusion I know. We look forward to Game 3.”

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70 Comments

  1. realist2013 says:

    Relax, the Spurs will respond. Pop sat down his starters as he saw throughout the game they were making crazy stupid turnovers. He wanted them to see how they should be playing and how much energy the Heat were showing. The Spurs at home for the next 3. They dont lose often and Magic and Jalen both said Miami played with more desperation because and I quote “if the heat go down 0-2 their building would be closed for basketball.” They won’t have another game like that and any Heat fan so biased to think otherwise has blinders on. Be real.

  2. @ soflafan & rj-lol-comon-u mean to tell me lbj & wade had absolutely no fouls committed in gm 1 & only 3 between both in gm 2-i’m not being biased just stating the facts-look @ the stats on fouls. Parker only had 1fl in gm 1 & Duncan 4 Green 3. Gm 2 was a lil more consistently called-just a lil-Duncan 1fl, TP 0, but Green 4 & he was shootn hot from gittyup-yet lbj & wade 1 & 2. I’m die hard Celts fan & fan of the game so i have no bias in this @ all-just wana see TD win another ring before retiring-Also just needs to be more consistent officiating on both sides & it doesn’t matter how many fouls total team, it’s who & when they’re called on who. LMAO-that’s just pretty hilarious w/ both lbj & wade a total of 3 fls thru 2 gms. Yeah i know-bcuz i’m Celts fan ur gonna say haten heat & on RayRay-hardly-wish Ray well in personal life & of course root my Celts when we play them period.
    Go Spurs!!!

  3. C’mon now Dexter…really comparing warriors and grizzles to heats…..really…Anyways the champs ain’t afraid of the location we just wanna play and repeat ..then next yr… 3peat…something the spurs have never and will never do….Go Heats…

  4. Vanessa says:

    Heat in 6! We are saving our best game for last!!! Go Heat!!!!

  5. dexter macol says:

    spurs in 6.. heat won’t duplicate their performance at at&t center.. it’s a lot different ballgame.. go ask the warriors and grizzlies.

  6. spguide says:

    Its funny how the media twist things , Lebron had a terrible first 3 quartes , he was shooting 3 from 13 , plus some turnovers , then he gets a block on Splitter , and he starts to walk around like a God on the court , which was ridicolous as Lebron the person is , not the player .Then the media instead of talking about he’s above the avarage game , talks about his EPIC DUNK ????? give me a break

  7. Gzilla says:

    Some of you Heat fans are so ignorant. You all praise the Heat and worship Lebron. Guess what? The f@#king Wizards could win a title if they just bought a bunch of all star contracts. Its no real feat for a team to win when its loaded down with so many all star caliber players. Its stupid, it ruins basketball for every fan outside of Miami. Ive been a Spurs fan for years, I was excited to see them get back to this point, but even I know its a snowballs chance in hell for them to win because NOBODY is going to beat the Heat. And guess what? Heats going to win again next year, and probably the next too. It makes basketball boring when you know one team has such an advantage over basically every other team. I know Spurs have some bigs themselves, but seriously, Its sad when its a shock to see Heat lose. Lets get a salary cap going asap.

    • Erlo says:

      Oh please. Look at any other team that has won recently. There are atleast 3 all stars/hall of famers on the teams. You can even go back as far as Jordan an d see the same formula. And there IS a salary cap … so whaaaaat are you talking about?

  8. MC says:

    A slow pace game and a constant movement of the ball is Miami’s cryptonite. The Spurs can play at any pace, but if they Play a slow pace game that will cause less turnovers, and it will kill Miami’s transition game.
    Very simple recipe to beat the heat.
    Lastly, Y’all need to realize that Indiana’s ball movement without a true point guard was suspect, and they did not have enough perimeter scoring to beat Miami.
    The Spurs have all the ingredients that Indiana who took the heat to game 7 did not have. So go FIGURE Miami lovers.
    Get your mouths of lbj’s PACIFER. LMAO!

  9. Wade_Legend says:

    All year long I knew that the Heat had one weakness: Indiana Pacers! Its because Roy Hibbert and David West are a matchup nightmare for the Heat. For me, the eastern conference finals were the NBA finals. Now that they have survived that series, the spurs are no match for the heat and baring injuries the championship stays at Miami!!

  10. AL says:

    Where is the guy who complained about why writers always write about what the Heat needs to do &where are the guys who claimed Spurs are going to sweep the Heat, you are quiet now! If you overcome your bias you see that these are 2 excellent teams that are fighting for what is the ultimate prize. It is going to be competitive & thrilling .GO HEAT……………………….

  11. reynol pers says:

    You sir are a dreamer and should watch a little more basketball. But hey good luck you will need it.

  12. JimD54 says:

    The Spurs let the Heat go last night, the Spurs got the split they wanted and home court; the best record in the league means nothing right now and after the Spurs pound Miami tomorrow night the Heat will be behind the eight ball again and Magic Johnson will jump back from Miami to the Spurs again….. Game 5 will decide the series.

    • RJ says:

      Ain’t nobody letting anyone go in the finals. You don’t throw games. Hall of famers don’t throw games. They got their doors blown off. Hopefully they bounce back. I was anticipating a good 7 game series.

  13. reynol pers says:

    The Spurs are no match for the Heat. Everyone that knows Basketball should know this. Even looking at game 1 it is easy to see who is the best team period.If Miami looses another game is because they are bored. Spurs cannot run with the Heat. I don’t see how the Spurs are going to muster enough offense against one of the best defenses in the NBA and also one if the best offensive teams in the NBA. The Pacers where a better team to beat the Heat but win the Athletic Heat turn on the engine it is virtually impossible to beat. When this is all said and done this team will be regarded as one of the best that ever played in the NBA.

  14. W/E says:

    oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  15. sam says:

    ridiculous joey crawford and the 2 other refs, really u bandwaggons didnt saw the non calls on manu from wade , the off. foul from lbj the block on duncan where lbj james push with the other hand duncan in the face otherwise he didnt blocked him, duncan was looking three times to crawford and can not believe it also parker…good jopb refs hope we get better refs in SA

    • RJ says:

      I agree on the James block on Duncan, the rest, you’re looking for some pretty weak calls.

    • Erlo says:

      Blaming the refs? Come on. First, it was pretty even from what I saw. Second, they blew them out. Excuses, excuses, escuses.

  16. Erlo says:

    Lebron needs to be the screener and not the ball handler. This forces weak shows by the defense after the screen leading to easy drives, or a rolling James that is wide open. Spurs are NOT quick enough to help on a Lebron screen and roll.

  17. MJfromOKC says:

    Lebron doesnt need to “go off” with scoring for the Heat to win. He plays a very well rounded game. The Heat is a good team. Last year verses the Thunder the wing shooters had career performances and the drive and kick to the perimeter destroyed us.

  18. j says:

    thats what thunder said last year they took game1 and miami came back and took the next four (last 3 games on the road)

  19. Matt says:

    Spurs need to slow it down on offense….That’s why Miami pressured, to hurry the Spurs. But Ginobili had a shocker with those turnovers, every time he dribbled it felt like the ball would come out.

  20. CRYsis says:

    It is still 50-50 in my opinion. It is sill anybody’s ball game from here on out. I don’t get why Spurs’ fans say they gave game 2 away but I doubt any team is willing to give a game at this stage.

  21. SM says:

    Miami is a better team and expected to win 2 or all 3 games in SA.
    Game 2, first half was the worst game from Labron during this season.
    Wade and Bosh played good and Chalmers, Allen and Miller were amazing.
    If they continue like that and Labron plays better, they should come out from SA with the championship

    • RJ says:

      I’d say Miami wins 1 in San Antonio, 2 will be tough, but i’m 50/50 on it. They’re not winning all 3 there. Miami in 7. Maybe 6 if Bosh and Wade can really wake up.

  22. spursfan says:

    we let them win,you know how you can tell we did not put matt bonner in ,and we left gary neal in most of the game

  23. blackmamba_38 says:

    …no match with the heat.. heat in 5 hehheh

  24. sanjay says:

    Heat can still play better. But green cannot have free shooting. They must shut down these 3 pointers and keep hustling making it difficult for others. Spurs also won lot of skirmishes and heat easily missed 5 to 6 baskets.. Couple of ally oops, lay up and what not. They must be kicking themselves for not winning game 1 and letting it go.

    But spurs are beatable if heat continue to play like this. But more attack in the paint is needed. And wade and bosh needs to get in to 15 points not just 10 ish!

  25. jack23 says:

    i dont think Spurs will get that home 3 wins just by playing the way they did on sunday, they got to double those efforts, a sigh for DG, he have that 3’s perfect still they lost,..goodluck Spurs, but ill bet Miami in 5 games,..hahaha GOOO!

  26. Big Al says:

    Enough with the trash-talk, Spurtards. Given this blowout, they won’t win the next three at home. Everything will end in the Heat arena. Tim, Tony and Pop know that. Imagine how big the advantage would have been had LeBron scored more. He and Parker were shut down, but it was Miami that took full advantage. Green was awesome from downtown, but Allen and Miller more than made up for that. Bosh finally was more frequent in the paint and paid dividends. But Chalmers is player of the night, 19 points, more aggressive, and did well against the SA’s ace.

  27. Also why is it that for both of gms 1 & 2 wade & lbj have a total of 3 fouls combined-2 for lbj in gm 2 & 1 for wade in gm 2 & 0 each for gm 1. Yet Spurs hot shooter Green foul trouble each gm-3 in gm 1 & 4 in gm 2. It seems on paper both gms were called even but the key is who they’re called on & @ which point in the game-like Duncan’s early bad calls in gm 1 yet they still won. As physical as both lbj & wade are how do they both have next to no fouls after 2 gms-again 0 fouls on them in gm 1. Spurs would have probably sweep heat if calls were completely consistent-especially w/ heat key players taking them off the floor @ key points in the game like refs did to Green when he was hot in gm 2.
    Go Spurs!!!

    • SoFlaFan says:

      HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

      Wake up you’re dreaming!!!!

    • RJ says:

      Bias doesn’t help you any. I’m unbiased in this series and saw bad calls and no calls both ways in the first 2 games. Stop trying to make excuses for the team you support. It’s one 60 win team vs. another 60 win team. They’ve met one another’s match and no one was going to sweep this series. Should be a good one the rest of the way.

  28. eo says:

    wow that was the most biased officiating I have ever seen I think the spurs gave up when it was 5 on 8

    • SoFlaFan says:

      Garbage!!! Unless you’re talking about the Spurs FLOP that was called a foul on the Heat…… with NO contact.

      Stop crying, Heat turned uo the Heat…… BLOWOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • dee says:

        you dummy those where bad calls and you know it Duncan got sacked like peyton manning tony got a clothes line from the big show it was more like watching wrestle mania lmao…

    • DA_TRUF says:

      HOW CAN YOU SAY THE GAME WAS RIGGED AGAINST THE SPURS WHEN THEY HAD 14 FOULS AND HEAT HAD 17. GROW UP.

  29. I don’t see much of any hurdle for Spurs after this gm 2 routing-just because it was a blow out means nothing for the rest of the series. As many turnovers Spurs had & still kept it close till late 3rd qu you’d think heat would’ve had early 20 pt lead. Even though it seemed a fair called game, why were ther different refs than gm 1-seems strange? As much as Parker was getting in the paint 3rd qu he wasn’t getting any calls & w/ heats trap pressure defense there was a lot of contact from heat 3rd qu-i’m def not blaming officials-there just was a lot of contact in heats trapping that refs could’ve called 3rd & 4th qu. I think Pops seen how the blown calls were going & pulled the main guys early-why have them kill themselves when it’s clear Parker can get in the paint any time he wants but not get the calls-TP was in there double times lbj. None the less, Spurs did some of what they set out to do in first 2 in miami while still not playing @ the top of their game-taking 2 & going back to SA would’ve been real great but 1 is still really good for Spurs taking home court. In playoffs anything can change from game to game but there’s more hurdles for heat than Spurs w/ Spurs taking 1 in miami. Best believe Spurs especially Duncan will be on fire next gm after this poor performance & still kept it close most of gm 2.
    Go Spurs!!!

  30. mikmaks says:

    and you think it’s easy to win 3 straight against miami? hea t just need one from those three and their going back to south beach… for the last two

  31. J says:

    Birdman was Miami’s leading scorer sounds funny
    great article!
    heat in 6!!!!

  32. Meinas says:

    Spurs have to win 2 of 3 at home in order to have a chance winning the championship.

  33. cp10 says:

    No way! Spurs will win all home games. :)

    Basketball is a team game and D>W, L>J, R>Allen, M>Miller, all of em contributed, as did Chaaaaaammmersss :)

  34. GW says:

    Bosh is still being reffered to as a superstar? I thought that was corrected when it became the big 2 plus 1.

    • RJ says:

      That term needs to go. And Bosh was always just a low level all star anyway. With 2 higher caliber all stars on the team, it’s hard to expect him to average in the low 20’s anymore, but to be anywhere near a franchise player, on this small roster he should average at least 9 – 11 rebounds like he used to.

      For Bosh to be worth the franchise money they gave him, as Wade starts to decline now, and as long as this team stays relatively small, he should average at LEAST 15, 10.5 rebs, 2 asts, and 2 blks. He has to be both an inside presence to play through on offense, and a strong rebounding and inside defensive presence. HAS to, to be on that level, especially as one of only 2 guys at 6’10″+ on this team.

      • Heatles Read Chris's FACE. says:

        As much as I love bosh I really think they should try to trade him or not re-sign him. He is such a liability on the defensive end and rebounding, sure he makes some blocks here and there but thats about it. He has been flat footed the entire playoffs always watching the ball go past him instead of hustling towards it. The only thing he is good for is knocking down open shots and when he isn’t doing that he really isn’t providing that much for the team.. The heat can find a much better player for the money they are paying bosh. This is his contract:
        2012-13: $17,545,000.
        2013-14: $19,067,500.
        2014-15: $20,590,000 {Player Option}.
        2015-16: $22,112,500 {Player Option}.
        2016-17: UFA.

        Same contract as LeBron, bosh is seriously getting overpaid and not worth 20+m per season. I personally would love to see Anderson Varejao, although he isn’t the tallest or strongest bigman and he might get outplayed by someone like Hibbert, but he has a never-ending motor, hustles on every play, goes for every rebound and he is still pretty young. Not to mention all those years playing with LeBron they would have great chemistry.

  35. anon. says:

    full marks for coach spo for making the adjustments:
    1. more minutes for mike miller
    2. chalmers playing more at the point
    3. with james at forward as a receiver (what his team need him to be) rather than a distributor

  36. Kamote says:

    When Pop pulled out his big 3 early in the fourth, its to ensure that the last thing on TP, TD and Manu’s minds is the bad taste of seeing how great Miami is when all its cylinders are working. They’ve been vets on both winning and losing for most of their lives that they’d know what to do. As for the other integral players like Tiago, Kawhi, Neal and Green, they’re left there so they’d know this is a war they are in, and Miami is that kind of team that would dig you deeper into the hole if you can’t fight back anymore, while celebrating with fireworks and chest-pumping while doing so. Losing is inevitable, so Pop let his team savor the pain of it.

    Did Pop gave up early? No. They’ve got their purpose of stealing home court in game 1. They weathered the expected onslaught from the champs in game 2. Learning from last year’s sudden “sweep” (4 losses after 2 wins) from OKC has taught them to strategically play the series’ 7 games. They’re now in a position to win at least 2 in San Antonio, and hopefully steal another one in Miami.

  37. Abhi says:

    Nice post and well said…..
    Both teams are well capable of winning the Finals, just need to play simple and straight and perfect basketball

  38. theflowson says:

    The spurs live and die by collapsing on James, they lived in Game 1, but died hard in Game 2. As long as players like Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mike Miller and Chalmers knock down open shots, the Spurs have no chance in winning. As long as the role players play their role, LeBron doesn’t need to score 30 to win because he can easily find the open man.

  39. james says:

    they got their split. they don’t have any more incentive to waste energy on 2nd game. they win next three at home. its over

    • bballfan777 says:

      Are you saying the Spurs dialed it in tonight. In the playoffs, and definitely in the finals I don’t think any team goes into any game saying yeah we won on their home court once so we expect to lose. The Spurs won game one in a tough competitive game. The Heat’s defense totally disrupted the Spurs in game two. You don’t think the Spurs expelled energy tonight? I guess Parker and Ginobli were intentionally turning the ball over and falling all over the place and the heat’s D and physical play had nothing to do with it.

    • HeatfansinceWade says:

      Keep hoping LOL

    • Vip81 says:

      LOL yep you are just a tad delusional

    • dustin says:

      Ive read all these post of how the heat are falling apart and arnt going to win, then one by one they shut these heat hater wannabees up, seriously. Shut up.
      Heard it all thru playoffs. Recognize a dynasty team when u see 1 fools.

  40. miniminer says:

    C – Andersen
    PF – James
    SF – Miller
    SG – Allen
    PG – Chalmers
    HEAT WENT SMALL YET VERY EFFECTIVE! pick and roll chalmers and james and spread the floor with shooters, whew!!

  41. mattchew says:

    only game 2 miami was suppose to win this by nba…lol come on…spurs should win next one then its like backs on miami then again!!! hahah its easy to call these games

    • Ian says:

      Yea because the ball can magically just sail through the hoop from 3 for multiple players via “the league” Did you not see last game and how little fouls were called either way, and this game I didnt see any major in your face bad calls. Nothing like the Indiana series! This is good ball, shut the hell up about it being rigged

      • atafj says:

        if any series was rigged it was the knicks pacers, knicks got soo many favorable calls and they still lost, lmfao. timmy d gets a lot of calls too im noticing

    • DA_TRUF says:

      17 fouls called against the heat. 14 called against the spurs. game clearly rigged.

  42. LOLOLOL says:

    Go get the ball LOL

  43. Rafael_Certero says:

    it doesnt matter if San Antonio let Lebron James score a lot, if they can stop the offensive of the other player they can win, because Jame made a Triple double in the first game and they lose, yesterday he score 17, 7 and 8, and they win, but, Chalmer with 19 points, miller from 3-3 line of three point, that means, the key is to stop the whole team, and that would be difficult, they can have a bad night, but not a bad finals.

  44. zeero says:

    yeah,focus on the game heat!

  45. Max says:

    Love your article about game 2 of the Finals! Of course NO ONE can top POP in doing after game interviews. He is so much fun to listen to his answers. Now, I would hate to be one of the Spurs “Big” threes at the next practice and poor
    Splitter will he ever live down the block of the year by James? So much fun to watch all the ball swapping and it seemed one time neither team could hang on to that darn ball. Made for a different type of game and NO one (other than POP) can be as honest about why their team loss. When media asked why the Spurs lost, ( Pop said the Heat just played their A–off) now who but maybe Charles Barkley can say that? But who will talk back to the POP? Steve Nash made the mistake of calling him a spy, that did not sit well with the POP. ONLY ONE POP! EVER SEEN HIM SMILE?

  46. bballfan777 says:

    Only we the fans, and you the media (writers of these blogs) care about if Lebron goes for 30+ flirting with triple doubles. LeBron is concerned only with 4 wins in this series. From last championship, to the Olympics Lebron continues to master how to win with a great team regardless of what he puts in the box score.