Film Study: Spurs Dare James To Shoot, And He Does It Poorly

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SAN ANTONIO – Game 3 of The Finals was kind of crazy. The San Antonio Spurs hit 16 3-pointers and blew out the Miami Heat without much production from their best offensive player. Tony Parker scored just six points on 2-for-5 shooting.

But Game 3 was also the continuation of a disturbing trend for the world’s best player. LeBron James shot a brutal 2-for-14 from outside the paint on Tuesday and is now 39-for-164 (23.8 percent) from outside the paint in 18 career Finals games.

In the 2007 Finals, James and his Cleveland Cavaliers were outmatched by the more experienced and talented Spurs. In the 2011 Finals, the Dallas Mavericks vexed James with their zone and zone-ish defenses. James destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s Finals, but almost entirely from the paint.

Interestingly, James’ best jump-shooting Finals was 2011, when he had one really awful game (eight points on 3-for-11 shooting in Game 4) and averaged just 3.0 points on 7-for-21 shooting over six fourth quarters.

In his other three Finals series, James’ jump-shooting ability has fallen off a cliff. And this isn’t a regular season vs. playoffs thing. It’s simply a Finals phenomenon.

James’ Finals shooting from outside the paint

Season Reg. season First 3 rds FGM FGA FG%
2006-07 33.9% 34.1% 8 47 17.0%
2010-11 40.3% 37.1% 17 49 34.7%
2011-12 40.8% 34.9% 7 38 18.4%
2012-13 42.2% 37.8% 7 30 23.3%
Career 36.5% 35.0% 39 164 23.8%

These numbers are from only four games in ’07, six in ’11, five in ’12, and three this year. Still, they’re fascinating and provide fodder for those who still doubt James’ ability to perform on basketball’s biggest stage.

You have to wonder if the fatigue of long playoff runs is a factor. But in three of his four Finals years, James has shot better from outside the paint in the conference finals – where he’s always faced the best defense of his three Eastern Conference opponents – than in the first two rounds.

He shot 32-for-79 (41 percent) from outside the paint against the Pacers’ No. 1 defense in this year’s conference finals after shooting just 19-for-56 (34 percent) in nine games against the Bucks and Bulls.

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Maybe it’s fatigue. Maybe it’s something mental. Maybe it’s just a fluke.

Whatever the problem is, James has rewarded the Spurs for the way they’re defending him. Basically, they’re not defending him on the perimeter, inviting him to shoot jumpers.

Here are James’ nine mid-range shots (from between the paint and the 3-point line) from Game 3. He was 1-for-9.


On a second-quarter post-up (the second play in the above clip), Danny Green makes James catch the ball about 15 feet from the basket. And then he gives him plenty of space to shoot a face-up jumper …

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At the end of the second quarter, Green goes under a Norris Cole screen that is set just above the foul line, basically inviting James to shoot from anywhere beyond 12 feet. And his disregard for James’ ability to knock down a pull-up jumper allows Gary Neal to stay at home on Mike Miller in the corner …

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When James tried to get to the basket is when the Spurs brought help, lots of it.

Here, Green is again defending James on a post-up. And once James puts the ball on the floor, he gets triple-teamed …


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The next example isn’t a straight post-up, but James backs Green down and once he gets to the block, the Spurs’ swarm arrives, forcing a turnover…


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Here’s a pick-and-roll example, where Green and Tiago Splitter are in position to help Kawhi Leonard as James comes off a Chris Bosh screen…


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James was 5-for-7 in the paint on Tuesday, but three of the five buckets came in transition, and a fourth came off a drive-and-dish by Norris Cole. So only once did James get a basket in the paint via one of his own drives or post-ups. It was a post-up jump-hook over Leonard late in the first quarter.

Dwyane Wade, who is 10-for-39 (26 percent) from outside the paint over his last seven games, is getting the same go-ahead-and-shoot-it treatment as James …

20130611_wade_space

At this point, the only guys the Spurs care to guard on the perimeter are Miller and Ray Allen, who are a combined 16-for-20 from outside the paint in the series. And the rest of the Heat — 34-for-117 (29 percent) from outside the paint — aren’t giving them any reason to make an adjustment.

The Heat certainly have defensive issues as well, but if those numbers don’t start to change in Game 4, the champs don’t stand much of repeating.

93 Comments

  1. Amaury says:

    I love both of those teams they are the best in the nba with OKC. Also i wanted to say to all the people that have a problem with lebron or the miami heat just dont watch the game and stop posting on website about how much you hate them.

  2. LBJ Fan says:

    Seeing how bad the big three are shooting, the Heat might as well run offence by screening for Ray Allen.

  3. sunnn says:

    Ive always has this opinion, If Mark Cuban did not break Dallas after they won, they would likely been to the finals the next season. Then it would be Dallas-Miami rematch.

    If Mark had kept his team intact, James would still be ringless by now, imho.

    Marck toyed with DIrk’s legacy. Sad.

  4. Mke says:

    LBJ makes THREE STEPS al the time

  5. Mke says:

    I insist on saying:
    Everytome that LBJ goês to rim, specially for a dunk he always makes three steps. This as been regular in is carreer. How come no one is saying anything about it? Or…calling the violations? How come. I like LBJ, but not beeing protected. Check it out and you will see the truth about what i am saying.

  6. Canadian Love says:

    Haters will hate, but no matter how you put it LeBron is simply missing jumpers. Jumpers that any NBA player is capable of making. We are talking 12-16 ft WIDE OPEN jumpshots that any college baller dreaming of extending their basketball careers to the pros is capable of making. LeBron needs to make a few early in the game to gain confidence. He is not shying away, he is simply missing jumpshots which is affecting his scoring mentally. The man is flirting with a triple double in every game so he is finding other ways to impact the ball game… can you really say he’s shying away? He’s simply not scoring. Having said that, though the spurs are doing an outstanding job on him, he needs to find a way, as the greatest player on the planet that he is, to get to the FT line.

  7. Erlo says:

    Heat in 6

  8. Christiaen says:

    In my opinion Lebron is just tired to death. He’s gasping for air out there.
    The guy’s tank is running on fumes.
    He played almost every single game of the season almost 40 minutes a game, and even more in the play-offs. He has done so since he first came into the league.
    Okay, he is a freak of nature physically, but having to carry your team every single time because the other so called big 2 are not producing, is coming back at you at some point.
    Frankly, I’m not surprised by his game 3 failure. The guy is human, and he’s exhausted.
    Let the guy skip practice and rest instead, and you’ll see an MVP reborn.

  9. Pawapski says:

    Even though he can’t shoot, tell me where is his aggressiveness lebron is a 260 lbs stupid cow! If he still play like an OWL. All i can say this NBA cares about money

  10. martinez82 says:

    I’m not a heat or spurs fan at all but last time I checked the team is not called the miami james. wade and bosh need to pick up the slack and the bench needs to put some work in. san antonios bench won the game so miamis bench needs to match that. its very easy to blame the superstar but you gotta ask… whers the rest of the team at????

  11. sabungero says:

    james said he is 50 times better this time than his first finals against spurs. or maybe he is just 50 lbs heavier this time than before.

  12. Andrew says:

    LBJ is the best player on this NBA finals stage… LBJ is good enough to know that when your shots are not falling you lower your head and drive hard to the paint to get fouls. Going to the line allows you to rest, allows you to work on your stroke and rhythm, allows your team to regroup, and most of ALL allows you to hold up the other team’s momentum. LBJ didnt respond to the challenge and he knows it…. or he wouldnt of said that the blame was on him. Its not about winning or loosing but LBJ didnt go down fighting!!

  13. J says:

    he has to play like a 4 time mvp ATTACK THE RIM!!!!!!!!!!! no jumpers!!! he will bounce back for sure
    heat in 6!!!

  14. referee says:

    dont worry LBJ i got your back ,,, :P

  15. Watch out for the Heat! Spurs will not win another game. Miami will finish it by winning the next three games. They have been down before in the series many times but manage to win. This series is no different than the Pacers series last year. Don’t write off the Heat just yet.

  16. kr1s says:

    I think It’s a safe bet to say that LeBron won’t be the finals MVP this year.

  17. fireman says:

    if i remember…people criticized kobe for his inability to make his team better. how is lebron makin wade and bosh better at this point? as he even admitted he isnt a rebounder so he was exposed against the pacers. wade isnt lookin like jordan’s pippen right about now he is looking a little bit worse. i dont see this team sticking together long. imi not sure if they looked at that video of the press conference party they did with the not 1 not 2 but they are really gonna regret the boasting they did. granted they still have a chance to win the championship this season but as for the future its not looking bright.

    lebron might wanna call kobe and see how kobe do it. regardless of how much hate you put on kobe…at the end of the night kobe gon give you all he can. you wont have to ask where was kobe. whether he made the shots or missed the shots. they went to their number 1 option and he rolled the dice. when in game 3 you can look at how often lebron was away from the ball you had to wonder if he was still on the court. game 4 might be a little different but this zone defense sure puts a cease to the alley oops and the penetrating dunks

  18. Worshaka says:

    On a side note, from what I’ve seen of James in these finals, this is why he isn’t the GOAT. I never saw Jordan look tentative and unsure of himself on the biggest stage.

    Now I say this acknowledging James is a great player, we often forget or sporting stars are human. However, if we want to critically measure his ability in a GOAT discussion, then unfortunately we need to be harsh. Jordan made it to 6 finals and won them all, winning the finals MVP each time. At times he appeared to single handedly lead those Bulls teams to wins when the other members (including Pippen) appeared lost. At this moment in time, I’m not seeing that from James.

    Perhaps James breaks out of his funk and makes me eat my words, as a basketball fan I would love to witness that. I just don’t see it happening, he looks mentally beaten.

  19. Andrew says:

    Random, but what’s the name of the track in the “Film Study: Mid-range Jumpers” vid?

  20. thebeast says:

    just react if the spurs will get the ring :D :D :D

    • Jack says:

      Let’s hope so. At least, they’ve earned it. The Spurs defeated way tougher opponents than the Bucks, a short-handed Chicago, and the Pacers to get to the finals.

  21. edjpar says:

    We cannot argue that LBJ is one of the best (or the best perhaps) player in the league. However, being the best doesn’t always translates to winning championships (though LJ has one). NBA basketball is very dynamic, it changes from time to time. A sheer talent (like that of LBJ) must be able to soar in the changing times. We’re not saying that LJ should change his playing style but he should make his playing style respond to the situation that beset him. The Spurs’ strategy is by far working on him (that he should realize it by now) and that if Miami will continue to be fettered, maybe the 2013 championship is not for them. peace.

    • Jack says:

      Right on!

      Thankfully, being the best player and getting some superstar buddies to join you does not automatically give you the title year in and year out. It is supposed to be a competitive sport and the best team should win, not the best individuals.

  22. Arham says:

    I have been a Heat fan for a while now. Inmy opinion this team is at the peak of there game. Regarding LeBron James’ last two games where he hasn’t done much. I don’t blame him there are players such as Bosh and D- Wade that need to step up, they need to come out with a mind set that they will be a big contribution in the game. Yes you will get a big game from Chalmers or Allen once in a while but they are not the superstars of the team. This team is very strong when they play team basketball. As soon as someone decides that they will be a ball hog, is when they lose the ball game. They need to run more pick and rolls with Bosh, Andersen, and Haslem rather than them shooting jumpers. Also they need to spread the floor more so that people like Miller, Chalmers, and Allen can make some threes. I also understand that SA doesn’t average to many turnovers but Miami has to force them, because they are very strong on Fastbreaks. I believe that if Miami does some if these changes then they should be good for the rest of the season.

  23. angel says:

    What team in the NBA go to the finals 3 times in a row? Lakers or Bulls or boston OKC or New York.

    Ok guys,is Miami….lol LBJ the best…

    • angel says:

      Sorry,to 2011-2013 only Miami heat and LEBRON JAMEEEEEEEEEEESSSS!!!!

      • James says:

        the Lakers won 3 in a row from ’00-’02, and a went to the finals 3 times in a row (losing to Celtics initially, and beating Orlando and Boston between ’08-’10. this is the heat’s 3rd trip to the finals in a row.. BUT you only have 1 ring so far… and this is LBJ’s 4th trip to the finals and he only has 1 ring. they beat a OKC team last year who because they had a young team with no finals experience, a young coach, and their style of play (up-tempo) allowed the Heat to do what they are best at… Stats don’t make you the best player, winning makes you the best – its hard to hide from the shooting % the writer gave.. LBJ cant get it done outside the paint in the finals.. even when they are giving him open shots.. when did any team give Jordan open shots intentionally, when did any team give kobe open shot intentionally, when did any team give paul pierce open shots, or dirk. you cant be the best player if you cant hit 15 footers. they are guarding him like the lakers guarded Rando or parker (before he started making his jump shots).

        LBJ is afraid to lose.. its why he wont be in the dunk contest.. his fear of losing is greater than his confidence and greater than his will to win.

  24. Patty says:

    MIAMI HEAT PLAYERS DONOT LIKE LEBRON JAMES. JAMES PRETENDS IN FRONT OF THE CAMEARS THAT HE GETS ALONG WITH HIS TEAMMATES BUT HE DOES NOT.

  25. chico says:

    look at the numbers and tell me one player that got it like him?
    I been searching for days now…

  26. BZEBallFan says:

    Lebron said he is 50 times a better player than when he first met the Spurs in the finals. The way he is performing during this series seems like he has not grown much at all. Hopes we see the improvement he boast about in game 4. He needs to get out of his head and enjoy the game. #heartNsoulBall

  27. REAL_TALK says:

    Bulls and Indiana were the toughest team in the playoffs. spurs just one up by mistake. Game 4,5,6 will tell

  28. That is Funny says:

    I find it amusing that every is putting the lose on LeBron. He does deserve the brunt of the share for a none magical performance. Does no one understand Gary Neal and Danny Green scored over 50 points… over 50 points. The big 3 for the Spurs again had a poor performance, combining for 30, and yet everyone is hung up on LeBron. Miami’s 3 has yet to put together this entire post season, it’s mostly a couple games here and there. I believe that after game 4 we will see what either team is made of, because Neal and Green can not carry the Spurs and had they had their normal games the would have less than 15 or 20 combined.

  29. Rich Wagner says:

    That should be a real stat in the box score.

  30. Rich Wagner says:

    Doesn’t anyone else see the similarities between Lebron and Peyton?

  31. KingJames6 says:

    C’mon ‘bron! Show ‘em what the kid from Akron can do. You can do better than this. Just focus on the goal. Remember why you joined forces with Bosh and D-Wade. Remember why you chose the number 6 as your jersey number. They playing psych on you. Don’t bite. Ball it!

  32. Rich Wagner says:

    Doesn’t anyone see the simalarities between Lebron and Peyton?

  33. SirGray says:

    Immediately LeBron is getting the blame. D. Wade hasn’t been able to stay with the perimeter players in this series nor in the Indiana series. He keeps getting caught in no man’s land. If D. Wade is guarding a good outside shooter he should stay there and stop attempting to help. And the Heat needs to STOP going to Bosh at the beginning of every game. It doesn’t make any of the Spurs big men work on defense. So they can use all of there energy on offense. Bosh and Chalmbers needs to come off of the bench. Cole and Birdman needs to start. Or Miller and Birdman. That’s probably even better. And Spo needs to act like a coach and stop being afraid to chew these guys out publicly.

  34. average player says:

    lebron is a good baskeball player.. period..

  35. dchow3 says:

    LeBron is so stiff offensively when he doesn’t have it going. His face says it all. It’s either go left strong, jap step jumpshot or travel for him. He’s mentally weak and will never be as clutch as kobe and jordan. He’s afraid to miss and likes deferring to his scrubby teamates when the game is on the line so he doesn’t have to take the blame.

    However, besides LeBron not being his usual self. I still have absolutely no idea what erik spoelstra is doing. Offensively, he plays pick up basketball and relies heavily on LeBron’s brilliance. He doesnt maximize his players potential, something all coaches should do. He calls the most obvious timeouts everytime after the opposing team makes 2-3 baskets in a row and gives the crowd the chance to chant harder. He is so predictable its funny. How he is still coaching and wasting the prime time of these big time players are all on Pat Riley. He’s too stubborn to admit that he made the wrong decision with Spo. The only thing Spo does well is dancing around questions during interviews and bsing his way through them. He says the same thing in every single interview. Coaching this team is beyond his capabilities and I don’t understand how no one else is seeing this.

    • Ilovelebronjames says:

      Pacers series lebron wasn’t afraid to take the clutch shot and make it AGAIN EVEN IF LEBRON WERE TO SCORE GAME 3 THEY STILL WULDA LOST END OF STORY. U NEED MORE THAN 1 GUY. IT’S EVEN AMAZING THAT HE CAN WIN ALL BY HIMSELF BUT IT CAN’T BE EVERY GAME

  36. jus my opinion says:

    everytime Birdman, mike miller and norris cole are on the floor the heat are almost unstopable..they play harder i dnt kw why eric is hesitant about sittin wade and bosh and play those guys more minute..based on what i have seen so far this is the best heat line up Lebron,Birdman,Mike miller,Noris Cole and battier….

  37. Logic says:

    we are not talking about the best player, but we’re talking about how the best team will react brutally!!!

  38. dirkovan says:

    I just find it funny how lebron desperately tried to step up as the leader of the heat doing the pep talk and commanding the battle songs etc. You have to understand lebron is not a leader. You need a go-to-guy (like the 04-08 wade or a deron williams or a young ginobilli/garnett or a rondo) playing with Lebron who won last year just because the thunder is a jump shooting team with no proper team defense and rotation system and with a dumb big man not knowing how to contest layups in a smart way. What is even more disappointing than Lebron is wade and Bosh. Totally overrated, none of them played well in crucial games on a consistent basis. At some stage in the 1H Bosh had 12 points and 6 or 8 rebounds. You may nod and say wow. Though none of those shots made a difference, if any. The fact is that they are soft, no agressivity and they cant cope with the double and triple teams james is getting in the paint.

    I dont think right now that the Heat will be able to steal one from SA. And that makes it a 4-1 series?

  39. Logic says:

    It’s logic!

  40. jean says:

    WAIT, are we still talking about the best player in the world???? or is this someone else. lolz :) follow me at @koolkiddy12

  41. MIA says:

    I dont matter game four is on thursday lebron will show that game 3 was just a fluke he has to much on the line he knows that if he loses the FINALS again EVERYONE GONNA BE ON HIS BACK …HE KNOWS WHATS ON THE LINE .HE WILL SHOW UP GAME 4 IN A BIG WAY…THE BEAST WONT BE CAGED FOR LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. rinati75 says:

    Miami gets blown out once and the world is ending…give me a break.

  43. Logic says:

    why are spurs fans talking too much like that? the problem is that miami underestimated the spurs. Heat will rise and easily have a double digits victory for the next match.

  44. robd says:

    This should be proof that LJ is a Hype created by his endorsements! A self proclaimed “KING” does not allow his team to fail miserably like they did lastnight. He’s good, but not as good as the media claims he is. its all a marketable skeem so you watch his games, buy his jerseys etc.

  45. Alley Cat says:

    You guys are correct on one thing Spo can’t coach! Lebron and dewayne would be in the post every trip down the floor. San Antonio can’t guard either guy in the post it’s been proven thru 3 games. Spolestra is an idiot! San Antonio has to triple team both players which leaves Miami’s 3 point shooters wide open. The fact the Lebron doesn’t recgonize it and Wade doesn’t care because he’s not getting the ball is beyond my comprehension. Pat Riley should have taken over the team after that Dallas collapse. The guy was shooting close to 60% from 2 point land and above 40% from 3 point land during the regular seasons, that’s no fluke. He shot better than Ray Allen from 3 guys wake up! He’s thinking and not play that’s why he’s not Jordan or Kobe and never will be…He doesn’t know when to adjust his game and he has a coach that doesn’t know how to tell him to adjust it. Pat Riley did it for Magic, 5 rings even thru injury seasons with the personnel around him. How can you be the best player in the world and not have confidence in yourself…he’s a big disappointment!

    Alley Cat

  46. Barto says:

    What happens when the league’s MVP is gone? That team has no chances of winning. Simply said Lebron is gone, there’s a team waiting for him to show up, and I don’t see that happenning anytime soon.

    I wonder if Spo will have the guts to bench him, either to make him react or at least have 5 determined to-die-on-the-floor players out there.

    Something is WRONG with Lebron, and this is not the first time we see it!! Look at his eyes and all you see is a frightened dumb player.

  47. Do not stay close says:

    I hope we do not have to see a LeBron Wilt James.

  48. Ball Don't Lie says:

    Clearly this is a battle of the coaches. Both teams are talented and LeBron James is slated the best basketball player in the world (which I disagree)… however this series is ultimately going to come down to strategy. It’s a chess game between both coaches and now the Heat’s weaknesses are being exposed. We’ve learned that while Miami may have the best culmination of talent in the league it’s also a double edge sword. While it’s normal to have bad games I’m befuddled at LeBron James’ lackluster performance in game 3. He’s been less than stellar this entire post season and I honestly do not see him being the best player in the world. We’ve learned that coach Spo implements basic basketball fundamentals and relies heavily on the hype and talent of his team. Coach Pop has a plan, a strategy, a great program and an effective procedure. While Pop relies on his grand design, coach Spo relies on LeBron James. At times talent can get you a couple rings and a formidable reputation in the playoffs, but now we’re finding out what happens when talent is overshadowed by spectacular coaching.

    • WhingingtalkingAboutwhinging says:

      Bro chill out!? No need for all that ranting and bashing LJ.your opinion does not even overshadow the fact that he is the best player in basketball. When was the last time you actually witness a27 game winning streak prior to Heat. Unless you re 100 years old when the Lakers were relevant you have not seen a streak like this. Bottomline LJ is to appreciated unless you have no appreciation for the game.

      • elton says:

        agree w/ u bro….

      • chris says:

        did you guys see who they actually played during their their vaunted 27 game win streak? About 20 to 23 games were against the leagues cream puffs, not many quality wins at all. They have gathered most of the leagues best talent, they should have won all of those games. you play the Bobcats, wizards, and raptors enough times you are bound to have a pretty good record. If the heat played in the west, they might be a third or fourth seed, but they play in a weaker conference. I’ve always said lebron couldn’t shoot and here once again he is proving me right. Don’t get me wrong.He’s a great player, maybe the best of his generation, but he is not nearly as good as all the hype makes him out to be. He’s very lucky he played OKC last year, because they are weak defensively especially on the interior. Like they said,James destroyed those dudes from inside. But when you make him a perimeter shooter, his game and numbers change dramatically. He’s not the type of shooter that is going to bury you from outside if you leave him open. He’s going to make shots, but as we have seen he is streaky and the heat don’t have any big men to rebound the ball when he misses. Wade is the same way. You take away their inside game where they are virtually unstoppable around the basket and they become mediocre offensive players. Miami doesnt have a half court offense. Its mainly give it to lebron and let him get to the basket and if he can’t get it to shooter on the perimeter to one of there shooters.Reason this isnt working is because the spurs aren’t letting him get anywhere near the paint, and they are covering all of the shooters(even though Mike Miller is still lighting their butts up.he was ridiculous.) Ive been saying all post season long, that they are fortunate enough they havent played any teams who are both good on offense and defense. The Heat win most of thier games on just talent alone. They are so good on transition, they get a dunk or three off of every single tornover, and the are amazing at it. But when you play a team like the Spurs, or Dallas who didnt, and don’t turnn the ball over a lot, it forces Miami to slow down and play half court sets and they are plain and simply not good at it. The only way Miami is going to win this series is they are going to have to get a lot more turnovers, and Lebron is going to have to find a way to get to the rim, because if they don’t the Spurs are too solid and consistent on both sides of the ball

  49. Jim says:

    LeBron is a great player, his numbers speak for themselves. He is no Michael Jordan though. Jordan is the only player I have seen that could be triple teamed and still get his shot off and score.

  50. Craig says:

    Listen,I have been saying it all along..Lebron will never win another title….Bosh is MIA and should be traded.. Wade is done as far as I am concerned..Lebron thinks that he will win 5 to 8 titles with this team..What a joke..He is not mentally tough like a Kobe or Jordan….Splostra is just a motivator and not really a tactical coach..Cannot be compared to Pop..
    To me he is just Pat Riley’s puppet…I want the Spurs to really bury that team…I want lebron to feel the sting of defeat…

    • Whatever says:

      Yikes! Just enjoy the game bro. No need for hate.

    • WhingingtalkingAboutwhinging says:

      I guess you are the haters pupet since you speak for all of them. May be you’re the dude that hit the Heat fan and run the other day!

    • elton says:

      shut up jing2x! spurs will fall……

    • Amaury says:

      You must really hate the miami heat to say something as stupid as this. Look if you really hate Bash,wade, lebron and all of their player dont watch the game and go hate on something else.

  51. Lamar says:

    can’t really be callin’ him the “world’s best player” at this point lmao somewhere right now Kobe is sitting back and shaking his head at this.

  52. Will says:

    After watching Game 3, I could see LeBron he’s still not ready to bursting out the temper of the king. He is more like a bench player, making miss shot. LeBron should take the mentality and hold the stress, step up be the leader of Miami heat as well as prove yourself to the world, that you can do it. I think Kobe’s performance is still greater than Lebron in anyway.

  53. chandler says:

    I don’t doubt LeBron James is the best talent and player in the league though I’m a Kobe fan. I like his play style. I don’t like how he shies away from big moments. This is the 2nd finals where he has completely disappeared. If Heat win the finals, I hope its not him that gets the MVP. On the other hand, Gregg Popovich is a strategic mastermind. Does whatever it takes to win and knows the other team inside and out before heading into a game or series. Utilizes all his players talents and potentials and accentuates what they’re good at. It fathoms me how he only has 1 (or 2, I’m not sure) coach of the year award. This guy is brilliant.

    • SpursFanFrom UK says:

      Pop has two, ’03 and ’12. But in reality, he should have had 5,6 or 7 by now, I agree with you!

    • 34yr fan says:

      great point !

    • Enid Ballantyne says:

      I don’t understand this series at all. I am a long-time basketball fan-back to the Bird and Magic Johnson days. What I don’t get is why one night Miami looks spectacular and the Spurs can’t buy a basket. The next game it is the reverse. We’re not talking about tight games; we’re talking blowouts. One thing I have noticed is the Spurs are better at rebounding at both ends of the court. Any ideas out there?
      Bebe40

      • JT says:

        I think it’s because both teams are trying different things, probing for weaknesses to exploit on the other team. When they hit on one, they are both such great executors that they’ll pull out a 10-15 pt run. Then, the other team tries to close the hole… but what if they don’t close it fast enough? And what if they don’t find a hole of their own to exploit fast enough either? All of a sudden it’s a 30 pt lead, and even though there’s plenty of time left, you’re asking yourself whether it’s worth risking your starters to come back from this when you got a whole rest of a series to play? Better to tip the hat, pull the starters, regroup instead for the next game and get your bench some PT. And that is the anatomy of a two way blowout in the NBA Finals.

  54. Max says:

    All of the Greats.WHO ARE SUPPOSE TO know it all. last night seem to see the game as Spurs verses Lebron. Fair? NO, Heat also had 5 un-hinged player, not just LeBron! Sunday 4 Spurs players took the main part of the blame, BUT NOT LAST NIGHT, IT WAS ALL LEBRON. goodness IS James THE ONLY PROFESIONAL PLAYER THAT THE HEAT HAS?

    • robd says:

      A self proclaimed “KING” doesnt play like he has. This should be proof that LJ is just a media Hype. The best player in the world doesnt allow his team to lose like he did.

      • fireman says:

        i mean you dont go on the league’s 2nd best winning streak for nothing. the man can play but you are only as good as your weakest link AND your leader. no chief? who do the indians follow?

    • Odog says:

      I agree 100%. There is a reason Jordan would never have a game like LBJ had last night. He never had to carry a team as much as LBJ. Scottie, Rodman, Horace Grant, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, Paxon, and oh that guy Phil Jackson would not allow that to happen.

  55. medic05 says:

    Now you see Dennis Rodman was right if Lebron James played in the Jordan era he will be just an average player. Lebron will choke in his entire career!

    • Whatever says:

      If James is average, what does that make everybody else? Also, I would be wary of anything that comes out Rodman’s mouth. We’re talking about a guy who thinks that a North Korean dictator is a cool and humble kid. Hmm.

      • Odog says:

        This is interesting. If Lebron was playing in Jordan era he would kill because there is no zone. Get it straight. Don’t get excited when you have no knowledge of the game.

      • fireman says:

        why when it comes sports we tend to bring up non sports related issues? rodman is one of the best defenders and rebounders the league has ever seen especially to be undersized. i think his opinion holds alot of merit. this isnt craig sager talking.

  56. CornHole says:

    keep it up spurs!

  57. bballjunkie1 says:

    He will continue to shoot poorly as long as Spo continues to coach as if there is tomorrow. Pop, Hollins, Rivers, Jackson tweek until they find a line up. No set patterns when there is no tomorrow. Everytime Bird,Miller, Allen are in the game and get it going or stay close, he comes right back with starting line up that in this series will not be able to get it done because of match ups. Its not that Miami can’t win, Miami is getting out coached plain and simple. Watching Pop pull trigger from the bench is masterful enjoy him and no Tony Parker last night.

    • Shawn says:

      Let me get this straight. A coach runs an offense that gives the best player on the planet open 15 footers for an entire series and he’s doing a bad job?

      If the best player on the planet is shooting 20% on 15 – 20 footers that are wide open, then they don’t deserve to win.

      It’s just that simple. Sometimes its a make or miss league and if the 4 time MVP can’t hit wide open shots, well you lose.

    • JERSON says:

      yow..i don’t agree w/ u 100%..coach spo did a good job..but n terms of match.up against pop we all know the latter has a big advantage..but don’t put the blame on coach spo..Lebron is really having his difficulty..i don’t know why but he’s really affected with the defense..he’s the center of offense so when he isn’t scoring the heat will have a hard time scoring..end of story..unless lebron doesn’t show up..i mean become the beast he was once (regular season) miami heat might lose the finals..sigh..

      • New Yorker says:

        I think they’re (Pop) playing mind games with LBJ and it’s working. Seriously, no reason to blame Spo. He’s doing a fine job. James got stronger mentally, but that is still the weakest part of his game. Pop knows he remembers how they played him in 2007 and his doing the exact same thing.

        It’s not all on James tho. This is a team sport. Wade and Bosh need to be more of a threat. If Wade is not going to take wide open jump shots what is the point of keeping him in the game? C’mon, this is the NBA, the Finals. Former NBA finals MVP is afraid to take jumpshots?

    • justine says:

      James is missing wide open shots… What Spo can do when the best player in the planet is missing shots.

      • elton says:

        i think james must drive to the paint like what he did in 2011 finals, and if double-triple team will come, find the ope man outside and knock those shots….simple, they did that already why cant they do it in game 4, go heat………

      • KING BRYANT says:

        If lebron is shooting only 20% in a single finals game and says to media “I CAN DO BETTER…” he’s not the best player on the planet. He’s a fraud. But he got every body fooled into believing he is… San Antonio will whoop his a$$ again in game 4 to remind James just who he’s mess’in wit, sunn… and dat’s real championship bball from true western conference veterans!

    • Boyoyong says:

      “Everytime Bird,Miller, Allen are in the game and get it going or stay close, he comes right back with starting line up that in this series will not be able to get it done because of match ups” Totally agree with this, I noticed this in Game 1 when the 2nd unit comes in with Lebron with 2 shooters at the flank and they managed to make a run around the 2nd quarter. This unit in game 2 was the unit that pulled away and got them the win, Spo got so much respect for Wade that he has to have him in during the 4th quarter. Every game this starting lineup starts slow as the ball stops moving with Wade hesitating to shoot outside jumpers. Lebron needs the spacing of the shooters. If Wade is in for his defense, well he’s not doing a good job on Danny Green. I feel that there should always be two shooters together with Lebron to let him work from the post or dribble drives. Wade/Chalmers/Cole can rotate at the point depending who’s giving the energy out there and Birdman/Bosh/Haslem at the center spot. Battier can replace Allen/Miller combo for the rotation. I love Spo as he has pinoy roots but sometimes he has to bench Wade/Bosh if their not playing with some urgency. Wade has stepped up his aggression lately but its just bad spacing with him and Lebron together at the same time. If their in together they can play their 2 man pick and rolls just like the Indy series last year together with the 2 shooters.