Spurs Go Deep To Bury The Heat

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SAN ANTONIO – The avalanche started the way they often do, with a groaning and a rumbling and a sense of foreboding from somewhere deep within.

Then comes the time to outrun it and that rarely works.

When the Spurs were finished rolling down the mountainside, it would have taken an emergency beacon to find the Heat after a 113-77 thumping that gives San Antonio a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

Well, the consensus opinion was that the Spurs would need their Big Three to show up in order to regain their equilibrium.

Gary Neal

Gary Neal hit six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points in the Spurs’ Game 3 rout.

What they got instead were big 3s, 16 of them, in fact, which set a new Finals record.

Rather than get carried by the veteran strength and experience of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, they rode a wave of 3-pointers by Danny Green and Gary Neal.

This is the way the Spurs play these days, no longer the pound-it-down-low to Duncan team that throttled a younger LeBron James in their last trip to The Finals in 2007. It’s been a total transformation, like waking up one day to find a Kardashian studying quantum physics.

Duncan, Parker and Ginobili combined for 25 points. Green hit 7-for-9 from behind the arc for 27 points and Neal popped in 6 of 10 deep for 24.

When the Spurs are at their best, they move the ball like it’s ticking, searching, seeking, finding the open man. They were the fourth-best team in the league this season in shooting 3s, connecting on 37.6 percent.

“It makes the game a lot easier for us,” Green said. “When we’re moving the ball like that, trusting each other to knock down shots, make plays, it makes the defense work. It makes them move, rotate. The more you make a defense move, the more they’re liable to make mistakes. So we just continue to move it and trust each other.”

That the trust in a critical Game 3 with a championship on the line was placed in the hands of Green and Neal is typical of the Spurs’ organizational philosophy: You’re wearing the uniform, so we expect you to be able to play.

The barrage started out in the second quarter when Neal, undrafted and playing in Europe when the Spurs asked him to re-schedule his honeymoon in order to take part in a summer tryout in 2010, hit Miami with three treys in the quarter, including one that just beat the halftime horn.

“Honestly, I was comfortable with the financial situation in Italy,” Neal said. “With me getting married and wanting to start a family, I kind of wanted to be in the States. I never had a crack at the NBA. I never played summer league, never did a mini-camp or anything.

“So when the opportunity came knocking, I said, you know, I’ll try.”

Green had been cut twice by the Spurs before finally sticking the third time after an offseason double-teaming by San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and his old college coach Roy Williams of North Carolina.

“(Confidence) was the missing piece the last couple of years,” Popovich said. “Believing that he belonged. Not getting down if things didn’t go well, to continue to push and work.”

The Spurs pushed the ball quickly all around the court all night to stay ahead of Miami’s defensive rotations. For the first time in the series, the San Antonio offense was as relentless as lava flow and had the Heat chasing. After compiling just 16 assists in the first two games, combined, the Spurs dished out 29 in Game 3.

So much for the talk of momentum shifts after Miami used a 33-5 second-half tsunami to whip the Spurs in Game 2. So much for the talk that after picking his way carefully against the San Antonio defense to open the series that James would be ready to bust out and assert himself.

Now the talk will be about a hamstring injury suffered by Parker that will undergo an MRI on Wednesday and has him listed as uncertain for Game 4.

The Heat have an off-day to figure out the uncertainty of James’ game. He started out a horrid 2-for-12 shooting, finished a miserable 7-for-21 and seems to be treating the paint as if it were infested by alligators.

James took the responsibility and put the burden on himself, while Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his team reaped precisely what it had sown in allowing the Spurs to convert 16 of 32 from long range. It’s one thing to make them. It’s another to make so many uncontested and the Heat’s perimeter defense has been lacking since the series began.

“I mean, they’re great shooters,” Spoelstra said. “We have great shooters. If you’re not doing your job and doing it early with great discipline, guys get open. And that’s what happened.

“They got all the easy ones they wanted first…When you get easy ones, the basket starts to look bigger and bigger. And they got them in every single way they needed to — little drives, offensive rebounds, transition. We got what we deserved tonight.”

Buried beneath an avalanche of 3s.

62 Comments

  1. Bill Fitch says:

    Tim Duncan was over looked, maybe not completely, but he should have been the Defensive Player of the Year over Gasol. For one thing, look at the way he played MG @ Grizz? Awesome! He is doing the same thing right now. Chris Anderson, according to the Box score, had 0? Rebounds? Huh? Why is that? Timmy Duncan. The Spurs are playing a tip tip style of rebounding, arms straight up, don’t need to jump high and snatch it out of the air like KG or DH do, but just tip it to your friend close by, he tips its back, you get the board, no fighting. This is what is winning the games for the Spurs. DWade had 0 boards? Mike Miller had 0 boards, Shane B had 3 in 8 minutes. Haslem had 3, Ok Spice Bosh had 10, but he didn’t hit any 3’s! I expect to see Miami crashing the boards, but Spurs will win in transition out running the HEAT! Play Shane Coach Spoo!

  2. Patty says:

    CHRIS BROUSSARD MUST BE IN LEBRON JAMES’S WALLET. HE COMPLIMENTS JAMES SO MUCH THAT WE ALL JUST WANT TO FAINT.

  3. Patty says:

    LEONARD, NEAL, & GREEN WERE SPECTACULAR. THE PURS WILL BE JUST FINE.

    KEEP YOUR EYES ON CRY BAB, LEBRON JAMES.

    WHAT THE MEDIA NEEDS TO DO ALONG WITH SPORTSCENTER, IS TO STOP MAKING LEBRON JAMES OUT TO BE A SUPER MAN. HE IS NOT KOBE BRYANT OR MICHAEL JORDAN.

  4. Ren says:

    I am a Spurs fan, and I have to say we’re only 2-1. A simple win by Miami by a point or 2 in Gm 4 will even up the series. Yes, we should be happy with the win, but now is planning for Game 4. If you asked most coaches, they should prefer just to win a 7 to 8 point game rather than blowing the other team out. You just don’t know how the blow out affects the other team mentally and emotionally. You either destroy them or you fire them up. Either way, I hope the Spurs manages this win a lot better than from Gm 1. Gm 4 is a full 48 minutes and not 36 minutes. Remember that. Home court advantage is only home court advantage when you win on your home court. I have few thoughts after watching gm 3:

    Open shots: I understand Spurs defensive scheme was to make Lebron and few others to be outside shooters, and block the route to the paint, but I still think you shouldn’t give so much space to allow those shots. I hope Coach Pop to prepare a defensive plan in case Lebron starts to hit those open shots. Chasing down the role player shooters were pretty good except the trailing 3’s by Millers. To me, I think chasing and contesting the role players from getting those 3’s must be continued.

    Green’s / Neal: Definitely, I think Eric Spoelstra will have his people chase Green/Neal’s tail like a bull dog. The main thing for Green’s/Neal I think is to stay compose and continue to get open and let if fly. But I think they will need 200% more effort trying to get open and don’t give up. Keep moving. It will be a lot harder in Game 4.

    Ginobli: Although the shootings weren’t there, and few bad turn overs, I think Ginobli presence is very important. He makes the defense guess because he’s quite unpredictable and he always looks for his shot that’s why they can’t leave him completely open. There is a difference between a player who is eager to get open and take shots and those who is open and take shots. One thing I noticed is that Ginobli is not gathering his balance in his shots. Many of the outside shots were slightly rushed / leaned/ and/or off balance. Hopefully he can improve in that. But he can affect the games in many ways. Many tiny little things help…

    Kawai Lenoard: That kid gets game. Keep it up. Keep being humble and play the game as it is. Very impressed thus far. His defense / observation of the game / and approach in getting quality shots are very admirable.

    Parker: Wish Parker gets well. He didn’t play much in the 3rd, but again it affected the game in the beginning. Good luck on the Hamstring

    Duncan: Big fundamental, what can you say? This is the difference between a player like Hilbert & Duncan. When Duncan’s offensive game is off, he knows other way to help. But a younger player like Hilbert still needs to learn the other areas of the game. It’s all about your mental approach to the game.

    Overall, we all should expect the Heat will come back strong. The Spurs might even take some hit in the game but just need to continue to stay focus and work together. Miami traps and pressure can really affect you if you don’t handle it well. However, we can always counter traps and pressure with good ball movement / decision making / and no hesitation to take good shot.. Everything just comes down to execution at the end. Go on Spurs, play it as a team

    • Marco29 says:

      Agreed with most of your post. I am worried about Game 4 too and I don’t care too much of this 90% stat for the Game 3 winner. Miami will make the adjustements on Neal and Green and LBJ will likely come closer to the basket and be more agressive. If Parker does not play, it will be complicated for the Spurs to take advantage of the Heat defending the 3pt line and allowing space for drives to the baskets. This cuould be a game for a 30+ performance for Parker if he is heathy. This is why we would need Manu to be more of an X-factor and a real offensive threat. Also it James comes closer to the basket, I would try to put Blair in front of him at times with his size and athletism.

  5. sam says:

    the refs tried to influence again but what can they do if green neal and co get hot nothing. clear hit in duncans face and then a fastbreak, many calls no one can understand but thats how u have to response …i hope we will see better refs in game 4… fair game plz stern thats all i want ,the result i dont care

  6. mee(a)t says:

    That game was crazy and heart wrenching…

  7. Tomas says:

    No a big fan of the heats or Spurs. Cs & Lakers rep!

    But let’s get real, I don’t like when sport announcers get oneside like a bunch of ignorant kids.

    Heats have a lot of stars, and yes they could possibly win this thing as most people predicted. But right this moment, it’s a fun ball time. Thanks to the spirit of the Spurs who found ways to give the talking heads reason to think twice before downing/condemning them to the power of “KING JAMES”!

    Keep the excitement up Miami and San Antonio BB boys, we basketball fans love and enjoy a very good series!

    Thanks to my East African bro/friend for dragging me into a sport I never liked..lol

  8. 34yr fan says:

    regarding the Quote from Spoelstra about how the Spurs “Got all the EASY ones first”………That is one thing he said that I don’t agree with…..’cause if shooting a 3 was EASY if you are open/uncontested, then everybody would be making them, now wouldn’t they !!

  9. Lushie says:

    Spurs in 6 games !

  10. droan says:

    its not over..spurs need two more games to be a champion..anything can happen..go heat….

  11. Sikhumbuzo says:

    Firstly I like the way LeBron took responsibility for the loss, hes the leader and although we all know that this is a 5 man team sports LeBron is the focal point of the Heat when he is lacking the whole team bums out, Wade and Bosh superstars as they are, they are like what Pip, Steve and Dennis were to Mike, just supporters, they are the Small 2 of the Big 3.. Great play by the Spurs and fact is even if Spol switches to a strong perimeter D the Spurs are viscious in the paint

  12. rohibook says:

    NBA Finals Spurs-Heat in Five takeaways Game 3 USA Today a detail article published by alturka.org

  13. Sebuk says:

    RIGGED !!! They have magnets in the ball and the rim…. The Heat have already been chosen to win this year. Watch… game 7 in Miami Heat by a blowout ! Too much money at risk to not go 7 games for ABC and NBA

  14. theholyspectator says:

    you can guarantee that miami wins game 4..if not spurs should be crowned in game 5

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….can’t say ‘guarantee’ and then……..”if not” One or the other…….don’t go CYA on us now!!

  15. Marco29 says:

    Great game by the Spurs and great contribution of the “Litlle big 3″ of Green, Neal and Leonard! But the series is far from being over. Game 3 is the response to game 2 and Miami is a very resilient team and will likely bounce back. Miami’s job is to take one in SA just as Spur’s job was to take one in Miami. Game 4 will be the most important and a must win for Spurs.If they lead 3-1 they have a faire chance of winnng the series in 5 at home or in 6 or 7 in Miami. If Miami comes back to 2 a piece, they will have an opportunity to shift back to Miami with a 3-2 lead and their hands firmly holding on the trophy.
    Maybe LBJ will manage to break out of Leonard’s defense in game 4 or another player will step up (Wade, Bosh, Chalmers or Haslem). With Allen, Miller and the Birdman being very consitent they can bounce back. Yet Spurs have the chance that they still haven’t had a grest game from their “big 3″. if it comes in game 4 and Leonard can keep up his great defense on LBJ, Spurs will be fine.
    This is a great series. Bring on game 4!!!

    • 34yr fan says:

      In the Finals….the winner of game 3 wins the Championship over 90% of the time…….hmmmmmm

  16. Silver says:

    Hey, where are the boastful Miami Heat fans now??

    Why suddenly quiet?

    Where are you:
    Miami-Cuba connection
    lol
    Let’s be Real
    Johnny
    —11—
    Heatfan-tastic
    Miami Heat Fan
    Heat lb6
    Mike
    Raul
    Arnel
    HEATFANSINCEWADE

    C’mon, give us your humble opinion now…

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….lickin’ their wounds

      • HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

        Great beatdown for the Spurs. Their role players stepped up big time! Its not over though, Miami will respond in kind. Heat nation stand up and after a loss the Heat respond by an average of 20 points lately. We’ve been in this situation before. It ain’t over by no means!

  17. Zackwise says:

    Still, It will be a tough war, w/o TP, It would fall towards the Heat’s favor. With TP, it would go to game 7. Hope that the spurs could make use of the next 2 home games and tell the world what basketball actually mean.

  18. tocopan says:

    I feel sorry for the San Antonio fans. They are so excited and think they are killing the Heats. We here in Miami know this tactic from last year and this year previous playoff (see Pacers). They are letting San Antonio win some games to extend the finals to games 6 and/or 7!!!
    It is all a business! They want to bring the final back to Miami for the extra money the team can make. And who knows maybe even for the money it would bring to the city businesses too!!
    I’m not saying they are been paid to lose (hmmm) but you will see. They did it last year in the finals and this year against the Pacers. Check the scores in those two occasions and see how the game after losing they would win by a huge margin. Check game 2 after game 1 in this series.
    Are you really so innocent to think that San Antonio is so good compared to Miami as to win by 36 in a finals game???
    jejejeje, that’s so funny.

    • adawg says:

      what about 2 years ago vs dallas? did they just let dallas win. and if that were the case, i think miami would win the first two games at home before wanting to throw games. nobody wants to lose by 36 points. jejeje! idiot.

    • MIGO says:

      I dont even want to reply to this comment but i have to, sir you are an avid fan and that’s good im not a fan of the Spurs nor a fan of Miami, you really think that miami will throw games or play less better just to be home for the last 2 games?, really?, really?, simply put Spurs were hot Miami was not period, there is no strategy to let them win and we’ll win @ home, there are defensive strategies, so youre tellingme that Lebron is avg. less than 17 ppg on purpose? he is just trying to hard instead of playing the way he knows how to, let the game come to him, AND wade and bosh are not helping whatsoever, Spurs are doing what they are supposed to do, they know the whole playoffs Wade and Bosh are not playing good so they concentrate on Lebron and they and dare miami’s role players to beat them, yes it happened on game 2 but they live with it, did you saw any adjustments made by the spurs? no cause they did not needed any, game 2 they won by 19 although everybody contributed it was Chalmers who really won that game, Spurs can live with that, i hate when ppl comment just by feelings of their teams and not looking at what really happens on the court, Miami can win 3 in a row on paper they can, but they have to play as a team, this is not Lebron’s team, is Miami’s team

      • TRU*NBAFAN says:

        Thank you for that on- target reply. Bless you for taking the time to explain to the pseudo basketball fans. And by the way, dude, thanks but not thanks on the pity, the spurs don’t need it. They have a solid franchise that they built with 4 rings behind it with almost the same three guys and a solid drive for five!!!

    • 34yr fan says:

      …”we here in Miami”……lol……lol…..a joke of a post

    • justsayin says:

      You clearly know as much about economics as you do about basketball. lmao
      No team has EVER risked the big payoff of winning a championship for the measly income of a couple of home games.

      Btw remind me which big 3 has won more titles? Miami didn’ t even earn the one; the refs were heroic in their defense. It’s amazing the city or team of OKC didn’t sue. Besides the money they lost in not having a champ, maybe OKC would’ve been making enough to ignore the luxury tax a little while a re-sign Harden. (At least the silver lining is that Houston has become an interesting team again. Though at the cost of an OKC dynasty.)

      LeBron’s conceitedness is so pervasive it even rubs off on his fans and makes them arrogant.

      Guess what boys, Casey is at the bat, and he’s wearing red and black.

      • Just an NBA Fan says:

        You said it PERFECTLY….

        LeBron’s conceitedness is so pervasive it even rubs off on his fans and makes them arrogant.

      • 34yr fan says:

        …..”an OKC dynasty” ??…..you are funny…..rofl….

    • Loki says:

      Just made my list for top stupid comments in a blog. Really Bro? No team is going to plan to lose at the beginning of a game. San Antonio is a great game, would you really risk letting them have a win especially one on their home court when they have two more and only need two more to take the title? You insult every player who has ever put on an NBA Team’s jersey when you say that.

      That and you’re basically admitting the Heat are arrogant pricks as they believe they can throw games and still win the championship.

  19. Mike says:

    I loved every minute of it…hey Ray Allen, how does it taste? I used to really like Ray, but the whole leaving Boston thing made watching him eat three after three especially delightful.

  20. Just an NBA Fan says:

    Yo MAX…get over it! The reason he spoke of JUST Lebron is because that’s how it is either way. If Miami wins a game it’s LEBRON won the game. If they lose a game its LEBRON wasn’t good enough. You’re wrong about Lebron being unselfish…he’s one of the most self centered players out there. Have you not heard him speak? It’s always…I didn’t play well, I didn’t move the ball, I didn’t do this or that. It’s never WE. He plays a team sport but doesn’t know how to play as a team.

  21. Bill says:

    Way to go Spurs! 2 more!

  22. JimD54 says:

    A lot of people feel that when the Heat loses the loss is placed at LeBron’s feet and when the Spurs lose it is a team loss. The reason that is true is because the Heat are presented to the public as “ LeBron and the Pips” whereas the Spurs are presented as a team, not as Tim Duncan and a bunch of other players. LeBron is made to feel that he is the best basketball player ever to lace up a pair of sneakers and people get mad when he gets blamed for the loss, you can’t have it both ways, If you want LeBron to walk on water then he has to take the heat when the Heat loses… Tim, Tony and Manu are not said to be the greatest players of all time and are not presented as that, they are part of a team a team who plays well not just one king and a bunch of pons who are mad because they were not able to flop their way to a win last night. In all reality LeBron SHOULD NOT get all the blame when the Heat loses, he is only one man, a very good basketball player I must admit, but only one man, and this is not tennis we are talking about, this is basketball, a team sport and no matter how good you are, you need a team around you and it looks like Miami has finally run into a better TEAM than they are and as we saw last night LeBron can’t do it all by himself every night….

  23. Paul says:

    Go go Spurs, I want to see the Miami bandwagoners crying, they are simply disgusting.

  24. Brd33 says:

    Yay San Antonio!! Give’m hell Pop and team!!

    Yes….seems awfully quiet so far…perhaps the 13 year old Heat BWJs aren’t allowed to stay up late on a school night?? LOL

    PS – thanks for the enjoyment Coach Spo…enjoyed your post game ha ha!!

  25. TIMMY says:

    TIMMY FOR MVP

  26. realist2013 says:

    Yepp celebrating and laughing at the Biggest dog in the yard? Expect to get mauled. Miami saw Danny Green and Neal and reacted like they saw a pitbull with no leash. The clinic was put on last night. No show boating just fundamental basketball. Lebron its not your fault its the Heats fault. Win or lose you arent the only one on the floor. Intimidation only works if people actually fear you. Use this series to learn humility.

  27. PACERS says:

    NO QUESTION SPURS WILL WIN THE SERIES… I LOVE SEEING JAMES CRYING ON THE COURT…

  28. LeFlop Shames says:

    Where are all the 13-year old bandwagoners now? Crying in their rooms? LOL

  29. J says:

    awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! but it wont happen again in game 4 guarenteed
    heat in 6!!!

    • TRU*NBAFAN says:

      So your are saying the Heat will win the next 3???????? I don’t know if that is ballsy or ignorant.

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….heaterfans……please don’t make any more “guarantees” …….PS:….That kind of play is NOT the way “The Best Player in The World!!” plays……ever !!!….. So he is NOT that……”Guaranteed” !!

  30. Max says:

    Game 3 in SAT. was just the reversal of game 2. Tonight it was Neal and Green leading the way for the 3 Big’s of SAT.
    Sunday it was Allen and Miller and a few others giving SAT. the same type of DEFEAT. LEAD BY THE BALL PLACING OF LEBRON, A VERY UNSELFISH PLAYER.. Fran, I just do not believe that you gave the same type of article after the Sunday’s game, as you did tonight. in the above article. Not much said about Duncan playing his game on Sunday like he was the only one at fault. YET tonight, you put the beating of the Heat as the fault of only one Heat player; ” LeBron” . Shame!!!!, Bosh played terrible and to be honest Wade should stay off the floor until he is healthy, his efforts hurt the Heat more than they help. The entire voting conference must agree with me, LeBron has 4 INDIVIDUAL MVP awards, BUT yet when playing in the game of basketball there are 5. NOT JUST LEBRON! THE ENTIRE HEAT TEAM SHOULD SHARE THE POOR OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS AND TERRIBLE DEFENSE, (NOTHING LIKE SUNDAY). YET YOU ARE QUICK TO LAY THE LOSS ENTIRELY AT THE FEET OF LEBRON. IF ONLY LEBRON FROM THE HEAT, THEN WHO FROM SAT CAUSED THE SPURS TO GET PLASTERED? according to the Spurs Coach he said it was the whole team. BE FAIR stop blaming just one player, that you must love to throw stones. LeBron is just ONE player, so put it on the entire team. PLEASE

    • Just an NBA Fan says:

      Yo MAX…get over it! The reason he spoke of JUST Lebron is because that’s how it is either way. If Miami wins a game it’s LEBRON won the game. If they lose a game its LEBRON wasn’t good enough. You’re wrong about Lebron being unselfish…he’s one of the most self centered players out there. Have you not heard him speak? It’s always…I didn’t play well, I didn’t move the ball, I didn’t do this or that. It’s never WE. He plays a team sport but doesn’t know how to play as a team.

      • fan says:

        He takes the blame so his teammates don’t have to. A selfish player blames somebody else, which he does not do. And the ball is almost always in his hands so he has to move the ball properly or nothing happens and he recognizes it.

      • Loki says:

        Always taking the blame like that is actually a form of being self-centered. You think it all revolves around you, that if you’re not at your best the entire world is going to collapse. By not placing fault on his team mates he is basically enabling them to be useless when he’s having a bad game because “ah well Lebron will just take the rap for this!” No he needs to hold them accountable too. He knows he screwed up but he also has to recognize him stepping up means nothing if this team does not.

    • Marco29 says:

      Of course LBJ is not the only one to blame on Heat side but he said it himself: “this one is on me”, “If I play better, we play better” (see Steve Aschburner’s post). So you cannot blame people for saying the same things that he did. Obviously if he had played more agressively and tried to play closer to the rim, the game would have been different. Yet, Bosh, Wade, Haslem and Chalmers need to step up. Only Allen, Miller and Birdman are doing their jobs consistenlty. The issue is that Miami doesn’t seem to have a B plan when LBJ has an off-night.
      Now, if they win Game 4, everything will change again in this series. It is still wide open and LBJ and the Heat can bounce back.

      • 34yr fan says:

        …no, ringchaser Allen is NOT doing his part……he is like an innocent bystander……. got his 1st basket on a offensive rebound putback in the 2nd Q I think……..is that what you want from a 2 guard???…..just sayin’

  31. Rolly del Mundo says:

    Hmmmm. Hello Miami fans? Seems pretty quiet here.

  32. Way 2go Spurs, i know it’s not over yet but great game that was won by the roll players w/ TD, TP, & Manu not playing well. Heck of a way to step up roll players-that’s how u play on both ends whether heat r playing well or not. Keep it up Spurs.
    Now Go Take The Next Game!
    Go Spurs!!!