- Series Hub: Heat vs. Spurs
24 — I love the kids as much as the next guy, but I’m wondering, is there an adult in either city capable of belting out the anthem?
23 — I know this is supposed to be about The Finals but I can’t stop daydreaming about what the Clippers would look like with Doc Rivers running the show … and maybe KG around to mentor Blake Griffin?
22 — Danny Green gets an open 3 early off Tony Parker‘s penetration. That hammy doesn’t appear to be much of an issue early either. Spurs are locked in right now. This is the fifth quarter of Game 3 for Green and Gary Neal, who is in seconds into the game.
21 — How long does this Dwyane Wade last? I wish he and Manu Ginobili had faced off in their respective primes. It would have been crazy to see them square off in 2005.
20 — Heat look much sharper defensively. Wade triggers the break again with a steal. And Freight Train LeBron James has suddenly appeared in San Antonio. Buckle up Spurs fans, it’s going to be a wild one tonight.
19 — Impressive rebounding from the Heat. Championship steady as they fought off the Spurs’ early flurry. From down 10 to up 29-26 at the end of the first, the earth tilts back on its axis after 48 hours of Heat doomsday scenarios.
18 — Tiago Splitter victimized again at the rim by a smaller man (Wade). Pump fake Tiago. Pump fake. Shane Battier gets him, too. Disgraceful!
17 — Every single time we count Wade out he comes back with an effort like this. And to think folks debated whether or not he should benched. Where he finds this resolve is beyond me. Left for dead one night and the most dominant force on the floor two nights later. The Finals has been his playground in the past, might he revisit 2006 tonight?
16 — The city of Miami and Heat Nation just went into shock with Wade on the sideline getting stretched after the foul and block attempt on Duncan … relax folks, he’s fine. Just needed to stretch out a little bit. This is his game now.
15 — I’m ready to take the “arguably” tag off of Parker’s “best point guard in the league” title. Anybody can shine. But can you do it on this stage?
Spurs take their first double-digit lead, 40-30, of The Finals with 4:35 to play on a Leonard dunk on a break (via a great outlet pass from Duncan). Spurs are perfectly content with LeBron and Wade jacking jumpers from the perimeter.
14 — The Spurs’ French Connection leads the late comeback before halftime. Parker and Boris Diaw chew into the Heat’s late lead. Game of Runs in the first 24 minutes ends deadlocked at 49.
13 — My main man and Hang Time Podcast partner in crime Lang Whitaker texts “notice how Wade only shoots over 2/3s? He won’t shoot over bigs on switches.” My response, “no lift.” Doesn’t matter. The Spurs can’t stop him or any of the Heat’s Big 3 right now. This is the best these guys have played in the same game since the 27-game win streak.
12 — Spin move Parker, block Bosh. LeBron drive, Duncan block. They could play best-of-27 and I’d never get tired of watching these two teams go toe-to-toe. Both sides showing the championship mettle during this wicked third quarter stretch. This is why people watch all season long, to get to this part of the NBA season and see who has the guts to fight for Larry O’Brien.
11 — Kawhi Leonard showing off our favorite, “Hang Time,” on the baseline layup and foul with 3:56 to play in the third to make a it a 3-point game (69-66). This is quickly becoming an instant classic.
10 — LeBron with the pretty baseline block on Duncan. Guarantee you no one will ask in the morning if that was one of the best blocks of all-time. But it was spectacular, way better than swat on Splitter from Game 2.
9 — Neal is 3-for-4 after hitting another 3-pointer from near half court and this one in LeBron’s face. Heat still up 84-79.
8 — Throwback Wade with his fifth steal and a dunk on the break and a nine-point Heat lead. He’s beasting the Spurs tonight like it’s the 2006 Finals all over again. He’s got 30 and working on 40 … might even go for 50 if the knee holds up.
7 — Wade’s energy has fueled the Heat all night. They are all playing like gangbusters. Chris Bosh has even given up the perimeter for a night of ol’ school, blue-collar paint work. You forget how effective he can be down there when he decides to dig in down low. The Heat might finally be on to something here.
6 — LeBron couldn’t find his mark in the first three games but he’s found it in Game 4. He didn’t have to put anything on his chest or shoulders with Wade doing what he did from the start. Just so we’re clear, the Heat are literally unbeatable after a loss in these playoffs. They’re a perfect 6-0 after this dominating effort from the reigning champs.
5 — Gregg Popovich in the postgame is going to be uh … special.
4 — That’s 50 shot attempts and a combined 65 points for LeBron (33 points) and Wade (32). Role players will have their moments in The Finals, but when it’s all on the line you have to lean on your big dogs. The Heat have the best 1-2 punch still playing and they showed it tonight.
3 — The same scrutiny that was on the Heat’s Big 3 after Game 3 should be on the Spurs’ Ginobili, who is the only member of either Big 3 yet to leave his fingerprints on this series. He’s been brutal and completely over his head, save for a couple of flashes here and there. Parker struggled after halftime (0-for-4) but he had an excuse.
2 — Best-of-3 now for all the marbles. Heat have home court again and all three members of their Big 3 have pulses. I said Heat in six. Feeling better about my prediction now than I did this time two days ago. What about you John Schuhmann?
1 — Been saying it all season long, the Heat have eight mercurial minutes in them on a given night that the opposition simply cannot match. Not even the mighty Spurs. Do they have another Game 4 effort in them for Game 5? If so, this thing ends in six. If not, get ready for an epic Game 7.