Blogtable: What about these Finals?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: No assistants needed | Awesome O, awful D? | Whaddya think now?



VIDEO: The best from the slo-mo Phantom camera in Game 3

> After Game 3 … what strikes you most about this series? Who or what disappoints you so far? What’s exactly what you figured? What’s this thing going to turn on?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: I’ll be honest, I get a little preoccupied with how the whistles are going from game to game, because they play such a huge factor in the outcomes. If Kawhi Leonard gets in foul trouble again for a third straight game, who knows how differently Game 3 plays out? I found myself cringing a little as Tim Duncan got stripped of the ball time and again – I don’t want to see him get old overnight and look like Manu Ginobili last year or, dare I say it, Willie Mays falling down at the plate in ’73. Guess I mostly fret my way through these things that we see stellar basketball, that the big names play well and it gets determined by best vs. best. My biggest hunch going forward: We’re going to put the 2-2-1-1-1 changeover to its test.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: It’s the series that a lot of us wanted, needed and deserved. After going the full seven games a year ago, the only thing we could ask was to do it again. These are the best two teams in the league by a long measure and that’s exactly what anybody who’d been paying attention all season long should have known. Disappointed? Are you kidding? Let them play best of 17 or 27 or till training camps open in October. It’s about the Spurs having the will and the ability to move the ball on offense and the Heat being disruptive on defense, getting into the passing lanes, creating turnovers and scoring off them. If Miami can make it the LeBron Show, the Heat three-peat. If San Antonio keeps getting open shots, it’s the Spurs. I’m still picking the latter.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: The Spurs’ depth and ability to get scoring outbursts from multiple players on any given night is a big, big factor. The Big 3 have each had big games. Kawhi Leonard busted out in Game 3. Tiago Splitter had 14 points in Game 1. Danny Green has played big. Boris Diaw has been a high rebound and assist man, and has the ability to score 18 in the next game. The only real disappointment has been the play of Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. He’s really hurting his team. He’s managed to stay on the floor for only 70 minutes because of this: 3-for-12 shooting, 1-for-5 on 3s, nine assists and nine turnovers. Exactly what I figured is the Spurs would be up 2-1, although, truth be told, I figured they’d take both games at home and then win Game 4 in Miami to go back home up 3-1. What’s this thing going to turn on? All I know is the team that plays the best defense the longest probably has the best chance to win.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No matter how much we’ve seen it over the last 17 years, the Spurs’ offensive brilliance is always striking. The Heat’s trap-help-and-recover scheme can be suffocating when it’s at its best, but Miami just hasn’t been able to keep up. Most disappointing has been the play of Miami’s point guards, who are a combined 7-for-27 (2-for-11 from 3-point range) and haven’t made an impact defensively. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have shot a combined 59 percent (62 percent from 3-point range), and their team has been outscored by 32 points over three games. That means that they need more help from their supporting cast and/or better defense. I still think that this series come down to the Spurs’ end of the floor and the Heat’s ability to stop them from getting the shots they want to get. There’s a reason why only three NBA champions in the last 35 years have ranked outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency in the regular season like the Heat did this year. You need to get stops to get a championship.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Through three games we’ve seen so much of what I expected from these two NBA titans. But as I (and several others) pointed out before The Finals started, Kawhi Leonard was the one player who could change the temperature of this series in his team’s favor with his play. It took three games for my prediction to look good, but Leonard came through like a champ in Game 3. Leonard and Danny Green continuing to provide the boost they have swings this seriies in the Spurs The thing that surprises me most is that the Spurs have basically handed out two beat downs in this series so far. I know LeBron’s cramps impacted the finish of Game 1. But there was no doubt in Game 3. I didn’t see either one of these teams dominating the other in the fashion we’ve seen the Spurs dominate the Heat, twice already. The biggest disappointment for the Heat has to be the disappearance of Mario Chalmers, who has had his moments in The Finals before but has been disastrous so far this time around.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: What strikes me is just how even these games are. There aren’t any huge lessons to learn from game to game — both teams defend well, both teams move the ball on offense, both teams have players who create for each other. To me this series will hinge on the little things, like which team will have bench players who can produce consistently. And maybe that’s the key: consistency. We know what each team does. It may be excellence of execution (shoutout to Bret Hart) that separates the ultimate winner from the loser.

32 Comments

  1. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    Kobe join the Spurs, Melo join the Heat and Howard join the Justice League!! Hahahahaa!!

  2. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    Is Wade “content” with 3 rings??????

  3. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    I sure hope they don’t break up the “Heatles!!!!!!!”

  4. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    James vs. Spurs 2007

  5. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    Shaq / James 0 rings 2009-2010

  6. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    Shaq / Kobe 3 rings 1996-2004
    Shaq / Wade 1 rings 2004-2008
    Wade / James 2 rings 2011-2014

  7. sophie1150 says:

    The Superman cape is funny. Dwight has the cape in Houston. I hope the refs call a clean game and not try to help the Heat with a win. Spurs in 5.

  8. apexofkryptos says:

    Is Lang Whitaker watching the same series that the rest of us are?!?!

    All these games even? No lessons to be learned? Heat moving the ball?

    NOTHING he said makes any sense.

  9. mauro says:

    i have to wake up at 5am to watch the series and i’m glad to do it. spurs, my team since i got memory, plays great basketball, probably better than heat, but the heat are tough. lebron and wade are warriors and they won’t let go. it’ll be another battle. its great for the public!

    still, if spurs keep game 5 they will win the Finals, no matter what game 4 will say.

  10. sgball says:

    my only prediction is the team that score most points will win ^^

  11. kek says:

    If I were spo i would start to concider starting ray allen og james jones, and take chalmers out, and let him come of the bench and play with the 2nd unit.

  12. ... says:

    “BOTH teams move the ball on offense”

    Are you DRUNK Lang Whitaker?

  13. ... says:

    “BOTH teams move the ball well”

    are you drunk Lang Whitaker?

  14. William says:

    When will Chalmers get his fine for the epic flop in game 3?

  15. hammar says:

    No matter how the NBA or theTNT/ABC/ESPN commentators try to sell Lebron James as the best basketball player in the world is just ridiculous and watching the Heat on TV is boring! They are not exciting to watch. We all know when wade or Lebron has the ball they are going to shoot the shot no matter if they can make the shot or not. Boring!

    • Sonic says:

      Agreed. It’s not fun to watch. The Spurs actually play faster than Miami (though no one seems to realize this) and it’s much more enjoyable to watch selfless play and beautiful ball movement.

  16. GunneR says:

    Leonard will have 2 fouls in the first 5 min cause LeFlop will cry to the refs for fouls

  17. beattheheat says:

    When Tim Duncan said at the end of the west finals, “well get it done this time”. I knew he meant it, and its totally showing. They tore up Miami. I’m sure the heat will put up some more fight next game, but I’m sure it will be Spurs in 5 or 6, and when the Spurs are done, I hope the heat fans shut up faster than the fans left the arena last night. I’m a bulls fan and win or lose, I stay til the end. Lebron can go for as many rings as he wishes, I will never like the guy.

  18. Joe says:

    The heat didn’t match up..obviously…I have no idea why they put Mario Chalmers in the game let alone all those minutes…he stinks….I am a heat fan for a long time and could never understand why they got him..Don’t get me wrong I like the guy…but he should not be on the heat..period!! And Cole also! but Chalmers always stinks up the court…he looks like a scared chicken!!

    • TMac says:

      Chalmers has his moments…..but in this series he has been pretty horrible. I disagree with you regarding Cole, though. Cole is a way better option than Chalmers right now.

    • Dgc says:

      Put Chalmers on the spurs roster, he’d look like a Patty Mills. It’s about the Coach.

  19. bballjunkie1 says:

    Pop is pushing buttons plain and simple thats what the great coaches do. Forget about what worked yesterday its about what u need today. Never been sold on Spo. The game was over when Diaw was inserted into starting line up. I knew Spo would not counter and when he did it was too late and the wrong personnel because he panics. Regular season u cant see it but playing the same team for possibly 7 games u see just how good or bad a coach is in pushing buttons. Its not about a set line up or I’ll only use 6,7 players its match ups and trying to find them. Pop would have called timeout and cursed Dwade and Chalmers out on ball handling also. At this rate Spurs in 5. Love u Bron but u have got to get away from Spo!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Kimmy says:

    What strikes me is that there is a reality now that the Heat may not 3peat.

    • Gosheven says:

      Yes, and it only took two beatdowns in 3 games by the Spurs for that reality to start to take shape for some.

  21. MR210 says:

    The Klaw’s coming out party? Or was that last year…

    Good to see Spurs led by the Kawhi-et Riot…got them off to a hot start and Leonard played good defense for once.

    Love how Leonard “Kawhi-eted” the Heat…

    • Joe says:

      You will see the heat come on really strong on the next few games….Don’t tug on Supermans cape!! The heat will be unstoppable now that they lost that game….and I don’t think you’ll see Chalmers in the game anytime soon!