Thursday, June 19, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Ready for my ribbing
Are the Heat hot enough to do what no NBA finals team has ever done, erase a 3-1 deficit to take the grand prize?
There have been 31 occasions where that could have happened and didn’t. I think all of us who follow the big round ball know that it is going to take a special team to accomplish the feat, if and when it happens. Is Miami that team? Analytically, a “yes” case could be made. However, a critical task had to be performed – defeat the Spurs in game five and on their own turf. It was not exactly mission impossible because the Heat had won game two in San Antone.
LeBron James, arguably the best there is at the moment, has the confidence and ability and perhaps just enough conceit to push the sixth game back to Miami. Conceit can follow a star in anything. It only becomes a liability when it becomes consuming.
The Spurs have always been a force to be reckoned with and this particular season they have made history with relative ease. Their performance in game three was called a “clinic.” It could easily have qualified for a symposium. Personally, I haven’t seen such shooting in a single half since a certain person I know stopped coaching.
The head coach of the Spurs, Gregg Popovich, acknowledged that the accuracy was phenomenal and would probably not be repeated for a long time. San Antonio is a capable team; and prowess, individually and collectively, had a lot to do with the victory in that game. However, Lady Luck had to smile on some of those shots, especially those coming from Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.
The Heat played at home in games three and four. What was the likelihood that Miami would drop both of those contests? I met many persons last week who reminded me of my prediction and the possibility that it was going to evaporate.
And that fourth game, which put the Spurs up 3-1 and swung the series back to San Antone, just might have started the bell tolling for the Heat.
The Heat’s fortunes hadn’t faded to grey right away. The King had remarked to his men just prior to taking the floor for Game 5 back in San Antone, “Just follow my lead.” And if all of his court had done just that, the outcome may have been different.
Miami ran to a 22-6 lead to start but let the advantage slip away before halftime to give the Spurs a 47-40 halftime edge. It was all downhill after that and this time for the third straight game, it was the Heat who never got off of their knees.
Tim Duncan was caught smiling more than once during the last portion of the game and was chided for it during the press conferences. He said that those were the appropriate times. His teammate Leonard was all too deserving as the MVP and was emotionally touched. It probably won’t be his last award.
OK, I am ready for my ribbing and I apologize for spoiling any father’s day who thought as I did. Just keep the ribbing short.
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