Monday, June 10, 2013

NBA Finals: The Block And The Invisible Men

The Block. As humiliating as a poster jam is, few things hurt more than being blocked when you think you have an open score. Rejection isn't easy but embarrassment makes it worse.

Miami's 33-5 run was an explosion that I didn't see coming. A back and forth game suddenly became a runaway train as the Heat's defense overwhelmed San Antonio. For that glorious stretch, I felt like I saw the Heat that won 27 straight games.

Keying it all was LeBron James. He did what was needed: Setting screens, grabbing rebounds, finding the open man, scoring with ease after being in check most of the game. But that one play symbolized how much he had his fingertips on the game.

Too often, people criticize James when he sets the table instead of dominate from the jump. Nevermind that San Antonio is forcing him to use his mind as much as his strength. Nevermind that Miami has been close to the Spurs because of his stellar play. It's people expecting obvious greatness all the time instead of cerebral dominance in all ways of the game.

That 2nd half explosion was a reminder that not only is this Heat team one of the best in the league at going on runs, but LeBron James can dominate without scoring. Oh, and the game ball goes to Mario Chalmers for stepping up with 19 huge points. Also props to Chris Bosh for actually contributing in his range instead of shooting 3's.

Tiago Splitter, rest in peace. A quiet game by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker didn't make things any better but props to Kawhi Leonard being a terror on the glass (14 rebounds, 8 offensive).

Those are my Game 2 thoughts. Game 3's analysis is below on the Invisible Men of the series. Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade have been quiet the first two games and deserve to be addressed as subplots for thing shifting to San Antonio

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