Fans eyes will be glued to their TVs if the rest of the postseason schedule plays out like Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat by the score of 92-88 at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tony Parker played the role of hero, sinking an acrobatic leaner to put the Spurs up four points with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation. He finished with 21 points, proving to be a matchup nightmare.
Here are the key matchups that will define the series, along with when and where to watch those matchups in Games 2-7, according to the NBA’s official website.
|2||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||Sunday, June 9||8 p.m.||ABC|
|3||San Antonio Spurs||Miami Heat||Tuesday, June 11||9 p.m.||ABC|
|4||San Antonio Spurs||Miami Heat||Thursday, June 13||9 p.m.||ABC|
|5||San Antonio Spurs||Miami Heat||Sunday, June 16||8 p.m.||ABC|
|6||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||Tuesday, June 18||9 p.m.||ABC|
|7||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||Thursday, June 20||9 p.m.||ABC|
Matchups to Watch
LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard
When Leonard defended James, the MVP did little. When anyone else guarded James, the MVP went off. James shot 2-of-8 from the field with Leonard on him compared to 5-of-8 away from him, according to ESPN.com.
Surrendering a triple-double to most players is a major letdown. But if James records a triple-double and only scores the 18 points in the process like he did in Game 1, that’s a victory. If Leonard continues to hold James to under 20 points scoring, Miami’s supporting cast must improve its performance for it to comeback against San Antonio.
Dwyane Wade vs. Danny Green
Wade was part of the supporting cast that failed to support James in Game 1. He erupted for 13 first-half points, only to shoot 2-of-7 from the floor in the second. The Big Three member finished with a plus/minus of minus-11, the lowest figure out of any player on either squad.
Green gave Wade an excuse for his poor second-half performance after the game, according to the Palm Beach Post’s Ethan J. Skolnick.
Green didn’t outscore Wade, but as the fourth option in the Spurs’ starting lineup, he doesn’t need to. All nine of his field-goal attempts were from downtown and he nailed four of them, finishing with 12 points. He did his job—spreading the floor and playing defense—something Wade must be able to say for the Heat to compete the remainder of the series.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.