Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat tips off on Sunday night, and it promises to be just as thrilling as the initial contest of this best-of-seven series
With the Spurs stealing Game 1 after Tony Parker’s dagger with no time left on the shot clock, the Heat are now—as Dwyane Wade put it, via Marc Berman of the New York Post—in a must-win situation. Due to the 2-3-2 format of the Finals, Miami simply cannot afford to leave South Beach in a 2-0 hole.
Let’s take a look at some more critical stats, highlight where to watch the game and who to keep an eye on, make a prediction on the final score and more in our Game 2 preview.
When: Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Series Record: Spurs 1, Heat 0
Projected Starting Lineups for Game 2
San Antonio: Tony Parker, PG; Danny Green, SG; Kawhi Leonard, SF; Tim Duncan, PF; Tiago Splitter, C
Fun Fact: New Award Prior to Showdown
Before you settle in to watch some top-flight basketball, be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. ET to catch commissioner David Stern announce the latest award to be given out each season.
According to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award will be announced and the inaugural recipient for the 2012-13 season will be presented with his trophy.
Twelve finalists—six from each conference—were chosen by a panel of NBA legends and voted on by their peers for their efforts both on and off the court as a teammate, mentor and role model.
It’s a great award honoring two NBA Hall of Famers—whose stories you can read more about here via NewsOK.com—so don’t miss the announcement prior to the start of Game 2 on Sunday.
Player to Watch: LeBron James
Most times the reigning MVP puts up a triple-double in the regular season or playoffs, his team wins, but he’s now just 1-2 when posting at least 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds on the biggest stage.
Although his teams have gone 34-12 overall and 7-3 in the postseason when LBJ posts a triple-double, his 18 points, 18 boards and 10 dimes didn’t result in a victory over the Spurs in Game 1.
It’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts for Game 2, as these minor changes could be the difference between a win and devastating loss.
Expect James to come out looking to score more, as he attempted just 16 field goals on Thursday and only hit one of his five tries from beyond the arc.
LeBron needs to be more assertive and take highly efficient shots at the rim, as his team simply can’t win when he’s reduced to a glorified jump shooter, facilitator and rebounder.
To truly be the best and help his squad achieve success, James has to attack the hoop early and often during Game 2.
Prediction: Heat Will Run Away with Victory
The Heat haven’t lost two games in a row since falling to the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers back on Jan. 8 and 10, respectively, contests that were notably on the road.
They haven’t suffered two consecutive home losses since dropping Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals and watching the Dallas Mavericks celebrate a championship in AmericanAirlines Arena in Game 6.
Considering no home team has ever botched the first two games of the finals and gone on to win, the Heat now find themselves in full-blown desperation mode.
While Miami fell in Game 1 of the 2012 Finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it happened as underdogs on the road. The club quickly bounced back to win Game 2 and finished the series off with three consecutive wins in South Beach.
With all the motivation needed and a major wake-up call provided by Tony Parker and the rest of the Spurs in Game 1, James, Wade, Chris Bosh and Co. should be able to come out firing on Sunday night.
This is a championship-caliber squad that has been to three consecutive finals and full well knows the stakes. The options are to either win tonight or once again suffer the agonizing pain of defeat under the brightest lights in the NBA.
Expect the Heat to choose the former.