The San Antonio Spurs have limited their turnovers throughout the playoffs.
That is, until Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, when they posted 16 turnovers en route to a 103-84 loss to the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Game 1 and Game 2 were night and day for the Spurs. They committed four turnovers in Game 1, then imploded in Game 2. The Heat scored 19 points off of San Antonio's carelessness with the ball.
Headed into Sunday's game, the Spurs were averaging 11.5 turnovers per game, the second-best mark in the playoffs. They were also forcing 13.9 turnovers per game. That all went out the window in Game 2.
It was a collective effort by the Spurs on Sunday. Tony Parker had five turnovers. Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal combined for six turnovers in 40 minutes of action. Eight different Spurs had at least one turnover.
When you get to this point in the season, with a championship on the line, you can't afford to give away points. I don't care how efficient you are.
Will the Spurs win Game 3 in San Antonio?
The Heat held opponents to 44 percent shooting in the regular season, fifth in the NBA. They've held opponents to 42.7 percent shooting in the playoffs. On top of that, Miami has forced 15.9 turnovers per game in the postseason (fourth among all playoff teams). This is a strong defensive club—you cannot be lackadaisical with the ball.
Ginobili's play has been particularly erratic. He was averaging 2.3 turnovers in just 26 minutes per contest headed into Sunday's game. And while he's been able to cover up his turnovers in the past with excellent play in other areas, that hasn't been the case this postseason. Headed into Sunday's matchup, he was shooting 38 percent from the floor and 33 percent from beyond the arc. He went 2-of-6 from the floor in Game 2.
The Spurs have gotten to where they are this season by taking care of the ball. That can't change if they expect to win the title.