Several players must improve or their team will lose Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
In Game 2, the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs by the score of 103-84. Plenty of Spurs need to step their play up after their pitiful performance. A Heat player or two could afford to improve as well, even after a 19-point blowout.
Out of all the players who have room for improvement, here are the three whose ability to do so is most critical for their team’s success in Tuesday night’s pivotal swing game.
3. Dwyane Wade
Wade averaged 23 points per game in the 2012 NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He only scored a total of 27 through two games in this year’s championship.
His six assists in Game 2 were vital to Miami’s victory, but finishing with just 10 points—shooting 5-of-13 from the field—is unacceptable. It will be difficult for the Heat to replicate their success with a similar scoring effort by Wade.
2. Tony Parker
Parker went off in Game 1, scoring a team-high 21 points. His acrobatic leaner with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation clinched the contest for the Spurs. He didn’t come close to equaling his heroics on Sunday, scoring just 13 points and turning the ball over five times.
Parker is capable of performing like he’s the best player on the floor (see: Game 1). If he fails to resemble just that, San Antonio will struggle to win this series.
1. Manu Ginobili
Ginobili shot 2-of-6 from the field in Game 2 and he struggled dribbling more than he did shooting. He just couldn’t get a handle on ball, turning it over three times in 18 minutes as a result. The Argentine only shot 4-of-14 in Game 1, too.
If the one-time Sixth Man of the Year, two-time All-Star and three-time NBA champ fails to even remotely live up to his reputation, Ray Allen, Norris Cole and Chris “Birdman” Anderson will continue to embarrass San Antonio’s bench.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.