Two games down and, at least, three games to go.
The 2013 NBA Finals are tied 1-1 heading into Tuesday’s Game 3 clash in San Antonio. We know that LeBron James is superhuman. We know that Tony Parker is a terror off the dribble. We also know that both teams have role players that can change the course of the series.
Yet, there are four players who are playing below their abilities and are failing to meet expectations.
Ginobili was basically a non-factor in the Spurs’ Game 2 blowout loss in Miami Sunday night. San Antonio’s standout bench player took only six shots, making just two of them and finished with five points and three fouls in 18 minutes of work.
Coming off a series where he averaged 10 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, Ginobili, who is shooting just over 35 percent against the Heat, will need to become a bigger factor.
Officially, the box score shows that Splitter had one block in Game 2.
The one that everyone will remember, of course, is when James aggressively sent back Splitter’s dunk attempt in the fourth quarter:
Even more embarrassing than Splitter’s above-the-rim rejection was his performance Sunday. Splitter scored only four points and collected one rebound in 23 minutes. The Spurs forward also did not make a single trip to the foul line.
Seeing Bosh’s name on this list may surprise some of you. After scoring 28 points in the last four games of the Eastern Conference Finals—Bosh scored 49 points in the first three games of the series—he has come closer to returning to old self.
Bosh is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the first two games of the NBA Finals, which is right at his overall postseason average of 12.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, but below his regular season numbers of 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest.
One reason could be the number of three pointers he is attempting. During Miami’s title run last season, Bosh attempted about one three-pointer per game. In 2013, that number has more than doubled to nearly two threes per game. Accordingly, Bosh is also attempting fewer free throws than last year’s postseason at 2.6 compared to 3.7 in 2011-12.
My advice: put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, big man!
Since the Conference Semifinals against the Chicago Bulls, Cole has seen a drop in minutes per game, points per game, and field goal percentage.
His two points in 13 minutes off the bench was an afterthought for the Heat, but thankfully for Miami's sake, it did not matter.
What will matter for Miami and Cole is if the second-year player can log meaningful minutes in the next three games. His energetic drives to the basket seem to pump needed life into the Heat during critical parts of the games.
When the series shifts to San Antonio, the Heat will want to see more of this:
And less of this: