Heat vs. Spurs: What San Antonio Can Do to Regain Momentum
The Miami Heat absolutely crushed the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, winning by a score of 103-84, evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.
After the crafty Spurs shocked the Heat by taking Game 1, Miami stormed back and showed why they were the best team in the regular season.
Mario Chalmers added 19 points.
Tony Parker scored just 13 points, while Tim Duncan score only nine.
The Spurs need to get Parker and Duncan going. Both had dominant Game 1 performances—Duncan scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Parker had 21 points—but seemed overwhelmed in Game 2.
Any chance at regaining momentum starts with Parker and Duncan. Even though the Heat have done a good job of defending them, the stars need to pick it up. Duncan needs to be a beast on the boards again, while Parker needs to find his brand of hard-charging basketball.
One way the Spurs can help Duncan is to get him on the floor without Udonis Haslem. Haslem, according to CBS Sports, has held Duncan to just 3-of-16 shooting. When Haslem isn't on the floor, Duncan is shooting 50 percent.
Parker was also strangely deficient on the defensive side of the ball in Game 2:
The #Spurs were outscored by 27 last night with Tony Parker on the floor, his WORST +/- this postseason & 4th-worst of his playoff career.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) June 10, 2013
Also, the Spurs shooting has not been as effective as it was in recent weeks:
Spurs shooting 24-of-50 (48%) inside 5 ft this series after shooting 63% on such shots in rest of postseason.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 10, 2013
While this could mean that shots will start falling it, it could also mean that the team is tiring and beginning to hit a brick wall. If that's the case, then the Spurs are in trouble.
In addition, the Spurs have to get something out of Manu Ginobili. While he is clearly a shell of his former self, his rapid decline could stand in the way of another Spurs title.
Ginobili has averaged just nine points through two games in the finals. He averaged 10 points in the Western Conference Finals, and has only scored over 20 points once in the postseason.
Without Ginobili as a credible threat, the Heat can focus more on Duncan and Parker. And while Danny Green stepped up nicely with 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting from behind the arc, he is better suited as a fifth option, not as a third option. Without Ginobili playing at his best, the Spurs are simply a worse team.
But the easiest way for the Spurs to regain their momentum is for their Big 3 to start playing like it. They did so in Game 1, as Duncan and Parker were dominant. In Game 2, Duncan and Parker were oddly dormant, and it was no surprise that the Heat won by such a large margin.
If the Spurs' stars can play like stars in Game 2, then the Spurs should have no problem beating the Heat. LeBron James has been great, but he has yet to take over a game in this series. That means that the Spurs' stars can still make a huge impact.
The Spurs are not out of this series, but based on the way they played in Game 2, their chances are dwindling. They need to get their stars, especially Ginobili, back on track. It's the only way to regain momentum.
If they can't do that, then this series might be over in five games.
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