Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals schedule could be determined by who didn't show up in Game 2.
The Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs by the score of 98-96, tying the series, 1-1. According to ESPN Stats & Info, history suggests whoever goes up 2-1 will win the series.
Could Game 3 be the pivotal game? Game 3 winner of a tied NBA Finals series goes on to win the series 83% of the time (30-6)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 9, 2014
Here's how to watch Game 3, as well as the Heat and Spurs who have the most room to improve.
When: Tuesday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: TV: ABC Live Stream: WATCH ABC
Players Who Must Improve
3. SF Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs
Marco Belinelli almost made this list for a 1-of-5 shooting performance on Sunday, but it's Green's fault Belinelli had to play 22 minutes. Green only played 18 because of foul trouble.
While Green shot efficiently, 3-of-5 from the field and 2-of-3 from downtown, San Antonio needs him on the floor longer than 18 minutes. His three-point barrage in Game 1 is what clinched the win for the Spurs. He must avoid foolish fouls on Tuesday.
2. PG Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
Chalmers is averaging 4.0 points per game in this series. His lack of offensive production is forgivable as the fifth scoring option, but he isn't even making a defensive impact.
Tony Parker is scoring 20.0 points per game against the Heat. Much of that is Chalmers' fault. He needs to figure out how to put a dent in the scoreboard on some end of the court. He also needs to stop committing flagrant fouls that could cost his team the game.
1. SF Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
LeBron James has been the best player on the floor by far in this series. He carried the Heat to a Game 2 win with a 35-point, 10-rebound effort, and Miami collapsed without him in Game 1. As difficult as it is, Leonard needs to do a better job of slowing James' scoring assault.
Leonard is only scoring 9.0 points per game against the Heat, which is 3.9 less than he's averaged during the postseason. That's also forgivable if he makes an impact defensively. If he doesn't start effectively defending James, the four-time MVP will carry the Heat to their third straight title.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.