2012-13 SAN ANTONIO SPURS GAME NOTES
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (58-24, 14-3, 2-1) vs. MIAMI HEAT (66-16, 13-6, 1-2)
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
8:00 P.M. CT
PLAYOFF GAME #18 | NBA FINALS GAME #4 | HOME PLAYOFF GAME #9
TV: ABC | RADIO: WOAI 1200/KCOR 1350 AM
By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Game 4 of the NBA Finals will tell more about the Miami Heat than a 66-win regular season ever could.
Any questions about LeBron James and the Heat were supposed to have been answered by now. He was too good to be taken out of games, his teammates too talented to go through long stretches where they weren't contributing.
But they didn't resemble the league's reigning powerhouse in Game 3, when the San Antonio Spurs handed them the third-worst beating in finals history in a 113-77 romp. They looked like the confused club from two years ago, when the finals last came to Texas.
Another loss Thursday night and they're on the verge of something much bigger than another finals failure.
Lose this series, and the whole Big Three era might be a failure.
"Something has to give tomorrow night," James said Wednesday.
"They have a championship pedigree. They have four (titles). We have two. So something has to give. We'll see what happens. We've been able to bounce back throughout adverse times throughout the season throughout the years that we've been together, these three years. We'll see."
"We'll see" is the approach the Spurs are taking with Tony Parker, who has a mild hamstring strain. The team is calling the All-Star point guard day to day after he was hurt during Game 3 and had an MRI exam Wednesday.
"I want to wait until tomorrow before I make a decision whether he should play or not," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "And obviously a lot of it will have to do with Tony, and what happens to him during the day, and how I think his play will affect our team, whether good or bad."
The Spurs didn't need much from him Tuesday, when Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 13 of the Spurs' NBA Finals-record 16 3-pointers and Kawhi Leonard had 14 points and 12 rebounds, essentially playing James even.
James had his practice jersey hanging over his back like a cape Wednesday, and he knows the Heat need him to be Super on Thursday.
And he insists that what he's going to be.
"As dark as it was last night, can't get no darker than that, especially for me," he said. "So, I guarantee I'll be better tomorrow for sure."
He should, given that his 7-for-21 effort with no free throws was about as bad as the four-time MVP can play. But he came to Miami so he didn't have to do it all, where a partnership with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh meant his days of having to carry teams were supposed to be over.
But with Wade battling right knee pain for a while and Bosh mired in a slump, there has rarely been the vaunted three-man attack that was expected when they joined up in July 2010.
"If us three don't lead the charge, we're not going to be NBA champions," Wade said. "Our teammates count on us, so we have to step up."
Some of the problem could be fatigue for a team that was forced into some playoff-atmosphere games in the regular season while trying to extend what became a 27-game winning streak, the second-longest in league history. With a huge lead in the standings in March, the Heat could have instead opted to give their veterans some extra rest.
That's what Popovich has always done, essentially sacrificing a couple of lengthy winning streaks in recent years by resting key players when they were still intact.
"There are no right and wrong answers to the way people do things, because it's pretty hard to assess and evaluate," Popovich said. "Suffice to say, everybody has a different approach to playing time or when to sit or not sit players. And we do it one way, other teams do it differently. There's no one to say one way is right or the other way is right."
But the Heat's way will be second-guessed - just like everything about them is - if they don't pull out this series. There will be calls to break up the Big Three, criticisms of James, and everything else that Tim Duncan and the Spurs never had to deal with in small-market San Antonio.
"I guess if you allow yourself to be affected by it and you allow yourself to look and read everything, then everyone is under a microscope," Duncan said. "As I've said, I don't envy that kind of scrutiny and pressure in any way."
It's what the Heat signed up when James arrived and guaranteed titles three summers ago, and the pressure became even greater after they flopped the first time with their loss to Dallas at the end of their first season together.
The Heat looked so vulnerable then, but seeing them as bewildered as they were Wednesday was stunning. James too often seemed to linger around the perimeter, an old habit reappearing when it seemed he'd put it aside for good and wouldn't allow himself to settle for jumpers anymore when he could go into the post instead.
Part of the reason is the Spurs, with a solid defensive game plan and a versatile defender in Leonard who can apply it. But the Heat also realized another problem was simply their own effort - or lack thereof - in going for rebounds and loose balls.
"We just collectively played a very bad basketball game last night. And that was everybody, including the staff. It was hard to really judge anything and evaluate anything from that game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's why after the film session, all we're focused on is how we prepare the next 24 hours to have our best game of the series tomorrow night."
Game 4 is where the Heat started to lose control of the series against Dallas two years ago, but they know it's where they have to regain it this time. They haven't lost two in a row in five months, and this isn't the time for that to end.
"We've been at our best when I guess our backs are up against the wall, and we're at it again," James said. "We'll see how we respond tomorrow."
I hope the Spurs are ready and that the original big 3 can get going, because Miami is going to be primed for a response to game 3. I almost wish game 3 wasn't such a blowout and that Green hadn't kept hitting those 3's when the game was out of hand. It's only going to add to the Heat's fire.
Coach Pop most likely prepared Spurs for the WORST....Spurs coaching staff already know how the trend is with this HEAT IMO... It should not matter if we win like game 1 by few points or by a blow out like game 3.
This is a Must win for the HEAT and they never lost 2 in a row since Jan....So
HEAT will POUR all they have and be in SUPER ATTACK mode.
LBJ said today that he guarantees to play better and do whatever it takes.... If LBJ become SUPPER AGGRESSIVE his team will feed off of him and it will be a very competitive game.
TP might or might not play but Pop might even if he plays be cautious with him. I trust Pop to do whatever is best for this team but TP being less aggressive and slowed by this should not be an excuse for the rest of the Spurs to become less aggressive!!!!!!!!!
The biggest TEST would be that we need all the other Spurs ALL of them and I mean ALL of them to play a flawless game with the appropriate fear/respect to the HEAT.
Spurs must know by now their Transition DEFENSE and REBOUNDING and Not Turning the Ball over will win them the game. All that is supposed to become natural if the Spurs decided to show up!!!
The worst thing could happen here is becoming complacent and satisfied with that blow out game 3 and play passive relaxed game....
That we can not afford to go through...
MANU can come up BIG and write HISTORY tomorrow... If Manu brings his best game tomorrow and Step up BIG!!! With is aggressive attitude, Spurs win game 4 with no question.
I know Timmy Duncan will play a very solid game tomorrow too.
If All Spurs put their HEARTS and SOULS and keep their AGGRESSIVE and CONFIDENT attitudes of never let go until you win they have a great chance to win this game 4.
Go Spurs Go
LETS GO GET EM SPURS and win game 4!!!!
Two more wins baby!
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
I can't call this game like I can't call most of the games this series, no clue what will happen. I say Spurs get a lead but this one ends up a close game.
Win or lose this is a game -
You could let it pick your brain for weeks and months, just replay it over and over, won't do you any good at all. When someone loses a loved one and they do that it only brings forth anguish. I feel acceptance is sometimes the key, it happened, now you have to react to it. Giving up is not an option.
On a Light Note: Here are few funny pics and Tweets on LBJ after game 3 loss...
LBJ Game 3 Shot Chart
"Lebron" = An alien sent to earth that displays super human basketball strength when wearing these:
Rumor is LBJ took the Subway after Game 3
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
man I love those vids of james and Green etc.. I think the Spurs blow out the Heat tomorrow (not as bad as game 3). This Series is NOT returning to Florida!
To be even more specific: Miami gets out to a 12+ point lead in the first half and carries it through about halfway through the third quarter. They get complacent, Spurs make it interesting and pull it out in the final minute. I'm thinking overtime.
I don't expect a 36 point win, but I think the Spurs pull this one out comfortably.
"I don't have anything to say to Mark Cuban. Not a thing." - Tim Duncan
Not worried about this loss.
I am CONFIDENT my Spurs can Do MUCH BETTER than HEAT Next games.
It was doomed game.
Miami was under do or DIE situation.
LBJ was the INSTIGATOR and he promised to win it for them.
And the Refs were just too biased.
That was because the rating on game 3 was the LOWEST since 07.
I knew STERN would send those refs.
Now the Spurs must play with a HUGE SENSE OF URGENCY.
It is the BEST of THREE and Game 5 is a MUST Win for our Spurs.
We can do this guys.
It is all up for GRABS and I know 2 more wins CAN and WILL Be done!!!
Spurs can win 2 of 3 if they FOCUS and PUT ALL THEIR HEART AND SOUL in it.
I am feeling positive Pop will make the NEEDED adjustments.
Go Spurs Go!
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
i knew it was impossible to win 3 games in a row against miami in SA.
now lets regroup and kick they arses
...AND PLEASEEEEE SOMEONE SAY POP SA MUST EXPAND ROTATION!!!! 3 years in a row spurs excels in regular season only to fail in PO when minutes and physicallity goes up (our stars are tough no doubt, but parker is light receiving a lot of bumps by heavier players, and timmy and manu are aging, their body CANT keep up)
“ I’m honored to be on this team right now because he’s going to be great for years to come, and I’m going to hold on as long as I can.” -Tim Duncan on Kawhi Leonard.
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