Monday, June 10, 2013

Live Blog: Spurs/Heat, Game 2

With Jack sidelined for the weekend at the first of many weddings the three authors will be crashing attending as honored guests in the coming years, Brian and Paul fired up a lively discussion about the goings on in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Brian: Hey fans, we kick off this blog with 3:42 left in the first quarter and the Heat up 16-15. Early thoughts:

1. Really like Wade's aggressiveness thus far. He's gotta keep it up for the Heat to win.
2. Steph Curry is apparently wearing a Danny Green mask tonight. Seriously, when did Danny learn to shoot?
3. LBJ strangely quiet so far. I expect that to change in the 2nd quarter after his teammates cool down.
4. I still really hate Ginobili and Duncan.

And with that I'll kick it to Paul...what's happening my dawg?

Paul: What's up Brian,

Not sure I'll have too much to contribute since my brain is feeling rather squishy after a loooong evening out last night. I pretty much have the brain function of this kid:

That caveat aside, we're seeing a similar progression of the game as took place in game 1. Spurs jump out to an early lead, Heat storm quickly back before both teams settle into the game. Spurs are looking a bit sloppy with the ball thus far, although anything would look sloppy compared to game 1 when they had a ridiculous FOUR turnovers FOR THE GAME. Pretty sure I couldn't dribble the ball for 48 minutes without dribbling it off my foot and out of bounds more than that. Right on cue, Birdman!!!

Brian: Based on the early read from tonight's game, which of these scenarios do you predict will come true?

a. Heat win
b. Spurs win
c. Bosh starts crying on the bench
d. Popovich chokes Joey Crawford to death at halfcourt

Paul: Apparently Jack is already bored enough to ask to be removed from the group chat. In response to your question, I think a, c and d are the early favorites - when Mike Miller's corpse is drilling threes, the Spurs are gunna have issues.

We also had a classic Pop halftime interview:

Doris Burke: "Pop, other than the turnovers, what did you see from your offense that quarter?"
Popovich: "Um...all I saw was the turnovers."


Paul: Gary Neal sighting! During game 1 after he threw up brick after brick I wondered out loud why he was on the court over Tracy McGrady. You think there's any chance he will be dusted off before the series is over? If not, and the Spurs win, would this be the least legitimate "title run" for any superstar player?

Paul: All of a sudden the Spurs are cruising and all Heat players not named Birdman are having trouble scoring. If the Spurs keep crushing 3's, it could be a long night for Miami. In a surprise move, we've yet to see a dubious call from Joey Crawford. Brian, over/under 7:00 in the third quarter before we see one?

Paul: DANNY. GREEN. The man from UNC just hit his 4th 3 of the first half to re-tie the game for San Antonio. The pace of the game has really picked up in the last 5 or so minutes...until our first questionable Joey Crawford foul call. Guess we should have taken the under from that last bet...

Brian: Annnd I'm back. Entertaining if predictable first half. I'm really getting into this finals matchup - both teams play at such a high level that I can almost guarantee that every game will come down to the wire. Keys to the second half in my opinion:

Spurs - Get Duncan/Splitter going down low, feed Danny Green, contain the drive and kickout from LBJ, FEED DANNY GREEN!
Heat - Get Lebron a few easy looks early, keep making their open shots, more Birdman, better job containing Parker

Anything else to add there Paul?

Paul: The Heat really turned on the defensive intensity for the last 3 minutes. I don't see any way San Antonio comes back if they can't start creating better looks in the paint - its not like Miami is known for their paint defense.

In other news, the stupidest gimmick of the finals coverage so far is the "token social media guy" who takes pictures ON HIS CAMERA PHONE WHICH THEY THEN BROADCAST DURING THE GAME. I cannot possibly describe how dumb this is. Why do I want to look at somebody's camera photos when you have hundreds of high definition video cameras taking video at all times? Stupid Samsung.

Brian: Completely agree. I think they could improve the gimmick by having someone photobomb all of the warmup pictures, but even then it's questionable at best.

NBA teams should take a page out of minor league baseball's book and have some truly stupid entertainment - monkeys riding dogs, sausage races, etc etc.

Paul: Now there's an interesting stat line - Kawhi Leonard 4 points, 11 rebounds. I was just about to say San Antonio needs to bulk up on the boards, but it doesn't look like they are doing too badly. Meanwhile, DANNY GREEN HITS AGAIN. You cannot stop can only hope to contain him? Where did this Green come from?

Brian: DANNY. FREAKING. GREEN. Now 5/5 for the night on 3s. It's gotta be Steph Curry wearing a Danny Green mask - that's the only explanation.

Paul: Despite these heroics, this remains my favorite Danny Green moment:

Greg Paulus immediately regrets trying to draw the charge.

Paul: Very, very out of character for Miami to be giving up this many open looks from 3. Brian, you see any obvious adjustments they can make to prevent San Antonio from continuing their aerial assault?

Brian: Too much ball watching - I think it's more of an effort thing than strategy. Although they are helping a little more than I would like, considering that they have an athleticism advantage at almost every position.

Or they could put Juwan Howard in to commit a flagrant 2 on Danny Green. Actually, I'm very partial to that idea. Let's make it happen Spoelstra!

Paul: Excellent game of basketball despite a massive no-show from Lebron thus far. Chris Bosh, however, was probably revitalized by seeing his twin brother Randall starring in his second major motion picture, "Monsters University," and is looking way better than in Game 1.

Paul: SportsCenter also has provided us with this epic statistic from tonight: Lebron has as many misses in Game 2 so far (10) as Birdman has in THE ENTIRE POSTSEASON SO FAR. Maybe he should be getting a few more looks?

Brian: The problem is that Birdman can't create his own offense - he's much better at finishing on putbacks and open looks near the rim. He basically takes out the trash for Miami.

Also, if Miami can keep this shooting up, the Spurs literally have no chance.

Paul: Intense run of shooting by Miami to close the quarter with a 10 point lead. I would pay huge sums of money to see Doris Burke have to interview Popovich after this quarter. He might literally set her hair on fire by shooting flames out of his eyes.

San Antonio will really have to bear down on defense if they want a chance to stay in this game.

Paul: Huge game for the role players on both sides but Miami has started to pull away. If you had Mario Chalmers and Danny Green as your leading scorers, I hope you enjoy the Bentley you are about to purchase with your winnings.

Brian: I somehow hit San Antonio with the reverse jinx by saying that no games in this series will be a blowout. Miami's offense is looking just about unstoppable at this point.

Spurs really need to get something going on offense. Where is the Parker dribble drive? Kawhi Leonard corner 3s? Duncan's annoying elbow jumpers? Seems like Danny Green is the only one that showed up.

Paul: Wow. Just a preposterous Lebron James sequence right there - huge block on Splitter dunk attempt, finds Ray Allen for the corner 3, steals the ball, hammers it home on the break. So much for him having a "bad game." I think this one's just about wrapped up with the Heat up 24. Brian, any final thoughts on what we can expect going forward?

Brian: A lot more of the same for Miami, a lot of offensive adjustments in order for San Antonio. Defensively there was not much they could do - it was one of those "fuck it, see you on our home court" kind of games. Offensively they need to go back to what worked in game 1 - namely, having Duncan be more involved early and Parker being more aggressive in general.

Despite the score there was a lot of quality basketball played. I cannot wait for game 3. Wanna give us your final thoughts?

Paul: I think more than anything this game showed us what makes Lebron the best player of his generation. He has, by his standards, a terrible game through 30 minutes...then completely blitzed the Spurs for 10 minutes and powered Miami's 33-5 run. When the Heat play well, they look like one of the best teams the league has ever seen, and there's almost no way San Antonio can match their combination of athleticism and scoring punch. But Game 3 should be phenomenal, you know Popovich will make some adjustments and keep getting good looks for his offense. To quote Bart Scott, "CAN'T. WAIT." See you all on Tuesday.

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