The likes of Corey Joseph, Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair enjoyed a nice slice of Finals action at the tail-end of Game 3, putting in six (or so) minutes to cap a dominant San Antonio victory. The Spurs junior varsity squad sampled a taste of the hardwood again Thursday night, but for all the wrong reasons. After three well-contested quarters, the Miami Heat sprinted away from the Spurs, turning an exciting back-and-forth thrill ride into yet another reminder that this Finals is far from over.
The 109-93 victory couldn’t have been done without the Big Three acting like the Big Three. No more role players carrying the offense, no more questioning the talent or motivation of the Miami Heat. Superstars acted like superstars, as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James played spectacular basketball.
Wade in particular took everything he wanted from San Antonio. His fourth quarter was an incredible flurry of athletic drives to the basket and dagger-like midrange shots. His 32-6-4-6 stat line (points/rebounds/assists/steals) was incredible, but doesn’t accurately depict how huge of a performance this was; it sent a message. Flash still has a little bit of Flash in him – as LeBron noted – and as this closely-contested series has proven, Miami needs just that.
LeBron finished with an incredible 33-11-4-2-2 stat line (points/rebounds/assists/steals/blocks), showing the kind of post-up play that NBA fans have loved watching him develop. Kawhi Leonard simply couldn’t contain him this time (not that we blame him; LeBron is one-for-four so far in Finals games, at least by his standards), and most teams will find it difficult to match two players dropping 65 points. Factor in Chris Bosh’s 20 points and 13 rebounds, and that’s 85 from the Big Three. It’s hard to imagine a Heat fan asking for more.
Looking forward, San Antonio has to be nervous. Their defense finally broke, but really, one has to wonder how much of Miami’s crummy play can be attributed to San Antonio and how much it can be attributed to their own ineptitude. The rust (or whatever you want to call it) is finally off, and while Dwyane Wade’s up-and-down postseason run means that he still has a lot to prove, when the Miami Heat are firing on all cylinders, they simply possess too much talent for any other NBA team to hang with.
On to Game 5. And then Game 6. And, hopefully, Game 7. We’ll see everyone Sunday night. And, as always, a shoutout to everyone who participated in the Game 4 thread. Hard to imagine myself actually choosing staying in on my laptop over going out to a bar for these games, but you guys bring out the blog nerd in me.
Game 3’s Best & Most Hilarious Comments
Willie P — “Pop keeping Manu out there with the scrubs is taking away from T-Mac’s touches”
Stay Frosty — “Diaw must have some left over gravy on his fingertips to miss that shot.”
Cell. — “Neal shot that from the Heats 20 yrd line.”
Southern — “Bron has legit made splitter his bitch…”
Athrin — “N*gga WHAT knees?” – Dwayne Wade”
Lil Nello — “Diaw with the dial-up fastbreak layup to tie it!”
petey wheatstraw — “hes asking wade if that was a turn or a flourish.”
Southern — “On another note…david robinson and bron look the same age”
Whitt — “I don’t give a fuck what the score is. If LeBron got Ginobili in front of him, he gotta do him dirty. Break his spirit like God broke his hairline.”
S. Cadet — “Yo, for Game 5, someone should buy front row seats for Wade’s ex-wife.”