Heavy is the head who wears the crown. Reigning NBA champions Miami suffered the NBA Finals’ first loss Thursday night, falling to the San Antonio Spurs in one of the playoffs’ most contested games. With both offenses running at full steam, the lead never seemed to grow by more than five points in either direction.
Considering the consistent level of play that both teams have displayed throughout their run to the Finals, Game 2 should follow suit. So, what exactly does Miami need to do to avoid being in that dreaded 0-2 hole?
As has been the case all playoffs, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh need – sorry about that, NEED – to play like their names would suggest. Greg Popovich has concocted a gameplan with a very specific purpose in mind: limit LeBron’s effectiveness when driving to the lane, throwing as many double-teams at the King as possible. Look for Kawhi Leonard and co. to continue to torment LeBron, forcing his supporting cast to step up in ways that they have rarely done this postseason.
Or, to put it simply, LeBron can’t do it alone. The rest of the Heatles need to step up. Something tells me that a 1-2 Finals record isn’t what Pat Riley and co. had in mind when the King took his talents to South Beach.
How can the Spurs take the 2-0 lead back to San An? Stick to their gameplan by continuing to push the pace. The Heat have gotten off all year by efficiently outrunning their foes. What’s lost on so many people is the Spurs’ switched their identity over the past few seasons, focusing on offense rather than their old calling card of defense. They now specialize at running the court, just like Miami does. The only difference is the Spurs have so many players contributing. If they can continue that, well…
Consider this your open invitation to join us Sunday night at 7:30pm EST. Have fun, drink beer, earn playoff badges and, as always, give Tins all the hell in the world. And, of course, thank you to everyone who made Game 1 such an incredible experience.