A Few Thoughts: Game 1

NBA: Finals-Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

There’s so much to write about and so little time. So, as I plan to do after every Finals game, here I give you a few thoughts:

  • Anyone who is #LeBroning clearly didn’t read my piece from Wednesday night and doesn’t understand what they’re watching.
  • Anyone who is criticizing LeBron should seriously reconsider.
  • Overall I think the Heat should look at Game 1 positively. The Spurs played very well (with terrific shooting canceling out horrendous ball security) and Miami was still in position to take that game, and I think they would have had LeBron not cramped up. Actually, I think the Jamesless Heat could have actually won without him if they had displayed any sort of offensive cohesion and crispness in the last five minutes.
  • The Heat should also be happy that many of San Antonio’s turnovers were forced by their pressure defense, something not enough people were talking about coming into the series.
  • The Spurs played well, but they have to improve if they want to take Game 2. Some terrific individual efforts helped propel them through the game, but they absolutely must take care of the ball better. I’m also not convinced that they have a solid plan for defending LeBron.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing what Mario Chalmers does in Game 2 after a frustrating Game 1.
  • Perhaps it’s too late for this, but I’d really like to see the Heat try to use Chris Bosh in a different capacity. He has established, even mastered, his role on the team (which offensively comes down to basically making mid-range and 3-pt jumpshots at a fairly lethal rate) but I think he can do even more. I’d like to see Chris Bosh get more opportunities to create his own offense from the high post and on the block. One time last night he caught the ball about ten feet from the hoop, guarded by Boris Diaw. I said out loud “Sweep and go”, and about two seconds later he did just that, getting by Diaw and scoring. I don’t think Diaw is tall enough or quick enough to guard him, and I think he could draw some fouls and get to the line with Duncan guarding him. This is a guy who averaged 22.8 ppg in Toronto in his last five season there, and most of that scoring was coming nearer to the basket (Kirk Goldsberry just mapped this). Sometime instead of seeing James out there with the second unit I’d like to see James and Wade get more time to play together and see Bosh with the reserves to see what he can do. Again, perhaps it’s too late for this.
  • Manu Ginobili’s ability to pass the ball is amazing #understatement
  • I’m not really sure why Udonis Haslem DNP’d. Especially in a game where fatigue should have been more of a factor.
  • I understand that the lack of AC affected both teams. I understand that plenty of people have played in the heat. But there are good reasons that the premier basketball league in the world has air conditioned arenas. I’m not saying the game should have been postponed, but the inconvenient truth is that the unexpected conditions in the arena took LeBron out of  that game, a game that the Heat were on track to win. Did you see the way he blew past Diaw on the move that induced his game-ending cramp? If LeBron was about to finish the game like that, Miami was going to win the game. So, “It happens”, but I can’t say we should be happy with the fact that happened. Still, a fun first game. Looking forward to Game 2.

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