A Few Thoughts: Game 3

Kawhi Leonard

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:

  • There were extended runs in that game where Miami looked like the better team. Think about how close they were to finishing that comeback. Once in the second and once in the third Miami was right there and just couldn’t quite get within 5 (which would have basically made it a “we’re all even fight to the finish”).
  • The Heat did not do enough on defense, but I really didn’t feel like the Spurs were doing considerably more than they did in the first two games. They moved it a little better and Kawhi was attacking, but this game they just got the shots to go. The Heat can, and must, do much more on defense, but the Spurs’ system and arsenal of shooters makes games like this possible.
  • If you really want, you can basically just chalk this up as the Kawhi Leonard game. Magnificent in all capacities.
  • Mario Chalmers and Birdman are not themselves.
  • Maybe it just seemed like this to me and a review of the film would prove differently, but I felt like a lot of Miami’s possessions ended in Norris Cole’s hands. They would make one or two passes, attack once or twice, and someone would get stopped and pass the ball off with 8-10 seconds left on the shot clock. A number of times, the guy that this pass found was Norris Cole. I love, LOVE, Norris Cole, but I don’t want a Finals game coming down to his ability to create with time dwindling on the shot clock.
  • Boris Diaw had the highest plus/minus of all Spurs players for the second straight game.
  • I’ve been paying attention to Parker on the court vs. Patty Mills on the court ever since Skip Bayless (who I dislike more and more all the time) tweeted that the Spurs can be better with Mills on the court instead of Parker (which sounded strange to me since Bayless has been saying Parker is the best PG in the league). I think he might have been on to something. The Spurs’ system can run without Parker, and Manu Ginobili can be just as, if not more, creative than Parker. Mills is a little more active on defense and much more a threat to make 3s. I’d still rather have Parker on the court, but this is just something to think about.
  • Rashard Lewis.
  • That was a very strange game from LeBron. He made some fantastic plays, single-handedly starting the Heat run in the second quarter, making terrific defensive plays, and finding teammates with superior passes. He also turned the ball over 7 times. He wasted a lot of possessions with jab steps. He looked tired. I guess you have to say it was overall a poor game from LeBron, but you could still recognize him as the best player on that court. He has to do more for the Heat to win, but wow, he sure did a lot even in this game.
  • As much as I’m sure the Heat want to run their offense through LeBron, they have to give Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh more opportunities. Yes, Wade only took 2 fewer shots than LeBron, but sooner or later Wade is going to have to take like 20 shots and score 35, because I know he can. As for Bosh, sometimes guys get lost in the shuffle when a team is scrambling to make up a deficit. Unfortunately, Bosh got left out in a game when he was 4-4 from the field (yes, two of them were easy). I think the Heat have to be intentional about getting Bosh shots, but they also just need to move the ball more and let the game play itself, which will naturally find shots for the Big 3 as well as open shots for the role players. And yeah, LeBron should still get a few isos, because as aggressive as Kawhi was, he can’t really guard him.
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