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With no Hibbert Miami attacked rim, they just didn’t finish

Jun 7, 2013, 4:10 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

Miami players had to have eyes as big as saucers. They would get the ball looking to drive the lane in Game 1 of the NBA Final — and there was no 7’2” wall of Roy Hibbert there to greet them like last round. It had to feel like an empty expressway to the rim.

So attack the Heat did, getting into the lane far more than they did last series against the Pacers.

But they didn’t finish. They left a lot of points on the rim that they could have used in a four-point loss.

On the night, the Heat were 15-of-26 in the restricted area, or 57.7 percent shooting. On the season, the Heat shot a league-best 67.2 percent in the restricted area.

Within five feet of the rim, the Heat were 16-of-30 (53.3 percent, 14 percentage points off their season average).

It wasn’t LeBron James, he was 5-of-5 in the restricted area and 6-of-8 inside 5 feet. But that means the rest of the Heat players were below .500 shooting in the restricted area. (For the record, LeBron was 1-of-8 outside five feet, his jumper did not show up for Game 1.)

All of this is something the Heat can fix, but they need to focus on it. The Spurs are too good for the Heat to leave points on the table and expect to win.

  1. gmsingh - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    Were they in Coral Gables when they left those points on the gable?

  2. pl4tinum514 - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Leaving points on the gable is a no-no.

  3. shockexchange - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    The Spurs applied the Shock Exchange’s “LeBron Rules” to stymie The Kang and take Game 1. “The Rules” will be in effect throughout this series.

  4. mrlitl - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Spurs also missed many shots. They really could’ve won going away.

  5. ragingmouse - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Heat played a good game and lost, spurs played okay, missed a lot of shots and still won the game…

    Spurs will shoot and play better in the series…look for a blowout game coming up next …spurs win 2nd game in Miami by a

  6. mrsingh24 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    This just feels like a Heat lover website.

  7. redbaronx - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I’d be worried if I were Erik Spoelstra. On one side Manu was non-existent, Spurs were generally OK (not great), / on the other: Wade turned in a decent game, Mike Miller shot well and the Heat shot ridiculously well in the first 3 quarters. And the Heat BARELY led most of the game.

    I told my friend before this started that the Spurs would win this in 6. I think the Spurs might be able to win in 5 if they take game two. Doesn’t look good for Miami, but I expect LeBron to have a monster game 2. I’m sticking to my original prediction. Spurs in 6.

  8. savvybynature - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    The Spurs were one of the best teams in the league at protecting the rim throughout the season, yet no mention of their defense in the article? No mention of their ability to contest shots closely without fouling?
    The premise of this article seems to be, “The Heat just missed a bunch of gimmes or the Heat would have won.” Reads like a Heat fan’s analysis of the game.

  9. tristanalf - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    With the Spurs beating the Heat at home in Game 1, I just cant wait until the series travels to San Antonio… The spurs are ridiculous at home. If SA wins Game 2 in Miami, I pick the Spurs in 4.

  10. themagicfanguy - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    No mention of the fact that Duncan and Splitter’s great defense plate a large role in this? Hibbert did great, but Duncan and Splitter are much more consistent.

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