Jun 12, 2013, 12:43 AM EST
Famed NBA coach and broadcaster Hubie Brown has a theory (that I love) — NBA role players perform better at home.
The Spurs played at home for the first time in three weeks and their role players stepped up and owned the Heat. Owned.
Gary Neal (24 points, 6-of-10 from three) and Danny Green (27 points, 7-of-9 from three) led the Spurs to an NBA Finals record 16 threes in a game. The Heat defense was less aggressive, the Spurs moved the ball to the open man then knocked down shots, and the result was a blowout 113-77 Spurs win. San Antonio won the second half 63-33.
The result is a 2-1 Spurs lead in the series with a big Game 4 Thursday night in Texas.
San Antonio has taken the Heat’s haymaker and come out more focused the next game. The Heat have done the same all playoffs and must again, but they have not taken a punch like this one.
“We got what we deserved,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra repeated many times after the game. “They played with more force, more focus, the teams that do that typically get what you deserve. They outplayed us, out classed us from the very tip.”
Actually, the first half was much closer. The Spurs led most of the way behind Neal’s 14 points and Tim Duncan getting 10 while attacking the paint. The Spurs were getting the shots they wanted, shooting 61.1 percent in the first quarter. Still, it was a 44-44 game when just before the half Tony Parker hit a leaning three from the corner and Gary Neal beat the buzzer with one, resulting in a six point halftime lead.
But it was already clear where this could be going — San Antonio was outworking the Heat all over the court. The best evidence of that was San Antonio having 19 offensive rebounds on the night — they grabbed the offensive board on 42.2 percent of their missed shots. That is all effort and desire.
Then in the second half the Spurs shooters caught fire — they shot 51.1 percent overall, 9-of-17 from three and Green had 22 of his points in the half.
The Spurs were moving the ball and making the extra pass — 29 assists — and the Heat defense was not making the extra effort.
“When we’re moving the ball like that, trusting each other to knock down shots, make plays, it makes the defense work,” Green said. “It makes them move, rotate. The more you make a defense move, the more they’re liable to make mistakes.”
While no doubt the Spurs shooters were hot, the Heat suddenly less aggressive defense helped them get that way.
“They have great shooters…” Spoelstra said. “If you’re not doing your job, and doing it early, and doing it with focus and discipline guys get open. And that’s what happened. They got all the easy ones they wanted first. And same thing with our shooters when you get easy ones the basket starts to look bigger and bigger.”
The Heat were also passive on offense. The Spurs packed the paint again and did a good job of encouraging the Heat to shoot from the midrange. So the Heat settled — Miami was 7-of-32 from the midrange. That’s 21.9 percent. Not only did the Heat settle, they missed the shots they were settling for. LeBron James was not himself and was 7-of-21 for 15 points.
“I can’t have a performance like tonight and expect to win,” LeBron said.
He wasn’t alone. Chris Bosh was 4 –of-10 and as a team the Heat shot 40.8 percent. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 16 points, the lone real bright spot for the Heat was Mike Miller going 5-of-5 from three.
San Antonio simply outworked and outplayed Miami all night long. If Miami is going to bounce back it is going to have to start with energy on the defensive end of the floor. From there, get some rebounds and make some of their open shots. Then attack the paint with the ball.
What you can be sure of on Thursday night is the Spurs will continue to be the Spurs — make a mistake, don’t make the extra effort and they will make you pay. Miami is going to have to take this one from San Antonio, because the Spurs are not going to beat themselves and hand a win over.
Dec 21, 2013, 11:00 PM EST
Danny Granger returned to action for the Pacers on Friday, playing 22 minutes off the bench in his team’s blowout win over the Rockets. Exactly how much Granger can contribute to Indiana’s efforts at title contention this season remains to be seen, but whether he produces near his previous levels or he doesn’t, his situation…
Dec 21, 2013, 9:30 PM EST
The Knicks didn’t score a whole lot in Saturday’s home loss to the Grizzlies, but when they did, there were some highlights. This one features seldom-used Toure Murry getting out on the break and delivering a perfect behind-the-back pass to Tim Hardaway Jr. for the breakaway slam.
Joakim Noah admits he shouldn’t have been in Thunder’s locker room following incident with Kendrick Perkins
Dec 21, 2013, 8:00 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2013, 6:57 PM EST
Jeffery Taylor had started the last 8 games for the Bobcats, since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went down, and while he has struggled in that role (he has shot 35.4 percent as a starter) you can see how the sophomore could grow into solid rotation player for Charlotte. However, they have lost Taylor for the year due…
Dec 21, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
NEW YORK – The Knicks suffered their 10th home loss of the season on Saturday, playing against an injury-ravaged Grizzlies team that came in losing five straight and seven of its last eight games. The noon start time wasn’t as big of a problem as it had been in New York’s previous two early starts,…
Dec 21, 2013, 3:30 PM EST
Miami Heat players have been videobombing each other’s postgame interviews after victories since at least last season, and it seems as though doing things like making funny faces or doing a robot dance has now become passé. Dwyane Wade upped the ante recently by cartwheeling his way through a LeBron James interview, and now the two…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Wesley Matthews is having a career year — he is scoring a career high 16.2 points a game, he is shooting 44.2 percent from three (39.8 percent last season had been a career high) and he is shooting a lot better inside the arc as well, with a true shooting percentage of 64.5 percent (career…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
Richard Jefferson is in his 13th NBA season, and for the first time in his career will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. After earning over $100 million in salary, you can understand why money will be the least of his concerns when signing what may be his final contract. Jefferson was open in…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:08 AM EST
Nets center Brook Lopez is out for the season after suffering a broken foot, news that was first broken by CSNNE.com’s Gary Tanguay and has since been confirmed by many others. NBA source tells me Brook Lopez of the Nets is done for the year. Broken foot. East continues to get worse. #celticstalk — Gary…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
The Celtics have been better than most expected through the first 27 games of the season, and thanks to playing in the dreadful Atlantic Division, their 12-15 record has them sitting at the four seed in the Eastern Conference standings. That isn’t likely to last all year long, however, and being three games under .500…
Dec 21, 2013, 9:30 AM EST
The Pacers have been one of the top teams to this point in the season, but two of their five losses had come in their last two games. They made sure to leave no doubt in getting back on track Friday, beating an undermanned Rockets team that was without Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik by…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
The Miami Heat have plenty of alternate jerseys, but haven’t been one of the teams to embrace the new sleeved models just yet. Every team playing on Christmas Day will be giving the new-look tops a try, however, and that includes the Heat. But LeBron James said that the team’s shooters are worried about how…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:17 AM EST
The Knicks have gotten killed in their home games this season that have begun with an early 12 noon tip-off, and head coach Mike Woodson is willing to try anything to avoid yet another embarrassing performance and disastrous result. New York hosts the Memphis Grizzlies at 12 noon at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, but…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:51 PM EST
When the Nets played the Sixers just four days ago in Brooklyn, they won by 36 points and honestly, the game wasn’t even that close. Things were different Friday night in Philadelphia, however, and it had everything to do with the available personnel. Kevin Garnett took this game off as a day of rest, and…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:36 PM EST
One of the first lessons a rookie can learn in the NBA is which players not to try to take a charge against. LeBron James has to be near the top of that list, but Kings rookie Ben McLemore gave it a shot anyway on Friday night in Miami. He chose … poorly. LeBron elevated…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:29 PM EST
This is the first ball I've seen with a Commissioner Adam Silver signature on it. http://t.co/eSlS3cMJ9P— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 19, 2013 The times, they are a changin’. Adam Silver will replace David Stern as NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, and among the differences (there will not be that many, really) is that the NBA…
Dec 20, 2013, 7:28 PM EST
Dion Waiters — the Cavaliers second-leading scorer and a guy on the trade block according to reports — will be out Friday night against the Bucks and maybe longer due to a sore wrist. He has wrist tendonitis that had bothered him for a while but he had played through it — he had 25…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:29 PM EST
We had Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk on the PBT Podcast recently and when the topic of Jabari Parker came up Dauster mentioned Carmelo Anthony — a polished scorer with the ability to play the four, score inside, or stretch the floor out to the arc. Dauster isn’t the only one to say that, it’s…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:05 PM EST
Yesterday we passed along the report that before Philadelphia had starting shopping Thaddeus Young around he had gone to the team and asked for a trade. He didn’t want to be part of a rebuilding process. If you’ve watched how this game was played with others guys trying to get moved then you knew what…
Dec 20, 2013, 4:07 PM EST
The last time we saw French center Alexis Ajinca in an NBA game it was 2011 with the Raptors. He had been a bit player with Dallas and Charlotte before that. Now he’s back getting another shot with the New Orleans Pelicans, reports the Times Picayune. The New Orleans Pelicans have reached a two-year contract…
- Bobcats lose Jeffery Taylor for season with ruptured Achilles 0
- Carmelo Anthony after latest home loss to Grizzlies: ‘I think it’s in our heads’ 13
- Brook Lopez suffers broken foot, out for the season 27
- Duke’s Jabari Parker doesn’t back away from Carmelo Anthony comparison 12
- Michael Carter-Williams returns to Sixers lineup Friday against Nets 6
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- LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO) (60)
- Chicago columnist hammers Derrick Rose as no longer humble star (56)
- LeBron angrily goes after Mario Chalmers on the Heat bench (VIDEO) (50)
- Reports: Houston Rockets pull out of Asik trade talks, will keep him for now (45)