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From top to bottom of rotation, Spurs’ offense was off the charts

Jun 11, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

2014 NBA Finals - Game Three Getty Images

The Spurs’ decision to start Boris Diaw in Game 3 of the NBA Finals immediately paid off. With the versatile offensive difference maker, San Antonio started 8-for-9 from the field and scored 22 points on its first 12 possessions.

But Diaw can’t play the full game, and Gregg Popovich subbed him out midway through the first quarter.

Would the Spurs’ offense hit the bench with him?

On the next possession, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan ran a pick-and-roll, drawing the attention of LeBron James for just a moment. That allowed Kawhi Leonard to spring free as Parker swung the ball to him. Leonard buried a 3-pointer.

No matter whom the Spurs put on the court last night, their offense kept rolling.

Here are San Antonio’s offensive ratings with each Spur who played at least double-digit minutes on the floor, sorted by playing time. The scale ranges from the NBA’s worst offensive team (76ers, 96.8 points per 100 possessions) to its best (Clippers, 109.4).

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Not a single one of the San Antonio rotation players even fits on the the scale.

Let’s try that again.

image

Leonard led the Spurs with 29 points – nearly twice as many as any other San Antonio player. But that doesn’t truly reflect the Spurs’ offensive balance.

Shooting, passing, screening, cutting – a lot goes into San Antonio’s offense, and every rotation player contributed in his own way. For the Heat, the challenge never relents. No San Antonio substitution offers a break.

This is what people mean whey they refer to “the beautiful game.”

  1. duhwighthoward - Jun 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I enjoy watching this series. They are the most talented basketball players in the world and both teams are trying hard. The level of competition is reflected in the spirited debate on this website.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my gun to school.

    • kb2408 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Oh, this crap gets posted and my comment doesn’t? I guess it’s ok to talk about carrying a gun to school but not ok to say something negative, but true, about the Heat. This site is a joke. Well, not the site, just some of the “writers.”

      • billtetley53 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Yoy should be happy you 3 coiled turd. The moderators probably saved you from making a complete fool out of yourself, AGAIN!

        Why dont you just quit while youre behind and stop posting altogether? Your knowledge is nil.

        I really want to see how punchable your face is.

  2. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I am enjoying this series too but man does LBJ cry after every no call and every foul he commits. This guy is so spoiled its incredible to watch his reaction when he doesn’t get his way. I have never seen an athlete in any sport expect so much from the refs. He argues every times he is called for something.

    • nard100 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      So not true. Because if it was true the Heat would have been burned for more points on the fast break. It was a masterful performance on the Spurs part, no doubt. However, remember that last year they also has record breaking play and still lost. It’s a thing to behold when it happens, but can they sustain it. Also they have lost 5 of 8 at home this playoffs. Put succinctly, the Heat are more consistent. Also, I refuse to believe that Chalmers will be a no-show for this entire series. Welcome to the series Leonard! GO HEAT!

      • kavika6 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        It’s much easier to be consistent against the pathetic eastern conference teams. The Spurs have actually had some competition out west.

    • barkley4life - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Did you not see Tim Duncan Manu Ginobilli and Tony Parker doing the exact same thing. Stop with the bias nonsense.

      Ginobilli pulls Wades arm down going to the basket and argued that he didnt foul lol.

      It shows the pettiness of people who only rant and speak negative after losses or stumbles.

      I bet you think only Wade flops too lol.

  3. azarkhan - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    LOL

    prareedoggin – Jun 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM
    Heat in 5
    6 if Lebron is in foul trouble lol

  4. azarkhan - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    If not for that dumb Popovich, the Spurs would have shot 90% in the first half!

    antistratfordian – Jun 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM
    Why would anyone trust Pop’s system to out-execute the Heat when their poor execution is what lost them the finals last year? That is just saying, “well they’re not going to make the same mistakes this year!” which doesn’t amount to much.

    In fact, poor execution is why the Spurs have been struggling to win a title since 2007.

    • kavika6 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      I can’t figure out if this guy is just being sarcastic.

      • azarkhan - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Why don’t you ask him?

  5. aboogy123456 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Where are all the Heat fans from yesterday saying that this series was over and the Heat never lose at home? If the Heat win next game, they will each have 100 comments about how the series is over. Truth is, nothing has changed, this is a great series with two great teams, so there’s no reason for Heat fans to hide yet.

    • barkley4life - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Where were all the naysayers after Game 2?

      Heat fans are no different than Laker fans or NY fans etc etc….Or Spurs fans after getting Lebron’ed in game 2.

      I’m not a Heat fan but had the Heat in 6 and I am betting more on that Lebron has 4 all world games than Spurs have 4 All Team games.

      Game 3 was no different than last years Game 3, except Gary Neal isnt hitting 27ft transition 3pt jumpers with a hand in his face lol.

      Heat blew an opportunity to close the series in 6 and I thought it would be really hard for them to win twice in San Antonio.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        I want San Antonio to win but I’m enjoying the game and was here yesterday saying the Spurs still had the upper hand and had more things going for them. I think LeBron still had an all-world game last night, but on defense you can see there’s only so much ground he can cover. I expect the Heat to play better defense but for the most part the San Antonio offense should have their way with them.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        Also, I don’t think the home court advantage matters that much for either team this series. Both teams are mentally strong and have the ability to win any game on the road.

      • spursareold - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Spurs have already had two All Team Games. LeBron has only had one All
        World Game. He needs three. They need two.

      • bbbmf - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        spursareold – Simply yet well stated.

  6. ragingmouse - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Beautiful first half of basketball !
    It was flat out memorizing!

    Like a renowned symphony …I hope to see it displayed again, Thursday would be fine with me.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Excellent comment.

    • Unity Teacher - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      I’m glad you can “memorize” that first half of basketball. To be fair, I instead found it flat out MESMERIZING.

      Here’s looking to some more Spurs symphonies.

  7. cruzan80 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    The Spurs are the better team & they’ve proven that in every game so far…even the one they lost. I say that because there’re doing to the Heat what they’ve done to everyone this season.

    The Spurs averaged 105.4 ppg this season. They’re averaging 105.6 through 3 games so far. Their opponents averaged 97.6 ppg this year. The Heat, who have averaged 102.2 ppg all season is currently averaging 95.0 ppg in this series….get the picture? BTW, the Heat’s opponents averaged 97.4 ppg all season.

    My point is the Spurs are getting exactly what they want both on offense & defense. Meanwhile, the FACT of the matter is the Heat are scoring less points & giving up more points than their season averages. In the one game the Spurs didn’t crack 100 points they missed 4 consecutive free throws, scored a total of 96 points & lost by 2.

    Lebron will have to play out of his mind for the Heat to beat THIS Spurs team 4 times (2x in San Antonio) much like he did in game two when he uncharacteristically hit a ton of jumpers which is exactly the kinda shots the Spurs want him to take. He will need three more of those performances & more self-imposed mistake’s by the Spurs in order to win this series.

  8. spursareold - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    I think Miami’s biggest problem is that it’s too easy for them to make it out of the East. They weren’t really tested.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    The better team won. Win back what’s yours San Antonio!

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