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Spoelstra, Popovich focused on defense heading into Game 4

Jun 12, 2014, 8:04 PM EST

Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Kawhi Leonard Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Kawhi Leonard

MIAMI — The Miami Heat gave 102.9 points per 100 possessions in the regular season, not spectacular (11th in the NBA) but not bad. In the NBA Finals they are giving up 116.4 to the red-hot Spurs.

San Antonio allowed a true shooting percentage of .523 (think of that as points per shot attempt), the Miami Heat are at .607 in the NBA Finals.

Part of that is these are two elite NBA offenses, but for both coaches the problem is their defuse and that is what they are focused on for Game 4 Thursday night.

“That’s what we spent all of our time on was the defense, because I thought we did a pretty mediocre job,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game.

Eric Spoelstra talked about defense as well and recognizing they need to handle the pick and roll differently depending on if it is Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili with the ball.

They’re different, yeah, there is no question about it,” Spoelstra said. “But they’re both elite, great players. You do have to give them different looks. If it’s the same look, they get comfortable, then they can carve you up….

“You see the difference in their ability, how they attack, what they’re looking for, how they’re trying to facilitate, those type of things.”

That defense, particularly from the Heat, is what this series comes down to — can they bring enough energy to their pressure tactics, can sharper rotations slow the impressive ball movement of the Spurs? If the Heat can do that — as they have done for stretches but not consistently in this series — they can even things up and make this a best of three (the Spurs currently lead the series 2-1).

If the Spurs move the ball, get the good looks and knock them down again enough to take Game 4, this series will be all over but the party on the River Walk.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Burn the Boats

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      What’s the count ’72?

  2. thevikesarebest - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    The bandwagon heat fans will make sure that if the spurs hit a 10 point lead they will race towards the exits.

    • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      Down 11 in the 2nd…shades of Dallas!

      • moneyz2 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        it’s too early, but if this keep going it’s time to stop this fight.. throw the Towel.. by 18 points 46-28.

  3. cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Mario Chalmers LOL!!!

  4. moppop - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    The Heat have NO heart

  5. cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Riley will fail to 3 peat yet again! Hahaha!!! The Zen Master did it 3 times!!!

  6. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Too many turnovers

    • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      I say, too much defense!

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Wade is shot! How beautiful, all he does now is flop. Take your beating flamers!

  7. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Spurs are looking scary good. As a Heat fan I’m glad that Riley will have Miami in good shape either way… Could be much worse like the Lakers and Knicks, ouch.

    • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      That’s “loser” talk…but whatever floats your boat. As I’ve said before, Riley gets too much credit for bringing LBJ and Bosh to Miami. Wade, LBJ and Bosh put that team together! Riley just have them the ok.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Riley was a failure in NY & Miami until Wade fell to him in the draft. Riley wanted Bosh but went before he picked. Wade deserves more credit for bringing LeBron & Bosh there.

  8. finsfan71 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Don Meredith used to sing this song on Monday Night Football when the game was no longer in doubt….what the hell was the name of that song?????

    • philtration - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Turn out the lights… the partys over

  9. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    @kb2408

    Nobody cares what you say, you still think Kobe has a chance to win.

    • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      If Kobe never wins another title he has 5, which is more than the entire Heat franchise. And unlike most Heat “fans”, I am not dumb enough to think the LAKERS will win forever. But they will be back. Teams have their runs and the Heat had theirs. All I know for sure is I PREDICTED the Spurs would win in 5 or 6 games. As a matter of fact, Malik Rose and me are the only ones that thought the Spurs would win tonight and had the courage to say it. It’s not over yet…but I’m looking pretty good.

      • shaab23 - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        @kb2408

        You predicted? what about all your other accurate predictions? Eventually you were bound to be correct.

        Everyone expect Lebron has no heart. Last game in a Miami uniform come Sunday???

      • heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Your predictions are like a baby’s diaper: full of s&#t. How many of those 5 did Kobe win himself? Without Shaq’s/Bynum’s/Gasol’s help? He sure allowed them to lose to the Pistons. He sure did everything he could to almost lose to the Celtics. You make him sound like MJ. He is absolutely nowhere near MJ, as bad as he wants to be.

  10. packhawk04 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    All of the “game 3 was a blowout last year too and the heat won” people forgot that dwayne wade could move last year, and…
    Oh yeah…

    The spurs arent giving it away this year like last year. That was the elephant in the room with last years finals. The heat didnt win. The spurs lost.

  11. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    The Heat look exhausted, 4 straight finals trips will do that.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      They miss Stern.

  12. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    @packhawk04

    Wisconsin people don’t know about basketball, go have some cheese with your wrangler jeans.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      And Heat “fans” do? Hahaha! They just started watching basketball 4 years ago.

  13. cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    I see a lot of empty red seats at the start of the 3rd quarter. Typical heat fans!

  14. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    @cantonbound13

    There are plenty of bandwagon fans for teams that win. Maybe if the Knicks become successful in 10 years you’ll have to share your fandom with bandwagon fans like I have. Either way you’ll still be miserable inside Sid. Life is good, be happy.

  15. packhawk04 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    @rodge1

    “Wisconsin dont know basketball.”

    Go back to school. You need it.

  16. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    @kb2408

    One correct prediction out of 50 wrong ones doesn’t look good so don’t flatter yourself sweetheart. You should be planning your first trip to LA so you can feel like a real Laker fan for a few days.

  17. rodge1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    @packhawk04

    LMAO!!!! You should go back to school and learn to read so you can accurately read my post. Thank you for proving my point

    • dexterismyhero - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      give it up rodge1, you are being an a$$hat. nice try being an internet tough guy though,

  18. newyorkball82 - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Just to clear things up… MSG is always packed.

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