Jun 12, 2014, 8:04 PM EST
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.
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.
- PBT Christmas Day preview: Late game between Clippers and Warriors will see league’s best rivalry renewed 0
- PBT Extra: Top 5 NBA stories of 2014 0
- Five things to watch as NBA takes over Christmas Day 15
- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao tears Achilles, done for season 29
- Miami Heat fans were hurt when LeBron left, they may let him hear it. Somewhat. 21
- Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris coming into their own for Magic 6
- PBT Tuesday Night Winners/Losers: Sixers, Lakers show the last will be first (for a night) 13
- Anderson Varejao leaves Cavaliers game with foot injury not to return, MRI Wednesday 5