It was San Antonio’s turn yesterday to tear the NBA Finals script and throw it away.
All that had been asked of the Spurs, after they got blown out of the court by Miami in Game 2 of the title playoffs, was to reinvigorate or help make the series look interesting again.
San Antonio overdid itself. The hosts gave Miami a rude welcome to their homecourt.
Not only that. The Spurs, in the process, have all but thrown the Heat out the championship road.
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Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra readily admitted he did not recognize the (Heat) team out on the floor.
Visibly shattered, Miami has been pushed into a dark hole.
The next sane thing to do is find a way to wriggle out of the mess.
“That’s for LeBron (James) to figure out,” the ruffled Miami mentor told media minutes after the shocking loss.
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Maybe he meant it for James to wake up, and stop being a non-entity in the next game.
If the original Heat team was barely visible in San Antonio yesterday, the fire-breathing James was himself nowhere out there.
James, with only 17 points but still managing to set Miami cylinders on fire with his leadership in Game 2, was an outstanding failure in Game 3.
Coach Greg Popovich had him caged, consistently fenced in through double and triple teaming.
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At the same time, Popovich also made it clear the Spurs could still be devastating even if peppery Tony Parker checked in with less spice and spark.
After Popovich had successfully planted intangibles all over the floor to slow down and take Game 1, he used devastating firepower to move up in the crown playoffs.
He planted two sniping firebombers—Danny Green and Gary Neal—on the wings. The two gleefully shot down all attempts by opposition to counter.
The Heat were soundly beaten in their own running game.
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San Antonio, noted the Agence France Press, dealt its NBA title rival “a good old butt-kicking.”
“They do things bigger in Texas, and that includes bounce-back wins as the Spurs responded to being embarrassed by the Heat in Game 2 in one of the biggest blowouts in NBA Finals history,” AFP reported.
San Antonio could swing it by sweeping the next two home games.
They must not give the Heat, which have not lost two straight in the playoffs, a chance go back to Miami again.