Jun 5, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) celebrates with San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) and forward Boris Diaw (33) during the fourth quarter in game one of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Finals 2014: San Antonio Spurs Take 1-0 Series Lead Over Miami


 

In a, let’s just say, “unique” opening game of the NBA Finals, the Spurs outlasted the Miami Heat 110-95 to take a familiar 1-0 lead in the Finals. While the Spurs showed a little muscle (and endurance?) in Game One, let’s keep our heads. This is going to be a long series. If anything, Game One was more proof of how evenly matched both these teams are.

For each team’s “Big 3,” the game was business as usual. For the Spurs, Duncan scored 21 points on nine-of-ten from the field and also grabbed ten rebounds. Manu Ginobili scored 16 points and dished out 11 assists. Tony Parker also had a good game with 19 points and eight assists. For the Heat, LeBron scored 25 points, Wade scored 19, and Bosh scored 18. But, it was the Spurs’ bench and role players that were the difference in the game.

What’s new?

The Spurs’ bench outscored Miami’s bench 34-20 in the game, and nearly seven Spurs reached double-figures in scoring- Marco Belinelli and Kawhi Leonard each had nine points. And yet, what was a pretty good game was overshadowed by two storylines that I don’t really want to mention, but sort of have to based on the gravity of the situation.

Due to my lack of understanding of electricity and how it works, I’m not even going to try to describe what actually happened. But basically, the thing that gives power to the A/C at the AT&T Center broke and caused the A/C to go out in the whole building, which sent temperatures in the arena sky-rocketing to roughly 90 degrees. That’s the first part. The second part, obviously, is that the high temp caused the game’s best player, LeBron James, to miss the crucial chunks of the fourth quarter because of severe muscle cramps in his legs, which sent the LeBron-haters into a twitter frenzy.

In all honesty, I think the game should have been postponed. This is the NBA Finals. I want the best players on the court. I don’t want the game impacted by the weather in the arena. When temperatures start getting up into the 80s, I’m pretty much worthless outside, and I’m talking about just walking around in that heat. I can’t even imagine what it was like playing in that sauna. When the media is constantly on twitter talking about how much they are sweating on press row, it’s time to hold off on the game until the A/C is back on. This is America, and there’s a ton of money on the line here.

Also, when the fans are waving themselves off with a towel the whole time to keep cool, that’s another surefire sign to postpone the game. This isn’t football or baseball. There is no “rain or shine” clause for basketball. Postpone the game and play it when the A/C is fixed. Trust me, fans are still going to show up tomorrow if there’s a game. ABC can push back Rising Star one night. I got an idea, why don’t they postpone Jimmy Kimmel? I’m sure he won’t mind.

And while I’m on one, let’s talk about LeBron James and cramps. If you’ve had a muscle cramp, you know it’s excruciating. It’s terrible that it happens to LeBron so often, but he’s basically one big ball of muscle, so no wonder he cramps up occasionally and in extreme heat. Also, playing with cramps has nothing to do with toughness. When your muscle contracts so tightly, you can’t even move. There’s physically nothing you can do. I’m not a doctor, but I’m also not an idiot. There’s still some common sense left in the world. If you think LeBron quit or wasn’t tough enough to keep playing, here’s what I suggest:

  1. Sit in a sauna for three hours to make sure you are good and dehydrated.
  2. Go run three miles (close to the average distance a player runs in an NBA game) while sprinting, walking, jogging, and jumping as high as you can randomly throughout the run.
  3. Go back to step one and put the pressure of achieving all your hopes and dreams on the line. Also, strap a go-pro on your head so we can all watch your suffering firsthand.
  4. Send me the video at [email protected], and I’ll give you a cookie… and some gatorade, you know, to help with the cramps.

Although I think the game should have been postponed, the Spurs won the game because they outscored the Heat 36-19 in the fourth quarter. They took care of business down the stretch, and that’s that. Yes, LeBron was on the bench most of that time. I heard your thoughts.

Lebron’s cramps and the temperature in the building overshadowed the real keys of the game that led to the Spurs’ victory. Despite winning the bench scoring, the Spurs also scored more points in the paint, made more three-pointers, and San Antonio made more free throws than Miami shot in the game. The Spurs also shot 58 percent from the field in the game and 52 percent from three-point range. How was it only a 15-point game?

Well, San Antonio did turn the ball over 23 times, which led to a bunch of criticism throughout the game, especially from Skip “Not YOUR Spurs, MY Spurs” Bayless. Skip even declared after the game, there was “NO WAY” the Spurs could play that poorly in Game 2.

Can we give Miami, the two-time defending champion, a little credit? The Heat force turnovers. They’ve done it for the last four seasons. Don’t be surprised if the Spurs average closer to 20 turnovers in this series. Miami didn’t make four straight NBA Finals by being a doormat on defense.

Here are some of my other takeaways from Game One:

-Even the best player in the world is human and can be defeated by nature. They’re might not be another team in the league who can beat him, but Mother Nature’s got his number apparently.

-I love NBA Finals basketball.

-Since 2011, the Heat are 5-0 in a series after losing the first game of that series. If anything, that’s bad sign for the Spurs, not the Heat.

-It feels like it’s San Antonio’s year, but it also felt like that with about six seconds to go in Game 6 last season, and I think we all know how that turned out.

-I’M EXCITED FOR GAME 2 AND THE REST OF THE SERIES! Did I mention I love the NBA Finals?

-Steph Curry riding a tricycle and playing one-on-one with Jimmy Kimmel is much more entertaining than I thought it would be.

Tags: LeBron James Miami Heat NBA NBA Finals San Antonio Spurs