The Spurs proved on Thursday that even a boatload of turnovers won’t stop them from winning a game in the NBA Finals. They have been on a tear lately in this postseason and that didn’t stop in Game 1 against the Miami Heat.
Now up 1-0 in the 2014 NBA Finals, San Antonio has now won eight straight postseason games at home by 15 points or more. That set a new NBA record.
However, the Miami Heat have spent all postseason proving that a loss in the first game of a series means nothing to them. Tony Parker explained it when he said:
“That’s why I think we can’t be satisfied. Because we was in the same situation and we know they can win here, and so we just have to go out there and play our game and try to win this one. I think it’s a big game for the series.”
A big game is what tonight will bring on. If the Spurs win at home tonight, they will be halfway to getting their revenge on the Heat, who beat them in last year’s Finals in seven games.
LeBron James, who missed half of the fourth quarter, says he will be suited up and 100 percent for Game 2 in San Antonio. They are aware that they lost the opener to the Spurs in last year’s Finals, as well as the opener against the Thunder in the 2012 Finals. The Heat are undefeated, 5-0, when losing the opening game of a series when LeBron James is on the court. They have always rebounded to take back Game 2 and hope to keep that streak going on Sunday.
LeBron agreed that he is the easiest player to target as far as criticism and the social media goes. Being down 2-0 in the Finals wouldn’t help that either. A laughing Dwyane Wade commented on that, saying:
“I’m sure the series would be over from the outside.”
Wade also went on to say:
“Our focus is on how we can win ballgames and understand in the series it’s the first one to four; not the first one to one, not the first one to two, not the first one to three.” He also said, “We understand the journey, we understand the path and what it takes to get there.”
Prior to James leaving Game 1 in the fourth quarter with cramps, the Heat were on their way to win. The Spurs had trouble handling the ball, committing 23 turnovers that led to 28 Miami points. In addition to that, it also prevented San Antonio from getting the ball down low to Tim Duncan. Duncan was shooting the ball great, finishing 9 of 10 from the field.
On Saturday, we learned that Duncan has always wanted to play as a point guard. Head coach Gregg Popovich was asked if Duncan ever demands the ball more. He replied by saying:
“No, the only thing Timmy has ever demanded is he wants to play the point and he thinks I’ve held him back. True Story. He thinks he’s a point guard.”
However, the chances of one of the best Power Forwards to ever play the game to transition to the point was diminished on Thursday. Duncan said:
“After my five turnovers the other night, I think I took a step back from that.” He added that he loves to play in the middle of the court, making decisions and placing the ball in the right place.
If Tony Parker keeps playing like he did in Game 1, the Spurs won’t need Duncan to make that transition anyway. After missing the second half of Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals, Parker (sprained ankle) looked very healthy against the Heat. When he heard that Duncan and Popovich brought up Duncan’s demands, he said:
“Are we still talking about that? I can’t believe they brought it up in the NBA Finals. It’s been a joke that Timmy thinks he’s a great quarterback, that he can be a good passer. I disagree with that. I want to keep my spot.”
After the air conditioning inside the AT&T Center reportedly broke for Game 1, it has now been fixed. Temperatures on the court read up to 90 degrees, which had a huge impact on the game. By that, I mean the fact that it led to James being carried off the court and sitting out for the last half of the fourth quarter. Had James been in, it could’ve been a different ball game. More good news is that James has been practicing and receiving treatment to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“You can’t think about what may happen in the third or fourth quarter. Live in the moment,” said LeBron James. “And for me, whatever I can give my teammates if it happens again, hopefully I can make an impact while I’m on the floor and that’s all that matters to me.”
Back in 2007, when James was a member for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Spurs got James into a 2-0 hole in the Finals. Now with the Miami Heat, we have learned that they can get themselves out of trouble just as quickly as they get themselves into it.
“That’s why they are two-time champs. To win championships, you have to face adversity and come back from any situation, and they’ve proved that over the years. That’s why it’s our job to stay focused and we know it’s just one game, and we know they’re capable to come back and win at our place.”
The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs know the importance of this game and it will be a game to watch. If the Spurs continue their home game-winning streak, they will win the Finals. Even if Miami wins out at home, which they have done all postseason, they still wouldn’t have enough to win. The Heat need to win a game on the road in order to have a chance at a third straight championship and they will do anything to accomplish that.
Editor’s Note: This is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can him on twitter @NBAandNFLInfo or on theFantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for moreNBA basketball news visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – afantasy basketball blog