We’re three games in the 2013 NBA Finals and so far we’ve had two blowouts and one closely contested game, two of these games have gone the Spurs way, the other to the Heat.
The Spurs have played this entire series well except for the run Miami had in Game 2 that gave the Heat the huge lead and eventual blowout win. The Spurs have played Miami perfectly and flawlessly on defense and they are letting the Heat beat them on San Antonio’s terms. The Heat have been forced to play the Spurs’ style of play as they have dictated the style for most of this series. Miami relies and thrives on transition, fast-break baskets but in the half-court setups? Miami has been prone to not playing as efficiently. The Spurs have been playing off LeBron which has resulted LeBron to shoot more and more jumpers instead of attacking, one thing LeBron isn’t very good at. This is why Miami’s team is extremely vulnerable, you see. LeBron is the best player on this team, but once you slow him down, the entire team shuts down. Wade is inconsistent at times, and he’s on a hobbled knee plus it always seems like Wade is only effective at a few places on the court and not as dangerous as LeBron normally is, while Bosh is just a Power Forward–and given his role and ability–he cannot carry the team alone. Which leaves the role and bench players to carry around half, or even more of the workload of points, rebounds, assists to makeup for the lack of efficiency from the Big 3. Now, this is nowhere near bad. The role and bench players aren’t that bad and being the athlete LeBron is, he’ll simply facilitate the ball and give his teammates open looks which gives the Heat a more “team” effort rather than 3 or 4 players carrying the entire load. So with that being said how are Miami’s Big 3 doing? Here are the stats.
Game 1: 18 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 turnovers.
Game 2: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 turnovers.
Game 3: 15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers.
Game 1: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover.Game 2: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 turnovers.
Game 3: 16 points, 0 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers.
Game 1: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, 4 fouls.
Game 2: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block, 1 foul.
Game 3: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 fouls.
The trio of Danny Green, Gary Neal and Kawhi Leonard have 130 combined points in the NBA Finals, the same total as Miami’s James-Wade-Bosh.
Going back to what I said about the carrying the payload on offense when LeBron, Wade and Bosh aren’t effective. Here is a breakdown of the total points scored by Miami as a whole, to how much–by percent–James, Wade, and Bosh contributed to that total and after it will show the resulting finish.
Game 1: 54.54% of points. 92-88 Loss.
Game 2: 37.86% of points. 103-84 Win.
Game 3: 55.84% of points. 113-77 Loss.
To add some validity to this claim, here now are 4 randomly selected games. 2 of which were Heat losses, the other 2 are Heat wins.
1. 47.36% of points. 95-89 Win. (Heat v. Hawks Nov. 9th)
2. 69.30% of points. 105-101 Loss. (Heat v. Wizards Dec. 4th)
3. 63.63% of points. 109-99 Loss. (Heat v. Pistons Dec 28th)
4. 58.09% of points. 105-85 Win. (Heat v. Nets Jan 30th)
So has Leonard played LeBron perfectly in these finals? Yes, but the Spurs have played LeBron, and the whole Heat team extremely well.
Kawhi Leonard’s Stats:
Game 1: 10 points, 10 rebounds and 1 assist.
Game 2: 9 points, 14 rebounds and 2 assists.
Game 3: 14 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists.
Game 4: 2 points, 7 rebounds and 0 assists.
Coach Popovich on Leonard: “We haven’t done anything to make him the way he is. He’s quiet, he’s humble, he wants to be a great player.”
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