When asked who I picked to win the NBA Finals, I’ve replied, “Hey,who really knows!” After Chris Webber lost the championship to Duke, and then to Carolina the following year, I stopped predicting and totally ceased after the Red Sox came from 3-1 down to defeat the Yankees for the 2004 American League pennant. Not even Boston fans could have imagined that! Hey, who knew?
Could anyone have imagined LeBron James, of all people, begging to come out of a basketball game at its most crucial moments because of leg cramps caused by a failed air conditioning system in San Antonio’s arena. Could you imagine James being contained and marginalized by Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, and San Antonio hitting 19 of their first 21 shotsTuesday night in Game 3 in Miami? Who knew?
Down 2-1, Miami will have to win Game 4 tonight to tie up this series, then go back to Texas for the next one. Like San Antonio, they’ll have to adapt and make the transition. To their credit, the Spurs legitimately won Game 2. Game 1 is a question mark, because it was off-the-court mechanical problems that caused Miama to lose James in a game that they could have possibly won.
San Antonio, who legitimately and decisively beat the Heat Tuesday, changed their lineup from the first two games, inserting and starting center Boris Diaw and taking out Tiago Splitter to counter Miami’s smaller lineup, creating more ball movement. This led to a 21-point lead at halftime, a 25-point lead at one point in the first half and the Spurs closing the game out at 111-92.
Though Miami was able to break the score down to a seven-point differential in the third quarter, they couldn’t get it together enough to win. They too must now adapt and transition to even this out, 2-2.