The San Antonio Spurs emphatically took the home-court advantage back from the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals with a 111-92 victory. It was a performance that many will be talking about years from now. It was something that many watching could not believe.
Almost every expert and analyst on television in the hours leading up to the game picked the Heat to win in runaway fashion. Everything we know about the NBA Finals once they change venues and a team is returning home with momentum made it tough to dispute that thought. The Spurs came out in the first quarter and put on a dazzling performance that will more than likely never happen again. Here are my thoughts on a Game 3.
Record Setting The Tone- Last Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden, Miguel Cotto made Sergio Martinez quit on his stool after the ninth round. It was a dominant performance that was highlighted by Cotto knocking Martinez down three times in the first round. Tuesday night in Miami, the Spurs did the basketball equivalent of that in the first quarter.
They shot 13-15 from the field as a team in the first quarter. Prior to the start of the game, that only seemed realistic if one was playing NBA2k14 on rookie level. The shots came from all over the court, and from various players as the Spurs jumped out to a 41-25 lead at the end of the first quarter.
It is safe to assume that many expected the Spurs to cool off considerably during the second quarter. Six made shots on six shot attempts later we were once again proven wrong. For those keeping score at home, there was a time in the second quarter that the Spurs were 19-21 from the field. That is 90 percent. Again, numbers that are usually reserved for video games. They shot an NBA Finals record 75 percent en route to a 71-50 halftime lead. That blistering start set a tone for the game, gave the Spurs the cushion needed to keep the Heat at bay, and sent their fans rushing to the exit early. It was a beautiful sight to behold for anyone that enjoys basketball.
Welcome Back Kawhi- My thoughts on Game 2 ended with me paging Kawhi Leonard to join the Finals. He answered that page with in a resounding way. He played with a confidence and sense of urgency that was infectious to his team in the first quarter. He looked like the guy that has everyone calling him the future for the Spurs.
It was good to see him get into a rhythm early by knocking down shots, and taking advantage of the Heat starting LeBron on Tony Parker. Once it became evident that Leonard was going, LeBron switched onto him, and he continued to attack. While LeBron was scoring on the other end, Leonard made him work defensively, and messed up the Heat’s gameplan on the defensive end early.
He ended game with 29 points, and also was very disruptive on the defensive end. This guy has all the tools to be a star in this game on the court. Game 3 was a reminder for anyone who may have forgot, and the Spurs need to hope for this from him during the rest of the series.
Glad They Finished- As the second half began, my mind began to wander to what social media would be like if the Heat were able to come back. Immediately, I started hoping that the Spurs finished the job and did not let that happen.
Many people on Twitter and Facebook strongly believe the NBA is rigged, and that they want the Heat to win the championship again. This group would have rose up with the force and aggression that the Spurs played the first quarter with had the Heat came back to win. A lot of people seem to be missing a great series because they are looking for something to complain about and shout their “NBA is rigged” battle cry.
It is frustrating to me that those thoughts were in my mind while such a great performance was happening. However, that has seemed to be the refrain on from many people on social media this post-season, so it is fresh on my mind.
So, thank you San Antonio Spurs for sending what this writer likes to call “Team The NBA Is Rigged” back to their room for at least one night. Hopefully nothing happens going forward to allow them to come back out.
Well there you have my thoughts on Game 3. Thank you for reading, and be on the lookout for my thoughts the following morning after each game of the Finals.