Heat's cast lift the big three

LeBron James still fell far short of his typical play, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh played okay, but certainly don't look like stars, but the Miami cast came through big time to lift the Heat to victory.

The Spurs came out incredibly flat and got pretty much nothing from anyone outside of a six for six game from Danny Green which included five for five from the three point line. Remove Green from the equation and the Spurs shot 36% from the field and 33% from the three point line.

The good news for the world at large (and Spurs fans in particular) is that the Spurs really haven't played a good game of basketball yet. The bad news is that neither has LeBron.

The most interesting story line, to me, coming out of these finals is whether or not the Heat go down as one of the most all time disappointing or greatest teams in the history of the NBA and whether LeBron begins to cement his legacy as the 2nd best player of all time (where I've thought he belonged) or Wilt Chamberlain part two (the guy who could never deliver in the clutch despite an completely unstoppable game).

If the Heat lose, it will be the second time they've lost a finals while being the overwhelming favorite, and so far, LeBron is playing WAY below his standards in the effort.

Now the series shifts back to San Antonio where the Spurs have to hope to win at least two of three. The finals certainly makes it rough on the lower seeded team to play three games in a row at home, because it's so tough to win three in a row to hold your home court. That said, if the Spurs take care of business, they could stop the series from going back to Miami.

San Antonio needs a whole lot more from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili if they're to win. Right now, it looks like you can stop the Spurs by merely slowing down Tony Parker and guarding the three point line. Ginobili has no penetration game whatsoever right now, and Duncan looks absolutely done so far. Even in Duncan's first game where he shot the ball reasonably well, many of his shots were on gimmies.

Can the Spurs find their groove? Can LeBron find his? I feel like we're two games in and have only seen the B-game from both teams outside of the second half of game two where Miami brought their A-game.

The officiating has also been rather interesting in the series so far. There's been a decided lack of flopping so far, and the officials have swallowed their whistles for the most part. If the trend continues, you have to figure it's favorable for San Antonio whom isn't over overly reliant on getting to the foul line anyway.

A good chunk of the reason why is simply because the Heat aren't pushing the issue though, LeBron and Wade have been content to largely just hang out on the perimeter and move the ball rather than attack the basket, and Miami has become a jump shooting team. Much to their credit, guys who've been pretty lousy earlier in the playoffs have stepped up big time in this series to knock down their threes.

The invisible Mike Miller has been huge, and Ray Allen has continued his run which started in game seven against the Pacers. If Miami continues their hot shooting from beyond the arc, then they'll go from tough out to impossible out. You simply can't guard everyone on the Heat and as soon as the resources start getting tied up hanging out on the perimeter we'll see the driving game open up again.

Watching the series so far, I can't help but wish that Memphis was here instead. Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol would be combining for 50 points a game against this group whereas Duncan/Splitter have had a Bulls like performance of helping shut down the slashing game but not really adding nearly enough on the offensive end to punish Miami for their lack of size defensively.

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  • Doug, you didn't even mention the real unsung hero from last night, Mario Chalmers. As much as he frustrates Heat fans, he's got a big game mentality. You can't take that away from him.

  • Instead of talking about Miami, but I guess there's nothing else to talk about when it come to "Bulls" basketball, the thread for today should be...are the Bulls working out any other draft prospects besides the big stiff from Kansas? But I guess as usual everything is top secret info when it comes to the Bulls organization... PLEASE!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Yea, this season is over, who gives a shit about those jackasses...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    its getting a little bit annoying that the Bulls are being top secret about what draft prospects they are working out. We all know the major holes are backup center and shooting guard so whats wrong with letting us know who the prospects are and how will another team "steal the inside info" on who they really like when you have so many prospects coming in. This secrecy is stupid just like they kept feeding us lies on Rose's return.

    Anyway looks like the Bulls have this kind of thibodeau era policy of drafting one rookie per year so he can sit on the bench and "learn the league" and use that second round pick for a euro stash like they did in 2011. I'm hoping we come away with backup center Dieng but I would also like Tim Hardaway Jr for the 3 and D role player shooting guard.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Who cares who they actually work out, they'll probably draft someone they never bring in or interview (like Marquis Teague).

    In the end, they'll bring in about 60 or so players like last year and draft 2.

  • Anyone else watching the Heat starters play deep into the 4th quarter wonder whether or not they a). were trying to run up the score even more and/or b). if Spoelstra was really that dense?

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Could have been a couple things:

    1) Wanting to guarantee they win the game (let's not act like the Spurs bench are garbage) instead of them getting the game back within 10 and Spo having to bring his guys back out.

    2) A confidence booster for the rest of the series. 'You guys blew them out by 20+, you guys can do this whenever you want'.

  • Orlando is offering up the 2nd pick in the draft, Deng, Hinrich, and the 2oth pick would be a nice package to offer for a chance to draft Olidepo who imo is the star of the draft. The Bulls could move Butler to the sf position. the Bulls could then keep Nate coming off the bench and Marco could start at the sg spot. The Bulls need offense and losing Deng wouldn't be such a big loss with Butler coming on this year in Deng's absence. The Bulls could also throw in RIP'S contract for Afflalo.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    They have Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless, and Andrew Nicholson manning the Forward positions for a rebuilding team. I don't see them making any deal that gets them worse chances of getting the top pick in the 2014 draft or having to pay $14mil worth of Deng's salary to do so.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Ok I get what you're saying but again...the magic is offering the second pick in the draft so they would definitely be looking for value in return.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I Agree 100% about Olidepo. The teams that pass over him will look like fools a few years from now. But those kind of "draft misses" happen most every year.

  • Tim Duncan is HOW old? The media take is if Miami beats well past his prime Tim and a shadow of his playoff killer self in Ginobli they are "Great." And LeBron becomes the "second best(or best) player of all time."

    Wade aka "knees" is a shadow of his former self and Bosh.. is just a nice player. It's a waste of time to swim against the tide of hype driven money molded media mantra. If the silent 'have a life' majority of fans/people think this era of watered down undeveloped talent with crazy payroll controls and a generation of players who have been let down by society and their parents(lack thereof) is a comparable challenge to past sports/NBA eras so be it. Certainly the physical abilities continue to advance.

    LeBron is as great a talent as we've seen. He's also a twitching, emotionally immature head case who bailed on his team utterly and completely in a formidable playoff setting. As far as dominance in his playoff career and championships in this weak era I'm not even sure I'm buying that. If he's fortunate enough to continue on with a watered down, hard capped, undeveloped emotionally and mentally weak league then congrats. And to be fair and anti-homer viewing the Bulls as contenders should be seen in the context of the present ravaged state of the NBA. In most years past they would never make it even to the ECF let alone be viewed as Championship worthy. Offense being an inconvenient prerequisite for success.

    Let's face it, People want their time/era to be the best and most relevant. Period. Subjectivity reigns. Fine. Maybe I'm just biased like everybody else. Miami is then a Great team and LeBron is the second or best player of all time. Congrats. Still, shame on us/the previous generation that has become amorally wrapped up in greed letting them(today's players) down in the process. James and Wade really you can't hate them. Only the bullshit derailed society that created them.

  • Off subject, the Pax/Gar All Around Good Guy and Competitor 2013 NBA Draft "secret list" in or near Bulls range has been leaked.

    Kelly Olynyk,(trade up), Tim Hardaway(I'm tired of saying Jr. or the II or III etc. about kids of former pros, it's pretentious and tedious and hype/media/money driven), Gorgui Dieng, Sergey Karasev, Nate Wolters, Erick Green, Isaiah Canaan, James Ennis, oh, and let's not forget Jeff Whitey. Course some of these guys will be available later for a trade down.

    My personal favorites: Tim Hardaway Jeeeuuuniorrrr, Dieng, Oylnyk, Green, Wolters, Ennis. Of course we can't think of playing Derrick much at the two or else I'd be trying to trade up for Shane(thank god your first name's not Barry) Larkin, with the prerequisite salary dump.

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