The San Antonio Spurs surged late in the 4th quarter to defeat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals, final score 101-95. Danny Green struggled throughout most of game but his offense finally came alive in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. Green drained several three-point shots which helped shift the momentum for his team while the Heat struggled to score without their star player. LeBron James led his team in scoring with 25 points but left the game late in the 4th quarter due to severe cramping as a result of the high temperature in At&t arena.
It appears that without LeBron James, the Miami Heat cannot overcome a Spurs team with a deep roster of role players and veterans. Miami now faces the pressure of falling behind in this series 0-2. With a must win situation and a hostile crowd in San Antonio, can the Heat even this series 1-1? Historically speaking, not many teams have come from being behind a 0-2 deficit to win an NBA title, but I wouldn’t count out the Heat.
Keys to the Game:
San Antonio Spurs: Avoid costly turnovers and continue to move the ball. In game 1 the Spurs committed a horrendous 23 turnovers. You cannot win a series being careless with the ball.
Diaw has to continue to be aggressive offensively, he can get any shot he wants against Miami, inside or outside – Chris Bosh will certainly have his hands full defending against Diaw. Danny Green has to knock down shots early, I don’t think the Spurs can afford to have him struggle in game 2, the Heat will be a lot more aggressive this game. Kawhi Leonard has a little more aggressive on defense while avoiding cheap fouls that will send him to the bench early.
Miami Heat: The Heat have to improve their defensive rebounding and avoid turnovers. In game 1 the Spurs out-rebounded the Heat 34-22 (defensive rebounds). They will also need more offensive and defensive contributions from their bench. Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Shane Battier combined for a total of seven points. The bench has to be more productive and not rely too heavily on their starters.
Key Players: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Norris Cole.
Lets be honest, the Heat cannot win without LeBron James. Many would argue that the Spurs were on the ropes in game 1 until LeBron left the game due to his injury. He is still the best player in the game and he can score at will, the Spurs don’t have a definitive answer to containing him but there are other players on the Heat team who must step up to the challenge.
Chris Bosh has to score a bit more this series. His 18 points and 9 rebounds were great in game 1 but he needs to put up 20+ if the Heat wish to even this series. Norris Cole has to put more pressure on Tony Parker to play defense. So far, Parker has gotten the best of him in the point guard match-up. Cole has to score at least 10 points or at the very least increase his assist numbers to eight or nine in game 2.