The 2013 NBA Finals are anything but predictable.
In Game 1, the Spurs only turn the ball over an absurd four times. LeBron James had an 18p-18r-10a triple double and the Spurs won on a circus shot with .001 seconds left on the shot clock by Tony Parker. Spurs win 92-88.
In Game 2, a close game was blown open by the Heat with a 33-5 run during the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. Heat win 103-84.
Now during Game 3, the Spurs make an NBA Finals record 16 (16-32, 50%) three pointers. Danny Green continued his hot shooting going 7-9 from three. Gary Neal added 24 points by going 6-10 from three. There were stretches during the game where seemingly every single shot that the Spurs took was going in. Spurs win 113-77.
Looking ahead to Game 4, anything could happen. It’s basically impossible to predict, but here is what I can expect to happen:
- Because of the Spurs’ tremendous shooting, Tony Parker going to the locker room to be checked out was barely noticed. If he is not himself for Game 4, that would be a solid advantage to the Heat.
- The Spurs will not make 16 three pointers again. That kind of shooting is not sustainable. The Spurs were among the best three point shooting teams in the NBA during the season (37.6%), but expecting to shoot like that again would be crazy
- The Spurs will have trouble winning with only 12 points from Tim Duncan, 6 points from Tony Parker and 7 points from Manu Ginobili. Yes, they didn’t need more than that today, but you can’t rely on 27 from Danny Green and 24 from Gary Neal every single night. They haven’t been those type of players all season, so don’t expect it to start during the NBA Finals.
- LeBron James will have a monster game. James had a double-double during Game 3 (15p-11r), but he did not play well. He shot a poor 7-for-21. He will be frustrated and he will show up after getting embarrassed by San Antonio. Although, Kawhi Leonard has been playing tremendous defense on James and he deserves a ton of credit. But, James is the MVP for a reason and it is time for him to step up.
- Mario Chalmers will play better in Game 4. Early foul trouble knocked Chalmers off his game. I do not expect him to go scoreless in Game 4.
- Ray Allen will attempt a three pointer. How did Ray Allen not attempt a single three-pointer during Game 4? Beats me, Allen was awfully quiet and will need to make his presence known over the remainder of the series, especially with Wade and Bosh continuing to struggle.
San Antonio’s shooting display was remarkable to watch, but shooting a better percentage from three (50%) than two (48.9%) during an entire game is not sustainable and I expect them to regress a bit during Game 4. From Miami’s perspective, the one thing they have proven over and over again during the postseason is that they know how to rebound from a loss. They haven’t lost back-to-back games since January 8th and 10th and I expect that to continue and ensure the series returns to Miami for Game 6.
The NBA Finals may be unpredictable, but one thing can be predicted… it will be exciting to watch.
[Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters via The Globe and Mail]